7.0/10
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34 user 11 critic

Three Little Words (1950)

Passed | | Biography, Comedy, Musical | 12 July 1950 (USA)
The story of the successful Tin Pan Alley songwriting team of Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby is told loosely and lightheartedly.

Director:

Richard Thorpe

Writer:

George Wells (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Fred Astaire ... Bert Kalmar
Red Skelton ... Harry Ruby
Vera-Ellen ... Jessie Brown Kalmar
Arlene Dahl ... Eileen Percy
Keenan Wynn ... Charlie Kope
Gale Robbins ... Terry Lordel
Gloria DeHaven ... Mrs. Carter De Haven (as Gloria De Haven)
Phil Regan ... Phil Regan
Harry Shannon ... Clanahan
Debbie Reynolds ... Helen Kane
Paul Harvey ... Al Masters
Carleton Carpenter ... Dan Healy
George Metkovich George Metkovich ... Al Schacht
Harry Mendoza Harry Mendoza ... The Great Mendoza (as The Great Mendoza)
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Storyline

Song-and-dance man Bert Kalmar can't continue his stage career after an injury for a while, so he has to earn his money as a lyricist. Perchance he meets composer Harry Ruby and their first song is a hit. Ruby gets Kalmar to marry is former partner Jessie Brown, and Kalmar and Jessie prevent Ruby from getting married to the wrong girls. But due to the fact that Ruby has caused a backer's withdrawal for a Kalmar play, they end their relation. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 July 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Drei kleine Worte See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,470,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,800,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Vocals for Debbie Reynolds were dubbed by Helen Kane. See more »

Goofs

When Harry hurts his hand playing baseball with the Washington Senators, his glove is knocked off of his left hand and he holds the index finger on that hand in obvious pain. Immediately afterward, when he is having difficulty playing the piano because of his injury, he has a bandage on his right index finger. See more »

Quotes

Harry Ruby: I got plenty of tunes in me!
See more »


Soundtracks

Mr. and Mrs. Hoofer at Home
(uncredited)
Music by André Previn
Danced by Fred Astaire, Vera-Ellen
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Less is more.
24 October 2003 | by movibuf1962See all my reviews

After seeing all the overstuffed musical biographies which pay homage to Kern, Rodgers, Hart, Gershwin, and the like, this one is a breath of fresh air as it is much simpler and more basic in its construction. Its two main leads (Fred Astaire and Red Skelton) do not take the material over-the-top; instead they underplay, and in Skelton's case, he is so subdued that he reveals a wonderful, sensitive, acting talent. The musical numbers, of course ("Who's Sorry Now?" "Nevertheless," "Sunny Tennessee," "I Wanna Be Loved By You," "Three Little Words"), speak for themselves. And Astaire and Vera-Ellen are perfection on the dance floor- and no less than *three* times: in the tuxedoed duet "Where Did You Get That Girl?"; a tongue-in-cheek homage to dance domesticity- "Mr. & Mrs. Hoofer;" and the best moment- a tender, romantic adagio in an elaborate stateroom, "Thinking of You." There is also fine support from gorgeous redhead Arlene Dahl and spirited brunette Gloria DeHaven. And, of course, there is Debbie Reynolds (a full year before 'Singing In The Rain') performing as Helen Kane- with singing voice provided by Kane herself!!


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