36 user 12 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.


Richard Thorpe


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




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)


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 relationship. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Wonderful Musical!


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Mrs. Carter DeHaven, a Broadway star, introduced the song "Who's Sorry Now". In the film Gloria DeHaven recreates her mother singing it. See more »


When Astaire and Ellen are dancing to the Husband and Wife dance number, they toss everything off the kitchen table. The toaster is pushed off the back of the table onto the floor. In the next instant, it has disappeared from view. See more »


Jessie Brown: [singing] I'm sweet Marie from gay Paris, This is my new car, It fill my heart with joy, To drive a Yankee boy...
See more »


References Animal Crackers (1930) See more »


You Smiled at Me
Written by Harry Ruby, Bert Kalmar
Sung by Arlene Dahl
See more »

User Reviews

Fun and Lively
1 January 2007 | by lpersons-2See all my reviews

You have to love a movie with dance and song! I had never heard of this movie but received it as a Christmas gift by a good friend who knew my love for old movies of this genre. I also love movies about real people and historical things. This movie is based on the lives of two song people from the early 1900's. Lot's of good music to listen to and great dance to watch, with a nice plot line. The movie featured an all star cast including Fred Astaire and Red Skeleton. I only knew Red as a comedian so it was fun to see him take on the role of a somewhat serious nature. Vera Ellen was quite glamorous and was fun to watch in the dance numbers. Hairdo's, clothing, sets all very interesting to see, a glimpse from the past.. Very enjoyable way to spend an evening.

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Release Date:

12 July 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Three Little Words See more »


Box Office


$1,470,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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