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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

A billboard for the Marx Brothers in Animal Crackers (1930) is seen in the film. See more »

Goofs

When Astaire, Wynn, and Skelton are talking about the play never being produced, there are several pictures of M.G.M. stars on the wall. First, from left to right, is Judy Garland, then Spencer Tracy, then Katharine Hepburn, and another I could not identify. The time period in the movie was at that point during the mid 1930s, but those photos were all from the late 1940s. See more »

Quotes

Bert Kalmar: I wouldn't write that song with you if you begged me.
Harry Ruby: Begged ya? I didn't even ask ya.
Bert Kalmar: I guess you just can't help it, Harry. I feel sorry for you.
Harry Ruby: Feel sorry for me? You must think I'm just a...
Bert Kalmar: I could tell you what I think of you in just three little words. You're a dope!
See more »


Soundtracks

My Sunny Tennessee
(uncredited)
Written by Harry Ruby, Herman Ruby, Bert Kalmar
Sung by Fred Astaire, Red Skelton
See more »

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User Reviews

ASTAIRE'S BEST ACTING PERFORMANCE
2 October 2003 | by dcoughlinSee all my reviews

Although Astaire was a bit past his prime in the dancing area, this is by far the best acting performance he gave (Towering Inferno Oscar nod included). His Bert Kalmar is complex, restless, at times testy, and very much a real person compared to the standard Astaire character. Whether the circumstances depicted in the movie were fact or fiction, he is really a character with a distinct persona, as opposed to Fred Astaire essentially playing himself as in most other his other films.


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