Three Men and a Baby
|Three Men and a Baby|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Leonard Nimoy|
|Produced by||Ted Field
Robert W. Cort
|Written by||Jim Cruickshank
|Based on||Trois hommes et un couffin
by Coline Serreau
|Music by||Marvin Hamlisch|
|Editing by||Michael A. Stevenson|
Silver Screen Partners III
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures Distribution|
|Running time||102 minutes|
Three Men and a Baby is a 1987 comedy film starring Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg, Ted Danson, and Nancy Travis, and directed by Leonard Nimoy. It follows the mishaps and adventures of three bachelors as they attempt to adapt their lives to pseudo-fatherhood with the arrival of one of the men's love child. The script was based on the 1985 French film Trois hommes et un couffin (Three Men and a Cradle).
Three Men and a Baby was the biggest American box office hit of that year, surpassing Fatal Attraction and eventually grossing US$167 million in the US alone. The movie won the 1988 People's Choice Award for Favorite Comedy Motion Picture. It was followed by a 1990 sequel, Three Men and a Little Lady. A new sequel (titled Three Men and a Bride) supposedly in development would reunite Selleck, Guttenberg and Danson.
Architect Peter Mitchell (Tom Selleck), cartoonist Michael Kellam (Steve Guttenberg) and actor Jack Holden (Ted Danson) are happy living their lives as bachelors in their lofty New York City apartment. Their lives are disrupted when a baby arrives on their doorstep one day. A note with the child, Mary, indicates that it is Jack's, the result of an affair with a recent co-star. The baby arrives in Jack's absence – he is in Turkey shooting a B movie, leaving Peter and Michael to fend for themselves in taking care of the child, something in which their lack of experience befuddles them.
At one point, Peter and Michael are mistakenly led to believe that they are to deliver Mary to two men who arrive at their door asking for "the package". This "package" actually contains heroin, unbeknownst to Jack or his roommates, and dropped off by a shady director friend of Jack's. They discover moments before their departure that the men, who are drug dealers, were seeking the heroin rather than the baby. Peter tells Michael to hide the heroin while he goes and retrieves Mary, leaving the drug dealers with a can of powdered milk.
What results is a major change to the men's lives as they try to adjust to surrogate fatherhood—balancing the demands of work and the rearing of a child. Soon their paternal instincts take hold, and they grow attached to the child. Eventually, when Jack returns, Peter and Michael do not hesitate in taking their revenge and passing all responsibility of looking after Mary to Jack, but Jack quickly grows to love his daughter.
The drug dealers, demanding payment, eventually ransack the men's apartment looking for their drugs. Later, they discover a news clipping of Jack's director friend being hospitalized after a mugging (presumably by the drug dealers), with a handwritten note, 'don't let this happen to you'. They formulate a plan to meet and trap the dealers when they negotiate a deal to deliver the illicit goods. With a recording of the conversation, the men prove their innocence to the police and the dealers are arrested.
The three men then fully embrace their new role as Mary's guardians, however one day the baby's mother, an English woman named Sylvia (Nancy Travis), arrives, asking for Mary back intending to take her to England to live with her family. Handing her over, the three quickly find themselves miserable and desperately missing Mary. Deciding to stop Sylvia and Mary from leaving, they rush to the airport to try and persuade Sylvia to stay however they arrive just as her plane leaves. Defeated, the men return to their apartment, where they find both Sylvia and Mary. Sylvia explains she doesn't want to give up her career but can't do this if she has to raise Mary alone, so Peter quickly invites her and Mary to move into their apartment with them with Jack and Michael's agreement, and she agrees.
The 1990 Malayalam film "Thoovalsparsham (Feather Touch)" is based on the film and stars Jayaram, Mukesh and Saikumar in lead roles while Suresh Gopi plays the father of the baby. The film was remade as Heyy Babyy in Hindi, and was remade also in Tamil as Asathal in 2001
- Tom Selleck as Peter Mitchell
- Steve Guttenberg as Michael Kellam
- Ted Danson as Jack Holden
- Margaret Colin as Rebecca
- Celeste Holm as Mrs. Holden
- Nancy Travis as Sylvia Bennington
- Alexandra Amini as Patty
- Francine Beers as Woman at Gift Shop
- Lisa and Michelle Blair as Mary Bennington
- Philip Bosco as Det. Sgt. Melkowitz
- Barbara Budd as Actress
- Michael Burgess as Man at Party
- Claire Cellucci as Angelyne
- Eugene Clark as Man #1 at Party
- Derek de Lint as Jan Clopatz
- Jacob Strackeljahn as Juan Pablo Jr.
- Jeff Kingsley as Dr. Octavius Agustus Steelex
- Dave Foley as Grocery Store Clerk
The eponymous baby was played by twins Lisa and Michelle Blair.
Urban legend 
In the final cut of the movie, there is a scene, just over an hour into the film, in which Jack Holden (Ted Danson) and his mother (Celeste Holm) walk through the house with the baby. As they do so, they pass a background window on the left-hand side of the screen, and a black outline that appears to resemble a rifle pointed downward can be seen behind the curtains. As the characters walk back past the window 40 seconds later, a human figure can be seen in that window. A persistent urban legend began circulating August 1990 (shortly before the film's sequel, Three Men and a Little Lady, premiered) that this was the ghost of a boy who had been killed in the house where the movie was filmed. The most common version of this rumor was that a nine-year-old boy committed suicide with a shotgun there, explaining why the house was vacant because the grieving family left. This notion was discussed on the first episode of TV Land: Myths and Legends in January 2007 and was referenced in "Hollywood Babylon", a second season episode of the TV series Supernatural.
The figure is actually a cardboard cutout "standee" of Jack, wearing a tuxedo and top hat, that was left on the set. This prop was created as part of the storyline, in which Jack, an actor, appears in a dog food commercial, but this portion of the story was cut from the final version of the film. The standee does show up later in the film, however, when Jack stands next to it as the baby's mother comes to reclaim her child. The website snopes.com contends that the figure in the first scene looks smaller from its appearance in the latter scene because of the distance and angle of the shot, and because the curtains obscure its outstretched arms. As for the contention that a boy died in the house, all the indoor scenes in the film were shot on a Toronto sound stage, and no residential dwellings were used for interior filming.
The critical reception of Three Men and a Baby was generally positive. Film critic Roger Ebert, while noting several aspects he saw as flaws, said of it "Because of Selleck and his co-stars... the movie becomes a heartwarming entertainment." He gave it 3 (out of four) stars. It holds a 75% "fresh" rating on the movie review aggregation site, Rotten Tomatoes based on 28 reviews.
Box office 
Three Men and a Baby grossed USD$168 million. Three Men and a Baby was notable for the Walt Disney Studios since it was the first production from the studio to gross over $100 million domestically.
- 1987 Yearly Box Office Results from Box Office Mojo
- WENN Exclusive: Guttenberg, Selleck and Danson to reunite for Three Men and a Bride[dead link]
- "Adam Sandler plan to remake ‘Three Men and a Baby’". Great New Movies. August 1, 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-01.
- Maslin, Janet (November 25, 1987). "Film Review: Three Men and a Baby". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-06-29.
- TV Land: Myths and Legends at the Internet Movie Database
- "Three Men and a Ghost"; snopes.com; January 9, 2007.
- ""The Questions That Will Not Die"; rogerebert.suntimes.com; March 6, 2008". Rogerebert.suntimes.com. 2004-10-13. Retrieved 2010-09-28.
- Three Men and a Baby :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews from Roger Ebert's website and the Chicago Sun-Times
- Three Men and a Baby at Rotten Tomatoes
- "Field Marshal". Newsweek. Retrieved 2010-12-22.
- Easton, Nina J. (1989-01-05). "Roger Rabbit' Hops to Box-Office Top; 'Coming to America' Hits 2nd". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-26.
- "Three Men and a Baby Is Top Box-Office Film". The New York Times. 1988-01-14. Retrieved 2010-12-08.
- Mathews, Jack (1988-01-06). "Laughing Their Way to Bank Hollywood Accounts Swell From `Baby' and `Momma'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-08.
- Hunt, Dennis (1989-01-19). "Red Heat' Sets Rental Market on Fire". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-10.
- Mathews, Jack (1987-12-29). "Weekend Box Office". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-12.
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