These Three (1936)


“[referring to Mary and Mrs. Amelia Tilford] The wicked very young… and the wicked very old.” – Karen Wright

Number of Times Seen – 1 (13 Jun 2019)

Brief Synopsis – Two best friends who run a school for young girls face problems when one of their students creates a lie about them.

My Take on it – This is a film that took me completely by surprise because I knew nothing about the plot, yet immediately felt that this story was familiar to me.

The story in this movie was remade 25 years later as The Children’s Hour (1961) and having just been introduced to that film a few week’s back, it was great to be able to compare these two versions of the story in different eras of film making.

This film was required to change some of the story’s plot due to the censorship laws and the Hayes Code at the time yet still manages to be effective.

Unfortunately, the impact is greater when using the full plot because of the shock of the original idea and for someone who is aware of the difference, it changes things a lot.

The cast of this film is great and Miriam Hopkins, Merle Oberon and Joel McCrea are all superb here since they make us believe the friendship and bond of these three characters especially when they must weather various problems together along with the easy parts of life before the storm hits them.

Bonita Granville also does a great job here as the young student who causes all of the trouble and she deservingly was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in that award’s inaugural year.

The film’s message remains clear no matter how the plot is changed and this story works quite well even in the era of censorship.

Bottom Line – Great adaptation of this story even though it needed to change the story due to the censors and Hayes Code of the time. The effect is still there even if it’s a bit less impactful for those who know what the story should be about. The cast is great and Hopkins, Oberon and McCrea are all great together and make us believe the chemistry between them through thick and thin. Granville does a great job as the student who accuses her teachers and desrevingly was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in the award’s inaugural year.  The message in the film is quite clear and works extremely well even in the era of censorship. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Despite the changes made for the film because of censorship, nearly all of the dialogue is identical to that in the 1934 play “The Children’s Hour”, on which this film was based. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (7/10)

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2 thoughts on “These Three (1936)

  1. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actress – Oscars 1936 | MovieRob

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