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Tom Dick and Harry

(1941 b 86')

En: 6 Ed: 6

A telephone operator gets three proposals of marriage from a salesman, a mechanic, and a millionaire, and makes a surprising choice.

Janie (Ginger Rogers) and Tom (George Murphy) see a romantic movie and discuss it over a soda. By a lake they are interrupted by an ice cream vendor (Phil Silvers). Tom tells her he was promoted and asks her to marry. She kisses him and says she wants to think about it; but he persuades her, and she tells her parents. Janie dreams of wedding Tom and living with him, raising children as he sells and gets promoted.

Janie works as a telephone operator and hears a millionaire make calls. She wishes to meet a fella with a snazzy car and gets in with Harry (Burgess Meredith), who takes her home and asks her out. While Janie gets ready, Harry meets her sister Barbara (Lenore Lonergan). Harry walks with Janie and says he is a mechanic; the car is not his. He dances with her in a record store. He explains why it is unlikely she will marry a millionaire as they eat and bowl. Harry is not ambitious and says his boss blew his brains out. She admits she is engaged to Tom, but Harry suggests she marry him. When he kisses her, they hear bells, and he says they are in love. Janie dreams of marrying Harry, who does not work.

Harry finds Tom selling cars and learns that a $598 car will cost him $1107. Tom offers to show the car to Harry's girl and calls to cancel his date with Janie. Harry calls Janie. She sees Tom, who angrily drives them to Inspiration Point, where he leaves them. Harry gets Dick Hamilton (Alan Marshal) to drive them back to town. Janie is glad she met Dick and says goodnight to Harry. She dreams of marrying rich Dick.

Janie connects a call from Dick to Brenda in New York but cuts them off, telling Dick that she hung up. Dick asks Janie to fly to Chicago. Janie sees a play with Dick, drinks champagne, and sneezes. In the plane Janie gets Dick to asks her to marry. Harry and Tom wait on the porch as Dick brings Janie home drunk. She says she is engaged to all three and tells them to come to breakfast. Janie dreams of wedding the three men, and they tell her to make up her mind.

Tom, Harry, and Dick wait at breakfast. Janie comes down, tells Tom to marry the boss's daughter, says Harry is crazy, and says she'll marry Dick, because he is what she always wanted. Tom kisses her goodbye. When Harry kisses her, they hear bells. She kisses Dick and hears nothing. So she leaves with Harry on his motorcycle.

The dream sequences have infantile and surrealistic qualities that reveal the subconscious feelings of Janie about her suitors. She discovers that what she consciously thought she wanted did not have the magical quality of love needed for a good marriage.

Copyright © 2002 by Sanderson Beck

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