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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)
Reviews
Popularity
4,889 ( 19,768)

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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

In an interview Arlene Dahl said that her solo "I Love You So Much" was difficult because she had to remember the song lyric while descending a stair case without tripping. She said that Fred Astaire used to stop by rehearsal almost every day and give her tips on how to do it. 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

Eileen Percy: [singing] I love you so much, I can't conceal it, / I love you so much, it's a wonder you don't feel it.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Glorious Technicolor (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Come on, Papa
(uncredited)
Written by Harry Ruby, Edgar Leslie, Bert Kalmar
Sung by Vera-Ellen (dubbed by Anita Ellis)
Danced by Vera-Ellen, chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

Terrif!
29 March 1999 | by Ash-65See all my reviews

Three Little Words, the "story" of songwriters Harry Ruby and Bert Kalmar, probably is only accurate where their names, songs, and a rough frame of truth is concerned, but who cares? The cast is great. Fred Astaire has some really good dances. Red Skelton's comic potential isn't really used in this, and he seems almost like Fred's sidekick, but he does all right. It's certainly not his best. I usually don't like Vera-Ellen, but even I like her in this. And once you see past the black wig, that is most definitely Debbie Reynolds as Helen Kane, the girl singing I Wanna Be Loved By You. The songs are absolutely sensational. Oh yeah, the song Lucky Star (not written by Ruby-Kalmar), which Debbie would later sing with Gene Kelly at the end of Singin' in the Rain, is briefly featured.


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