Three Little Words

  • 1950
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Biography, Musical

An utter delight, this musical biography portrays the lives of composers Bert Kalmar (Fred Astaire) and Harry Ruby (Red Skelton). Kalmar is a vaudeville song-and-dance man and would-be a magician who turns to writing lyrics after a knee injury puts an end to his dancing. Ruby plays the piano at a Coney Island honky-tonk and also writes lyrics, though he...read more

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An utter delight, this musical biography portrays the lives of composers Bert Kalmar (Fred Astaire) and Harry Ruby (Red Skelton). Kalmar is a vaudeville song-and-dance man and would-be a magician who turns to writing lyrics after a knee injury puts an end to his dancing. Ruby plays the

piano at a Coney Island honky-tonk and also writes lyrics, though he dreams of playing baseball. Eventually, the two meet, and a great songwriting team is born; they go on to write numerous hits for Broadway and the movies. A misunderstanding ends the partnership, but Kalmar's wife, Jessie

(Vera-Ellen), and Ruby's wife, Eileen (Arlene Dahl), finally bring the two men back together for a happy, if somewhat fictionalized, conclusion. For the most part, though, this movie sticks to the facts, and it never fails to entertain. Astaire is as suave as usual and dances a couple numbers with

Vera-Ellen, while Skelton gives one of the best performances of his career. The film is sparked by wonderful supporting work by Vera-Ellen and Dahl. Appearing as themselves in cameo roles are Phil Regan and Harry Mendoza. Ruby himself served as technical advisor.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: An utter delight, this musical biography portrays the lives of composers Bert Kalmar (Fred Astaire) and Harry Ruby (Red Skelton). Kalmar is a vaudeville song-and-dance man and would-be a magician who turns to writing lyrics after a knee injury puts an end… (more)

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