3 Is a Family


1h 21m 1944

Film Details

Release Date
Nov 23, 1944
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Master Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
United Artists Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Three's a Family by Henry and Phoebe Ephron, as produced by John Golden (New York, 5 May 1943).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 21m
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,150ft

Synopsis

When her husband, naval officer Gene Mitchell, is transferred to a base in Norfolk, Virginia, Kitty Mitchell takes her nine-month-old twin daughters home to her parent's tiny apartment in New York City. Kitty's parents, Sam and Frances Whitaker, live with her aunt Irma Dalrymple, and when Kitty asks to leave the twins so that she can visit Gene in Norfolk, Irma moves into the living room to make room for the babies. The Whitakers' son Archie, who has just enlisted in the service, and his pregnant wife Hazel also live in the same apartment building. The family's housing problems escalate when their landlord, Mr. Steele, discovers that Hazel is pregnant and refuses to renew their lease on the grounds that children are not allowed in the building. Upon arriving in Norfolk, Kitty phones New York to inquire about her children. As Irma answers the phone, the new maid accidentally blows up the gas stove. When Kitty hears Irma shriek and drop the phone, she leaves immediately for New York. Things have quieted down by the time that Kitty arrives, and when Frances comes home from work that night, she announces that she has solved their problems by making a down payment of $2,500 on a new house. Sam is agitated when he hears the news, because he has just withdrawn their entire savings to invest in a defense plant. Soon after, Kitty receives a telegram from Gene, notifying her that he is coming home for a twenty-four hour leave. While Sam, Kitty and Irma meet Gene at the airport, Frances has a talk with Mr. Steele. Left alone with the twins, the maid consumes a bottle of scotch. When Gene arrives home early, he finds the apartment deserted. Soon after, Sam, Kitty and Irma return and are horrified to find the twins missing. When Gene finds the empty scotch bottle, he surmises that the maid is drunk, and he and Kitty go to look for the babies. Just then, Hazel and Archie walk in the door, and Hazel goes into premature labor. When Archie phones the hospital, he is told that there are no empty beds and that Hazel must deliver her baby at home. To add to the confusion, the real estate agent phones Frances to inform her that her check has bounced, prompting Sam to finally admit that he withdrew the money to buy stock in the defense plant. Meanwhile, Gene and Kitty find their babies and the drunken maid, who had decided to take them for a walk in their stroller. As Dr. Bartell arrives to deliver Hazel's baby, Gene's friends, Lt. Joe Franklin and his pregnant wife Marian, come to visit. Upon learning of the family's housing problems, Joe tells Sam that Steele cannot evict Hazel because her husband is leaving for the Army, and as the dependent of a serviceman, she cannot be evicted. All ends happily as Hazel delivers her baby, the family realizes that Kitty and the twins can live with Hazel with impunity, and Sam discovers that his defense plant is merging with a large company, thus boosting the value of his stock.

Cast

Marjorie Reynolds

Kitty Mitchell

Charles Ruggles

Sam Whitaker

Fay Bainter

Frances Whitaker

Helen Broderick

Irma Dalrymple

Arthur Lake

Archie Whitaker

Hattie Mcdaniel

Unnamed maid

Jeff Donnell

Hazel Whitaker

John Philliber

Doctor Bartell

Walter Catlett

Barney Meeker

Clarence Kolb

Mr. Steele

Else Janssen

Adelaide

Renie Riano

Genevieve

Warren Hymer

Coolie

Clyde Fillmore

Mr. Spencer

Christian Rub

Bellboy

Donna Lambertson

Susan Whitaker

Elissa Lambertson

Patty Whitaker

William Terry

Joe Franklin

Cheryl Walker

Marian Franklin

Fred Brady

Gene Mitchell

Margaret Early

Steele's daughter

Billy Howe

Steele's grandson

Mary Ann Bricker

Steele's granddaughter

Sam Finn

Cab driver

Tom Dugan

Cab driver

Edward Earle

Prospective tenant

Christine Forsyth

Delivery girl

Roberta Smith

Messenger girl

Ralph Peters

Moving man

Dutch Hendrian

Moving man

Billy Engle

Moving man

Ethel Desmond

Grandmother

Alice Fleming

Grandmother

Bill O'leary

Grandfather

Nolan Leary

Grandfather

Sarah Padden

Middle-aged woman

Gwen Kenyon

Her daughter

Madeline Grey

A mother

Nan Holliday

Her daughter

Betty Melville

Cigarette girl

Sandy Harper

Camera girl

Ann Adams

Girl

Henri Da Sota

Waiter

Eddie Kane

Head waiter

Howard Mitchell

Bartender

Shirley O'hara

Janet

Kelly Flint

Navy wife

Mary Moore

Navy wife

Trude Lavoice

Navy wife

Johnny Miles

Navy officer

Gene Garrick

Navy officer

Joey Ray

Navy officer

Herbert Evers

Navy officer

Darby Jones

Truck driver

Dudley Dickerson

Helper

Buck Woods

Helper

Charlie Sullivan

Driver

Emmett Vogan

A friend

Sherry Cameron

Hotel clerk

Sam Bernard

Candy store man

Marjorie Beckett

Babe London

Ezelle Poule

Charles Mcdonald

Roy Butler

Frank Austin

Film Details

Release Date
Nov 23, 1944
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Master Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
United Artists Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Three's a Family by Henry and Phoebe Ephron, as produced by John Golden (New York, 5 May 1943).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 21m
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,150ft

Award Nominations

Best Sound

1944

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The film had its world premiere in Norfolk and Richmond, VA on November 23, 1944. According to a news item in AEx, producer Sol Lesser bought the rights to Henry and Phoebe Ehprons' play for $50,000 as a vehicle for Cheryl Walker, Lon McCallister, Marjorie Riordan and William Terry, the young stars of his 1943 film Stage Door Canteen. Other news items add that William Wadsworth, who played the role of the doctor in the Broadway production of Three's a Family, and Charlotte Greenwood, who played the maiden aunt, were to reprise their stage roles for the film, but neither appeared in the released film. Although another Hollywood Reporter news item adds Edward Hyans to the cast, his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. The picture received an Academy Award nomination in the Sound Recording category.