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Three Strangers (1946)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 28 January 1946 (USA)
Three strangers, each with a serious problem in their lives, share a sweepstakes ticket which they wished upon together before a Chinese idol.

Director:

Jean Negulesco

Writers:

John Huston (original screenplay), Howard Koch (original screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sydney Greenstreet ... Jerome K. Arbutny
Geraldine Fitzgerald ... Crystal Shackleford
Peter Lorre ... Johnny West
Joan Lorring ... Icey Crane
Robert Shayne ... Bertram Fallon
Marjorie Riordan Marjorie Riordan ... Janet Elliott
Arthur Shields ... Prosecutor
Rosalind Ivan ... Lady Rhea Belladon
John Alvin ... Junior Clerk
Peter Whitney ... Timothy Delaney aka Gabby
Alan Napier ... David Shackleford
Clifford Brooke Clifford Brooke ... Senior Clerk
Doris Lloyd ... Mrs. Proctor
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Storyline

According to a legend, if three strangers gather before an idol of Kwan Yin (the Chinese goddess of fortune and destiny) on the night of the Chinese New Year and make a common wish, Kwan Yin will open her eyes and her heart and grant the wish. In London 1938 on the Chinese New Year, Crystal Shackleford has such an idol and decides to put the legend to the test. She picks two random strangers off the street, and puts the proposition to them. They decide that an ideal wish would be for a sweepstakes ticket they buy equal shares in to be a winner. After all, everyone needs money and a pot is very easy to divide equally, right? Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

BREATHTAKING SUSPENSE - THRILLS! (original ad - all caps)


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 January 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Three Men and a Girl See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$457,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,033,000, 31 December 1946

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,647,000, 31 December 1946
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Huston was still in the U.S. Army at the time of this production, thus was unable to direct his own story. See more »

Goofs

When Johnny and Icey are talking in the bar, Johnny's glass goes from him setting it on the table with his left hand, to in the next shot the glass is off the table in his left hand down by his waist. See more »

Quotes

Johnny West: We are but strangers on this moving globe; it's not for us to tarry long.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Soundtracks

Waltz in A Flat Major, Op. 39
(uncredited
Music by Johannes Brahms
Played on the piano by Johnny
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the oddest and most fascinating movies of the 1940s
19 December 2009 | by cheroldSee all my reviews

Three Strangers is not a typical Hollywood film. Dark and philosophical, it introduces the viewer to three people, strangers to one another, and then follows their sad, desperate lives. While one reviewer on this site says it's a shame they don't make movies like this anymore, the fact is, they almost never made movies like this back then. This is far less neat and more philosophical than your typical 40s flick, a movie about strange twists of fate and the ways in which people fail to take responsibility for their actions.

The cast is excellent, with Peter Lorre particularly impressive in one of the best performances of his career as an alcoholic who thinks too much and does too little. I was also quite taken by Joan Lorring's touchingly vulnerable performance as a girl in with the wrong crowd.

Admittedly the ending ties things up in a neat little bow, yet for the most part this movie is far closer in spirit to the indie movies of the 1990s than to the film noirs of the 1940s it could be mistaken for.


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