Three Little Words (film)

  • 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
  • Phil Regan: Himself
  • Harry Shannon: Clanahan
  • Debbie Reynolds: Helen Kane
  • Paul Harvey: Al Masters
  • Carleton Carpenter: Dan Healy
  • George Metkovich: Al Schacht
  • Harry B. Mendoza: Himself
  • Alex Gerry: Marty
  • Beverly Michaels: Woman on Ship
  • Harry Ruby: Baseball Player
  • Charles Wagenheim: Harry, the waiter

Three Little Words (Original Title: Three Little Words ) is an American film musical by Richard Thorpe with Fred Astaire and Vera -Ellen from 1950 This is a biopic about the Songschreiberduo Harry Ruby and Bert Kalmar. .


New York 1918: Bert Kalmar tap dancer enters with his dance partner Jessie Brown successfully in the vaudeville theaters of the city. For a while he tries to be a songwriter, while he secretly dreams to bring a mage own magic show on stage. When he makes Jessie a marriage proposal, she rejects it for the time being, since his career in show business, it is too important at the moment. However, they wanted to give him know when she was ready for a wedding. Thereupon, Bert dressed as a magician in a small theater on. There he meets Harry Ruby, who accompany his show at the piano and as an assistant to stand by his side. Harry, however, arises in such a clumsy that all magic tricks go wrong and the audience erupts in thunderous laughter to Bert's chagrin.

Bert is now concentrating again more on his dance performances with Jessie. One day when he injured his knee behind the scenes and for at least a year no longer allowed to dance to Jessie hopes that he finally has more time for them, and therefore proposes to marry. However, Bert has the worry of not being able to supply due to his injury, and Jessie says that she should look for another partner. Hurt Jessie runs away and decides to go on a solo tour. Then Bert Harry Ruby meets again, who wants to make a name as a composer. When Bert Harry in the art will recognize, who ruined him his magic show, he is very angry at first, but then can forgive him. They join as a duo " Ruby & Kalmar " together and from now on will one hit after another.

As Bert says, finally being able to dance again, and it is high-spirited, so that his knee hurts again, he realizes how much he is missing Jessie. Harry now wants Bert and Jessie rejoin and therefore proposes a trip to Buffalo before, where Jessie is currently on view in a show. As Jessie Bert and Harry sees in the audience, asks them both to the stage to sing with her ​​a song. Bert and Jessie reconcile and come back in New York, finally walk down the aisle. Harry Bandelt, meanwhile, with the attractive night club singer Terry Lordel to, but only used it to advance their own careers. Bert, of Terry's foul play seen through and wants to spare his friend larger grief, ensures that Harry away in Florida along with his favorite baseball team, the Washington Senators, is allowed to play. When Harry finally returns to New York, Terry has been married a saxophone player.

In the meantime, Bert wrote their own stage play and found a banker and investor. Harry finds, however, that the piece is good for nothing. To preserve Bert in front of a letdown, he brings to the banker, but not to finance the production of the piece. Harry falls in love then in the actress Eileen Percy. They had previously met at an audition for a musical, for Harry but Terry had preferred. Meanwhile, Eileen has become a movie star. When Bert learns after a ceremony that it was Harry who had ensured that his piece was not listed, he ended their partnership. While Harry writes songs alone, Bert went to Hollywood, where he successfully operated as a script writer. Eileen, who is now married to Harry, finally puts Jessie in contact to reconcile Harry and Bert together. Together, it is possible the two women, Bert and Harry to talk to an appearance on a radio show in which they perform their greatest hits in a medley. At the end of Harry playing his latest composition Three Little Words, has secretly contributed to the Bert has lyrics and him to Harry's joy now contends.


Composer Harry Ruby and Bert Kalmar songwriter wrote together from 1917 until squid death in 1947 numerous hit songs for stage and film musicals. The eponymous song Three Little Words (Eng. "Three Little Words " ) is one of their most famous songs, and found in 1930 in her first film work under the title Check and Double Check use.

In Richard Thorpe's film musical about their cooperation Harry Ruby has a guest appearance as a baseball player. For Ruby the film an ambivalent pleasure was; he wrote in his memoirs:

Debbie Reynolds is seen in one of her first roles and received numerous letters from fans for her appearance, followed by MGM decided to take them firmly under contract. Gloria DeHaven played in a supporting role her own mother Mrs. Carter DeHaven, who had appeared as an actress in many stage productions and silent films and had stood as the mother of Kalmar with the Songschreiberduo in contact.

Three little words was premiered on 12 July 1950 in the United States. In Germany the film was released in theaters on October 12, 1951.

Music and dance numbers

  • Where Did You Get That Girl? ( Harry Puck / Bert Kalmar): sung and danced by Fred Astaire and Vera -Ellen ( dubbed by Anita Ellis)
  • She's Mine, All Mine ( Harry Ruby / Bert Kalmar): sung by a quartet
  • Mr. and Mrs. Hoofer at Home ( André Previn ): danced by Fred Astaire and Vera -Ellen
  • My Sunny Tennessee ( Harry Ruby / Herman Ruby / Bert Kalmar): sung by Fred Astaire and Red Skelton
  • So Long! Oo- Long ( How Long You Gonna Be Gone? ) ( Ruby / Kalmar): sung by Fred Astaire and Red Skelton
  • Who's Sorry Now? ( Ruby / Kalmar / Ted Snyder ): sung by Gloria DeHaven
  • Test Dance ( Previn ): danced by Fred Astaire
  • Come on, Dad ( Ruby / Edgar Leslie / Kalmar): danced and sung by Vera -Ellen ( dubbed by Anita Ellis)
  • Nevertheless ( Ruby / Kalmar): sung by Fred Astaire, Vera -Ellen ( dubbed by Anita Ellis) and Red Skelton, danced by Fred Astaire and Vera -Ellen
  • All Alone Monday ( Ruby / Kalmar): first sung by Gale Robbins, later by Arlene Dahl
  • I Wanna Be Loved by You ( Ruby / Kalmar / Herbert Stothart ): sung by Debbie Reynolds ( dubbed by Helen Kane )
  • Thinking of You ( Ruby / Kalmar): first sung by Vera -Ellen ( dubbed by Anita Ellis), then danced by Fred Astaire and Vera -Ellen
  • I Love You So Much ( Ruby / Kalmar): sung by Arlene Dahl
  • Three Little Words ( Ruby / Kalmar): first sung by Fred Astaire, and later of Red Skelton
  • You are My Lucky Star ( Nacio Herb Brown / Arthur Freed ): sung by Phil Regan


The lexicon of the International film describes three little words as " [g ] efälliges biographical musical, whose thin plot is filled with song, dance and humor." The lyrics are also " Germanized only inadequate ".

According to Variety, the film " a charming, entertaining piece of show business " was. Led by Fred Astaire and Red Skelton as Ruby Kalmar do " the entire cast under the skillful direction of Richard Thorpe a good job ." Film critic Leonard Maltin described the film as " standard MGM musical", one had to offer, " cheerful occupation" and " beautiful songs ".


At the Oscar ceremony 1951 Three little words was nominated in the category Best Original Score in a music film for an Oscar, but lost the movie duel in the ring. Fred Astaire won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor for his performance - comedy or musical. Debbie Reynolds was also nominated as Best Young Actress for the Golden Globe. Furthermore, screenwriter George Wells was nominated for the Writers Guild of America Award.

German version

The German synchronous processing, have been translated for all the songs of the film into German in 1951 was created by the MGM studio synchronization Berlin. Erik Ode wrote the dialogue book and also took over the synchronous Director.