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      Three on a Match

      Released Oct 29, 1932 1h 4m Drama List
      83% Tomatometer 6 Reviews 72% Audience Score 500+ Ratings Mary (Joan Blondell), Vivian (Ann Dvorak) and Ruth (Bette Davis) are old friends who do some catching up after a chance meeting. Of the three women, Vivian, who married successful lawyer Robert (Warren William), seems to have the most glamourous life. Vivian really isn't satisfied, though, and she soon deserts Robert and her son for Mike (Lyle Talbot), a mobster. Before long, Vivian is hooked on drugs, and Mike needs cash -- so the gangster decides to kidnap Vivian's own son for ransom. Read More Read Less

      Critics Reviews

      View All (6) Critics Reviews
      J. R. Jones Chicago Reader Intimations of dope addiction drive the compact plot, which resorts to some stiff exposition early on but careens toward a slam-bang ending. Jul 14, 2022 Full Review Eileen Jones The Jacobin ...startling frankness about sex, vice, violence, antiauthoritarian rage... Aug 26, 2023 Full Review David Nusair Reel Film Reviews ...the picture's proliferation of admittedly surprising twists and turns in its second half secures its place as a far more entertaining and engaging drama than one might've anticipated... Rated: 3/4 Nov 6, 2020 Full Review Yasser Medina Cinefilia A hasty, silly, erratic movie, devoid of any kind of surprise when it want to tell so many things without stopping to develop the characters. [Full review in Spanish] Rated: 5/10 Jul 20, 2020 Full Review Daniel Barnes Dare Daniel A typical LeRoy sequence moves from object to person to environment with brutal fluidity. Rated: 3.5/5 May 9, 2019 Full Review John Beifuss Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN) Strong, sordid stuff. Rated: 4/4 Jun 23, 2014 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (52) audience reviews
      Steve D Thrill-less thriller with nothing to say. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 03/02/24 Full Review ashley h Three on a Match is a decent film. It is about three old friends who do some catching up after a chance meeting. Joan Blondell and Virginia Davis give good performances. The screenplay is a little slow in places. Mervyn LeRoy did an alright job directing this movie. I liked this motion picture because of the drama and romance. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Very entertaining. To start with you have Joan Blondell, Ann Dvorak, and Warren William all delivering great performances. Add to that a 24-year-old Bette Davis in a supporting role showing off her legs in addition to her beautiful face, Humphrey Bogart working on his tough guy character 9 years before 'The Maltese Falcon', and a number of cute performances by child actors, most notably 6-year-old Buster Phelps. There are shots of newspapers headlines over the years of the previous decade, including the 'amazing feat of the new wireless telephone' (radio), and the trend of wearing 'sun suits', the 'new brief attire greatly favored for bathing resorts' for the 'fad of sun-bathing'. You see Joan Blondell in prison, listening to a stories read out of a steamy book, and then later connected to a giant hair-curling machine with wires descending from the ceiling to her metallic skullcap. The pre-Code script is a little over-the-top but that's part of the fun. It has three girls growing up into very 'types' of women, and then Dvorak's character getting so bored with her life of luxury that she slips into alcohol, drugs, and adultery, imperiling her little boy. Director Mervyn LeRoy keeps things moving and I liked how it was both short, at 63 minutes, but also packed with content. It's not "high art" or anything, but there are so many bits of interest that this is one that I would recommend to people who aren't normally interested in old movies, and I round up my review score a bit. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 01/13/23 Full Review Audience Member It's truly a brilliant movie. The story is really about two women - but the contrivance works in that you need two people to gossip about a third, an effective device for exposition. Ann Dvorak is stunning as the socialite wife who descends to dereliction and Lyle Talbot, as her abettor, is super. It's a terrific story that makes a terrific film. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/22/23 Full Review Audience Member THREE ON A MATCH (First National Pictures, 1932), directed by Mervyn LeRoy, is a realistic account into the lives of three former classmates who meet again as adults, and how one of the three goes through her path of self destruction... Pre-Code Soap Opera With Style--When you play with matches you get burned... The epitome of pre-code degradation and despair!! Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/22/23 Full Review Audience Member something interesting, yet really old school.. I saw it merely for Bette Davis' sake.. I love that Lady. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/26/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis Mary (Joan Blondell), Vivian (Ann Dvorak) and Ruth (Bette Davis) are old friends who do some catching up after a chance meeting. Of the three women, Vivian, who married successful lawyer Robert (Warren William), seems to have the most glamourous life. Vivian really isn't satisfied, though, and she soon deserts Robert and her son for Mike (Lyle Talbot), a mobster. Before long, Vivian is hooked on drugs, and Mike needs cash -- so the gangster decides to kidnap Vivian's own son for ransom.
      Director
      Mervyn LeRoy
      Producer
      Samuel Bischoff, Darryl F Zanuck
      Screenwriter
      Lucien Hubbard
      Distributor
      Warner Bros.
      Production Co
      First National Pictures
      Genre
      Drama
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Oct 29, 1932, Original
      Runtime
      1h 4m