Three Wise Fools (1946)

89-90 or 92 mins | Fantasy | 29 August 1946

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HISTORY

Pre-production news items in HR indicate that Frank Morgan was originally set for a starring role in the film. A late Nov HR production chart lists Theron Warth as film editor, although Gene Ruggiero is credited as editor onscreen. This picture is a remake of the 1923 Goldwyn Pictures film Three Wise Fools , directed and written by King Vidor and starring Claude Gillingwater and Eleanor Boardman (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; F2.5678). Margaret O'Brien and Lionel Barrymore recreated their roles for a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast of the story on 1 Sep ... More Less

Pre-production news items in HR indicate that Frank Morgan was originally set for a starring role in the film. A late Nov HR production chart lists Theron Warth as film editor, although Gene Ruggiero is credited as editor onscreen. This picture is a remake of the 1923 Goldwyn Pictures film Three Wise Fools , directed and written by King Vidor and starring Claude Gillingwater and Eleanor Boardman (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; F2.5678). Margaret O'Brien and Lionel Barrymore recreated their roles for a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast of the story on 1 Sep 1947. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
15 Jun 1946.
---
Daily Variety
11 Jun 46
p. 3.
Film Daily
14 Jun 46
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Nov 44
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Oct 45
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Nov 45
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Nov 45
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Dec 45
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jan 46
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jun 46
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Sep 46
p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
23 Mar 46
p. 2907.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
22 Jun 46
p. 3055.
New York Times
27 Sep 46
p. 19.
Variety
12 Jun 46
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d cam
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Assoc
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Cost des
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
Rec dir
Unit mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Mus mixer
Mus mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Matte paintings
Matte paintings, cam
Transparency projection shots
MAKEUP
Makeup created by
PRODUCTION MISC
Research dir
Research asst
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Three Wise Fools by Austin Strong, as staged by Winchell Smith and presented by John Golden (Ottawa, 1919).
DETAILS
Release Date:
29 August 1946
Production Date:
12 November 1945--11 January 1946
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
13 June 1946
Copyright Number:
LP384
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
89-90 or 92
Country:
United States
PCA No:
11463
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

A group of young pixies gathered under a large oak tree listen to a story told by an old Irish leprechaun known as The Ancient. The story, about humans, begins in the garden in 1870: Under the oak tree, a young Irish musician known as The O'Monahan plays a song of love to his American sweetheart, Rena Fairchild, who lives on the other side of the garden wall. Hearing the song, Rena enters the garden and kisses The O'Monahan. Rena is followed to the oak tree by her three American suitors, Richard Gaunght, a young medical student; James Trumbell, a lawyer; and Theodore Findley, a banker. Rena rejects all three of her suitors, and instead decides to live with The O'Monahan in Ireland. Before leaving for Ireland, The O'Monahan blesses the three men and wishes them all the success they desire. Forty years pass, and the three suitors, now at the pinnacle of their careers, are friendless and live together in a large house. One day, the three old bachelors donate part of the property that Rena gave to them years earlier to the local university as a site for a future amphitheater. Soon after, they are surprised by the arrival of Sheila O'Monahan, the young granddaughter of The O'Monahan and Rena. Sheila, accompanied from Ireland by the O'Monahans' servant, Terence Aloysius O'Davern, explains that her parents are dead and that she is to become the ward of the three men. When the men reject Sheila, she and O'Davern are left with no alternative but to live in Rena's old, dilapidated house. Meanwhile, complications arise in the proposed amphitheater construction when it is discovered that ... +


A group of young pixies gathered under a large oak tree listen to a story told by an old Irish leprechaun known as The Ancient. The story, about humans, begins in the garden in 1870: Under the oak tree, a young Irish musician known as The O'Monahan plays a song of love to his American sweetheart, Rena Fairchild, who lives on the other side of the garden wall. Hearing the song, Rena enters the garden and kisses The O'Monahan. Rena is followed to the oak tree by her three American suitors, Richard Gaunght, a young medical student; James Trumbell, a lawyer; and Theodore Findley, a banker. Rena rejects all three of her suitors, and instead decides to live with The O'Monahan in Ireland. Before leaving for Ireland, The O'Monahan blesses the three men and wishes them all the success they desire. Forty years pass, and the three suitors, now at the pinnacle of their careers, are friendless and live together in a large house. One day, the three old bachelors donate part of the property that Rena gave to them years earlier to the local university as a site for a future amphitheater. Soon after, they are surprised by the arrival of Sheila O'Monahan, the young granddaughter of The O'Monahan and Rena. Sheila, accompanied from Ireland by the O'Monahans' servant, Terence Aloysius O'Davern, explains that her parents are dead and that she is to become the ward of the three men. When the men reject Sheila, she and O'Davern are left with no alternative but to live in Rena's old, dilapidated house. Meanwhile, complications arise in the proposed amphitheater construction when it is discovered that the deed that Rena gave the three men is to her swamp property, not the property on which the old house stands. The three men realize that their only hope in getting the deed to the main estate is through Sheila. While tearfully considering her desperate situation, Sheila, meanwhile, suddenly remembers a story her grandmother told her about the old oak tree on the property. Sheila goes to the tree and requests the help of the fairies, and at that moment, the three bachelors arrive and invite her to live with them. Believing the invitation to be an act guided by the fairies, Sheila gladly becomes their ward. However, when Sheila learns that the men intend to tear down the old house and destroy the old oak tree, she decides to take back the deed. The three men attempt to change her mind by promising to move the oak tree to a different location, but she refuses, insisting that the leprechauns would be killed if the tree were moved. Determined to get the deed, the three men hire circus midgets to pose as leprechauns and pretend to abandon the tree. Sheila falls for the trick, and later gives the deed to the three men. When O'Davern exposes the ruse, however, the judge who gave the men custody of Sheila removes her from their home and places her in an orphanage. One day, Sheila escapes from the orphanage, enters a convent and tells her story to Sister Mary Brigid. Sister Mary then visits the three bachelors, upbraids them for mistreating Sheila and demands that they save the old oak tree. As demolition crews begin tearing down the old house, Gaunght chains himself to the tree and refuses to move. Trumbell eventually joins Gaunght in his protest, and the tree is finally saved when Findley spends all his money to prevent the tree from being torn down. The good deeds of the three old men restore Sheila's faith in mankind, and all are happily reunited. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.