Three on a Match Reviews
dvorak plays a weary housewife who takes her luxurious marital ease for granted, yearning for the thrill and gayety of life...then her considerate and generous lawyer husband arranges a extravagent cruise trip alone to alleviate her dreariness, then she goes astray into degenerated adultery with a sweet-tongued crook on the ship....thus her doom begins.
on the other hand, her other two pals, played by joan bondell and bette davis. bondell is the prodigal playgirl who squanders her adolescence in reform school, conformed to the right track by marrying dvorak's deserted husband, demonstrating great scale of maternality to dvorak's son. bette davis appears almost as oblivion, being characterless as a diligent stenographer and a pleasant friend at her early stage of warner bro. after all, it's not a davis movie but dvorak's.
dvorak is usually typecasted as the rebellious do-wronger who descends into depravity, provided with roles to showcase her flapper burlesque which is also in "g-men" and "scarface"....there's a scene she dances frivolously upon the hotel room desk to a lesser standard. dvorak's part involves the gloomy sequence of decaying, accentuated by her traumatized catastrophe that would be the highlight of dvorak's career.
"three on a match" is inevitably melodramatic as the rot in the dark alley during the depression period. it features cameos of bette davis and humprey bogart who would later be smashing hollywood legends. the major star who exerts herself has been forgotten for good.
That was a quote from the director when speaking to the WB front office about the great turns shown by the young cast members of 'Three on a match'. Ann Dvorak received high marks for this great showing as a socialite who tires of her lifelong place in the upper crust of virtue and society only to take the most devestating of falls to the bottom. Joan Blondell also received high marks for her role as Dvorak's childhood friend and social opposite who soon takes her place at home and in high society. Davis, who gave a standard turn for a supporting role, didn't earn Mr. LeRoy's kudos... but everyone makes a mistake now and then.
I'll admit, I didn't expect too much out of this film and was greatly surprised. The story starts out innocently enough (as many a WB early 30's crime drama did) and then opened a wound just to pour salt in it with a lemon juice chaser by the very riveting end. Lyle Talbot and Warren William turn in very good supporting turns along with a very early gangster cameo for Humphrey Bogart.
Well paced and to the gritty point, this one is a keeper. Popcorn and absolutely no bathroom breaks.