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Three Way (2004)

A sexy noir-thriller based on Gil Brewer's 1963 pulp novel Wild to Possess.


Scott Ziehl


Russell P. Marleau (screenplay), Gil Brewer (novel)

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Complete credited cast:
Dominic Purcell ... Lewis 'Lew' Brookbank
Joy Bryant ... Rita Caswell
Ali Larter ... Isobel Delano
Desmond Harrington ... Ralph Hagen
Dwight Yoakam ... Herbert Claremont / Clarkson
Gina Gershon ... Florence DeCroix Hagen
Roxana Zal ... Janice Brookbank
Dan Martin ... Patrolman
Christian Mills Christian Mills ... Bruce Hildred
Jason Sutliff ... Cop
Al Israel ... Cashier
Marc Allen Lewis Marc Allen Lewis ... Vanderwall


Attractive, hard-working Lewis 'Lew' Brookbank's love - and professional life came crumbling down after he found his adulterous wife Janice and her lover Dick murdered on a yacht. He moved to a derelict gas station in Carpenteria, where he paints commercial signs. Lew accidentally overhears a couple making love in their car and planning the kidnapping and murder of the man's wife. Lew manages to track them down: jewelry manager Ralph Hagen and antiques shop clerk Isobel Delano. Lew confides in present lover Rita Caswell, needing help with the sinister Herbert Claremont while he plans to blackmail the kidnappers. More complications follow. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some strong sexuality and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

29 June 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

3-Way See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The last film by Al Israel before his death in 2011. See more »


About 55 min in, the kidnapped lady's mask, which had smiley face eyes showing, suddenly has no eyes showing...later eyes reappear. See more »


[last lines]
Isobel Delano: Looks like we're all fucked now!
See more »


Referenced in Mic Macs à Tire-Larigot (2009) See more »


Performed by Dalton Grant
Written by Dalton Grant
See more »

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User Reviews

a guilty pleasure
10 August 2004 | by gotitans29See all my reviews

Full disclosure here...I picked up this movie because I love to look at Dominic Purcell. So charismatic is this very attractive guy that he can make smoking sexy (and he does A LOT of it during the film). Believe me, an actor must have a high degree of sexiness to make me still like him when he smokes this much. And I must give the director credit, the sex (at times gratuitous but always fun) gives equal time to all genders...the women are sexy, the men are sexy, and each really seems to enjoy the act- this must be a difficult task to pull off, at least in a mainstream movie when the sex is not real. But I don't mean to overemphasize the sex in this potboiler. It is hot (although not as hot as it could be...), but, at times, it is actually integral to the plot. I will go topic by topic in my review... Acting: pretty darned good, except Ms. Gershon. She starts out with a bang, with one overheard scene (a nice touch by the intriguing writer), but she falters in an awful scene that attempts to capitalize on the untapped possibilities of Stockholm syndrome; but top honors have to go to Joy Bryant, in a thankless role that gives her some puzzling lines to deliver, some of which are confusing (very), at least until the denouement. Ms Larter need some work (despite some interesting work in fluff like American Outlaws and the Final Destination series), and she certainly cannot deliver some hardboiled lines like those after her sexual encounter with the kinda hot Desmond Harrington which deal with the problem of secrets, namely that no one can keep them. Mr Yoakam, as always, deserves better- he smolders with an odd sexuality that rivets the watcher as long as he is on the scene; he even makes pain believable. Directing: like I said, somehow the director makes the sex interesting for people of all sexes and sexual persuasions (I especially like Purcell's tattoos), but at times some of his scenes seem forced. The stand-out is the overheard scene between Harrington and Gershon (although, oddly, Ms. Larter can't pull it off)...credit the writer for this, which brings me to... Writing: some very interesting stuff (despite the dialogue between Larter and Harrington in their car toward the beginning- but perhaps we should blame Larter). The theme of overheard plans (however well-laid they may be) may be derived from the book (I don't know), but its commonness in the film is a reason I think this writer is smarter than the material he has been given- the script sets up events in a necessary manner which is often lacking these days; how many times have you said to yourself, why is this happening? This event does not necessarily follow from the last! There is a GREAT scene toward the end between Bryant and Purcell when they don't quite understand one another that is hilarious, but it is so subtle that it may be missed. The ending: well, despite some tantalizing dialogue, the ending is not so much a surprise as a relief. Everyone gets what they deserve, and the right people end up with one another. I just wish Yoakam's character had reached a more interesting end- at least we get one last look at Purcell on the beach. Perhaps he is more appealing to gay males, but, well, give him a chance, women! Overall, if you are a little drunk on a Fri night and want some sexual titillation paired with some degree of intellectual stimulation, you could do worse than this thriller. At least it holds together and provides a great deal of pleasure, even if it won't be on any Academy voter's list.

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