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Three on a Match (1932)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 29 October 1932 (USA)
Although Vivian Revere is seemingly the most successful of a trio of reunited schoolmates, she throws it away by descending into a life of debauchery and drugs.

Director:

Mervyn LeRoy

Writers:

Lucien Hubbard (screen play), Kubec Glasmon (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joan Blondell ... Mary Keaton
Warren William ... Robert Kirkwood
Ann Dvorak ... Vivian Revere
Bette Davis ... Ruth Wescott
Lyle Talbot ... Mike Loftus
Humphrey Bogart ... Harve
Patricia Ellis ... Linda
Sheila Terry ... Naomi
Grant Mitchell ... Mr. Gilmore
Glenda Farrell ... Vivian's Friend
Allen Jenkins ... Dick
Edward Arnold ... Ace
Frankie Darro ... Bobby
Clara Blandick ... Mrs. Keaton
Hale Hamilton ... Defense Attorney
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Storyline

Three women who were childhood schoolmates take different paths in life. Vivian marries a very wealthy lawyer and has an adorable boy. Mary, on the other hand, takes the hard road through reform school. After a superstitious faux pas, Vivian's luck turns. She strays from her steadfast husband to a life of debauchery and alcoholism. Meanwhile, Mary turns her life around and not only wins the heart of Vivian's ex-husband, but also becomes a loving step-mother to Vivian's only child. Then Vivian's worthless boyfriend makes a desperate move. Written by Gary Jackson <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 October 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

3 on a Match See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$444,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Vitaphone)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Director Mervyn LeRoy disliked the acting job Bette Davis did in this film. She, in turn, hated his directing and called him a "hack," feeling that her talent was being wasted playing supporting roles. This rift came back to haunt LeRoy when Davis's star began to ascend. See more »

Goofs

Ruth Wescott's name is misspelled Westcott in the opening titles. See more »

Quotes

Zip - Newspaper Columnist: The saying "Three on a match means one will die soon" did not originate in the war, where it was said that to hold a match burning long enough for three lights would attract enemy gun fire. It did originate with Ivar Kreuger, the Swedish match king, who wanted the world to use more matches. It is reported that the saying brings his companies $5,000,000 more revenue annually.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Humphrey Bogart: Behind the Legend (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

The Sheik of Araby
(1921) (uncredited)
Music by Ted Snyder
Played as background to introduce the year 1921
See more »

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User Reviews

Lots of fun for fans of early 30s melodramas!
20 April 2000 | by stevebear#1See all my reviews

After viewing the video version of this movie again last night, I was surprised at how most of the movie stands up today. As with many "from the headlines" movies produced by Warner Brothers and First National in the early 1930s, the pace is rapid. I prefer the latter part of the movie to the earlier scenes, which provide a lengthy prologue to the main story. It is unfortunate that the lead actress, Ann Dvorak, is almost forgotten today, for she was a beautiful and talented actress, who more often than not was more capable than the material she was given. Hers is an unusual character, but an interesting and not too hysterical performance. It's also fun to watch future stars like Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart in supporting roles, as well as to savour supporting performances by Jack LaRue, Allen Jenkins and Lyle Talbot. The climax is quite remarkable, although the tacked on happy ending jars with the mood of the movie as a whole. Well worth watching on the late show, cable, or if you find a copy of the video.


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