Three into Two Won't Go

Last updated

Three into Two Won't Go
Three into Two Won't Go.jpg
American theatrical release poster
Directed by Peter Hall
Written by Andrea Newman
Edna O'Brien
Produced by Julian Blaustein
Starring Rod Steiger
Claire Bloom
Judy Geeson
Cinematography Walter Lassally
Edited by Alan Osbiston
Music by Francis Lai
Julian Blaustein Productions
Distributed by The Rank Organisation
Universal Pictures (US)
Release date
  • 2 July 1969 (1969-07-02)
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Budget$1.5 million [1]

Three into Two Won't Go is a 1969 British drama film directed by Peter Hall and starring Rod Steiger, Claire Bloom and Judy Geeson. The film was entered into the 19th Berlin International Film Festival. [2]



Steve and Frances Howard are a middle-aged married couple unable to have children. They have discussed adoption but made no decision: the subject is clearly difficult for them. They have purchased a large detached house on a newly built luxury estate in Middlesex, England, and are starting to furnish and decorate it. Also to attend to the extensive, but empty, garden. She teaches English to GCE A-level students, he is a sales executive in an electrical appliance company, enjoying the regular driving his job entails.

Steve picks up a free-spirited teenage hitchhiker, Ella, and has a brief affair. To his considerable shock and surprise Ella turns up at his home whilst he is away and introduces herself to his wife Frances. After they become acquainted over several bottles of wine, she claims to be pregnant by another man, then begs to be allowed to stay for the weekend. Calculating and manipulative, when Steve returns and Frances is away Ella threatens to abort the baby, which she reveals is his. He begs her not to, but she refuses. Torn between his faltering love for his wife, his infatuation with Ella, and his unborn child, Steve finally agrees to leave his wife and set up home with Ella to have the baby together. Ella agrees, though without much enthusiasm, but specifies he should tell his wife when she (Ella) is not present.

Frances clearly suspects a secret relationship; her situation is further complicated by visits to her elderly mother Belle, an emotionally repressed women who reveals the philandering nature of Frances' father. And how she endured their lifetime of marriage, and his habit of bringing lady 'friends' to their home, by shutting her mind to it. Frances discloses somebody her husband met, a young girl, is now staying with them. Resignedly, her mother tells her 'You'll learn to live with it'.

Steve meets Frances to tell her of his decision, but before he can she - knowing what he is about to say, and telling him not to - says she wants to adopt Ella's unborn baby. This is a surprise opportunity - for Steve to save his marriage and have a child; likewise for Frances. But he rejects the offer and says he is leaving to live with Ella. "You bloody fool" she says, softly, as she leaves him. Frances fetches her mother to come and live in the house with her. Steve has arranged to meet Ella that evening, but she doesn't turn up. Returning to the house with her mother Frances finds Ella there. After shepherding the mother away, Ella tells Frances she is not now pregnant. Steve arrives, unaware of this latest development, and Ella tells him she has changed her mind. After tense exchanges Steve agrees to seek a divorce. Frances leaves with her mother to find a hotel. Steve packs a suitcase and leaves too. Ella is now seemingly in possession of the house, having in the meantime destroyed a marriage.



The film was shot entirely on location in and around Camberley, England. [3]


Box office

The film was the 19th most popular film at the UK box office in 1969. [4]

U.S. television version

In 1970 a version of the film screened on NBC television in the U.S. Hall, O'Brien and Newman demanded their names be taken off the film, alleging 20 minutes of new footage had been shot and added. [5]

Related Research Articles

<i>Armaan</i> (1966 film) 1966 film

Armaan is a 1966 Pakistani black-and-white film produced by Waheed Murad and directed by Pervez Malik. It was the first Pakistani film to complete 75 weeks in cinemas and, thus, became the first Pakistani (Urdu) "Platinum Jubilee" film. The film was picturized in black-and-white prints in Karachi. It starred Waheed Murad and Zeba in leading roles.

<i>Hush</i> (1998 film) 1998 American film

Hush is a 1998 American thriller film starring Jessica Lange and Gwyneth Paltrow.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kelly Windsor</span> Fictional character from Emmerdale

Kelly Windsor is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Emmerdale, played by Adele Silva. The character first appeared on 10 August 1993. Silva portrayed her from August 1993 until November 2000. In February 2005, it was announced that Silva would be reprising her role and she returned in June 2005. Silva left the soap once again in October 2007, and in November 2010, it was announced that Silva would be returning to Emmerdale in February 2011. Silva reprised the role for a period of three months and left again in May 2011.

<i>Forever Mine</i> 1999 British film

Forever Mine is a 1999 British–Canadian romantic drama film written and directed by Paul Schrader and starring Joseph Fiennes, Gretchen Mol and Ray Liotta.

The Marquise of O is a novella by Heinrich von Kleist on the subject of forced seduction. It was first published in 1808.

Madea Goes to Jail is an 2005 American stage play that was written, produced, and directed by Tyler Perry in 2005. It stars Tyler Perry as Mabel "Madea" Simmons and Cassi Davis as Ella. The live performance released on DVD (June 27, 2006) was recorded live in Atlanta at the Fabulous Fox Theatre on October 8 - 9, 2005. The DVD was released alongside Why Did I Get Married? and Madea's Family Reunion.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Grayson Sinclair</span> Fictional character from Emmerdale

Grayson Sinclair is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Emmerdale, played by Christopher Villiers.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rob Minter</span> Fictional character

Rob Minter is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders, played by Stuart Laing. He made his first appearance on 21 June 2006. Of his new role, Stuart said: "I am really excited about joining EastEnders and am thrilled to be working with the cast – I can’t wait to get stuck in." It was announced on 15 June 2007 he would leave the show at the end of his current storyline. Laing's contract was initially for a few episodes but was soon extended to six months and stayed on for a year in total and departed on 25 June 2007. He is the husband of May Wright and father of Dawn Swann's daughter, Summer Swann.

<i>Mrs. Winterbourne</i> 1996 American film

Mrs. Winterbourne is a 1996 American romantic comedy-drama film starring Shirley MacLaine, Ricki Lake, and Brendan Fraser. It is loosely based on Cornell Woolrich's novel I Married a Dead Man, which had already been filmed in Hollywood as No Man of Her Own (1950) starring Barbara Stanwyck, in Hindi as Kati Patang (1970) starring Asha Parekh, and in French as J'ai épousé une ombre (1983). The film was shot on location in and around Toronto, Ontario including Eaton Hall in King City, Ontario. It was the final production of A&M Films.

<i>Payment on Demand</i> 1951 film

Payment on Demand is a 1951 American drama film directed by Curtis Bernhardt and starring Bette Davis and Barry Sullivan. The screenplay by Bernhardt and Bruce Manning chronicles a marriage from its idealistic early days to its dissolution.

<i>Prudence and the Pill</i> 1968 British film

Prudence and the Pill is a 1968 British comedy film made by Twentieth Century-Fox. It was directed by Fielder Cook and Ronald Neame and produced by Kenneth Harper and Ronald J. Kahn from a screenplay by Hugh Mills, based on his 1965 novel. The music score was by Bernard Ebbinghouse and the cinematography by Ted Moore.

<i>Girls About Town</i> (film) 1931 film

Girls About Town is a 1931 American pre-Code romantic comedy film directed by George Cukor and starring Kay Francis and Joel McCrea.

<i>A Question of Adultery</i> 1958 film

A Question of Adultery is a 1958 British drama film directed by Don Chaffey and starring Julie London and Anthony Steel.

<i>Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor</i> 2013 US romance drama film by Tyler Perry

Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor is a 2013 American romantic drama film produced, written, and directed by Tyler Perry. The film is adapted from Perry's play The Marriage Counselor, with several changes. It was released on March 29, 2013.

<i>Lovers Courageous</i> 1932 film

Lovers Courageous is a 1932 American pre-Code drama film directed by Robert Z. Leonard and written by Frederick Lonsdale. The film stars Robert Montgomery, Madge Evans, Roland Young, Frederick Kerr, Reginald Owen and Beryl Mercer. The film was released on January 23, 1932, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

<i>Phir Wohi Mohabbat</i> Television series

Phir Wohi Mohabbat is a Pakistani television series which started airing on Hum TV on 16 March 2017 every Thursday at 8:00 pm. It stars Ahmed Ali and Hania Amir as leads. The script was written by Mansoor Saeed and directed by Mohsin Mirza.


  1. Alexander Walker, Hollywood, England, Stein and Day, 1974 p345
  2. " Awards for Three into Two Won't Go". Retrieved 7 March 2010.
  3. "Peter Hall Demands Name Off TVersion Of Univ.'s '3 Into 2'". Daily Variety . 19 October 1970. p. 1.
  4. "The World's Top Twenty Films". Sunday Times . [London, England]. 27 September 1970. p. 27 via The Sunday Times Digital Archive.
  5. British Film Bowdlerized: Creators Demand Credits Removed By Alfred Frierdly. The Washington Post and Times-Herald (1959-1973) [Washington, D.C] 28 October 1970: B1.