in about 100 words or less
US 63m, B&W
Director: Mervyn LeRoy; Cast: Joan Blondell, Warren William, Ann Dvorak, Bette Davis, Lyle Talbot, Humphrey Bogart, Allen Jenkins, Edward Arnold
The lighting of three cigarettes from a single match is the time required for a sniper to catch a glimpse of you during WWI. Used as a metaphor for bad luck, suggesting that the third soldier is likely to be killed, LeRoy seals the fate of one of the three school girls who we are introduced to at the film’s outset. By tightly weaving his melodramatic tale of betrayal around the fortunes of the film’s three main female characters, LeRoy accomplishes a lot in just over an hour. Despite the talented cast and interesting plot, the film rushes to its conclusion, leaving much untapped potential in the underdeveloped subplots (Klaus Ming January 2016).