Ever wondered what it's like to be illiterate? Things look like this:
Of course, you recognize some words.
It starred many popular actors of the day - or so you assume.
Gregore Yumph was a minor player for decades; this was the only movie Essrude Mithgreb made.
Of this woman's sad career, a book could be written:
She came to Hollywood in 1942 from Argentina, made one brilliant movie, then killed herself - for love!
Well, no. The titles are all mixed up, and then reassembled, because it's a wacky sort of movie. Wacky as all get out.
It's directed by - well, can you guess, based on those letters? Correct: Garson Kanin. "Tom, Dick and Harry" is a charmingly odd film about a charmingly odd young lady who agrees to marry three men. One's a Regular Fella - dull, in other words - one's a bohemian, and the third is a Gotrocks playboy with the requisite pencil mustache. When we first meet her she's out on Inspiration Point, dealing with a guy she supposes she likes, but it's hard for her to think about anything for more than a minute, life being as delightful as it is. An ice-cream salesman thrusts his head through the door: Ay yi yi! Turn down the high-beams, Jackson:
Recognize? No? How about now:
Bilko, in full Bilko mode, too. But he always was. Anyway: after she agrees to marry a fella, she has a dream about their life to come.
Hubby's a go-getter!
See that little chair in the right-hand corner? That's the kid.
All the kids are tiny versions of their grown fathers. It's creepy as you can imagine, but the dream sequences have no end of weirdness. Here's the gal buttering up the Regular Guy's boss' wife:
And then she wakes, smiling, chewing over what she's just foreseen.
In case you're wondering who plays the gal, it's Ginger Rogers. She doesn't dance. She shows off her comic-actress skills, and they're considerable; she's daffy without being stupid, scattered without being air-headed, completely fickle but somehow decent and true. The film never lets you root for one guy, because there's always something missing in each, and the dream sequences are all rather unsettling.
For example: there's the young Dennis Quaid.
Well, no - it's the Penguin. He's a carefree spirit untroubled by things like jobs or security or ambition. (In his dream sequence, he's overjoyed because he got fired, and now they have more time to fish!) Later she meets a millionare, and he proposes. In her dream she makes the paper, and apparently it's big enough news to shove other minor stories from the banner:
When she's dropped off at her house by the millionaire, Mr. Timothy Dalton-Olivier, the other guys are waiting.
Being Men of the World, they get along, of course; all's fair, love, war, that sort of thing. She tells them she'll think about it, and goes inside for . . .
Another dream sequence. In this one she marries all three.
The smile says it all, doesn't it? I'd tell you who she chooses, but it might spoil things. Perhaps it was my mood, but I thought it was a marvelous little movie, one of those minor larks that's much smarter than it has to be. Catch it when it comes around.