Three Guys Named Mike

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Three Guys Named Mike
Directed by Charles Walters
Produced by Armand Deutsch
Written by Sidney Sheldon
Based on story by Ruth Brooks Flippen
Starring Jane Wyman
Van Johnson
Howard Keel
Music by Bronislau Kaper
Cinematography Paul Vogel
Distributed by MGM
Loew's Inc.
Release dates
March 1, 1951
Country United States
Language English
Budget $859,000[1]
Box office $2,230,000[1]

Three Guys Named Mike is a 1951 American black-and-white film by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, directed by Charles Walters.[2] In 1979, the film entered the public domain (in the USA) due to the claimants failure to renew its copyright registration in the 28th year after publication.[3]

Described as a "lighthearted and lightweight story" by Turner Classic Movies, Three Guys Named Mike chronicles the story of a flight attendant (known in the 1950s as an "airline hostess" or a "stewardess") and three men.[2]


Marcy Lewis is a young woman from Indiana with an ambition to become an airline stewardess and see the world. She takes an American Airlines training course and passes. Her first flight is nearly her last when, after inadvertently offending the pilot, Mike Jamison, she forgets the passengers' food. Mike's intervention earns Marcy a second chance.

Marcy's home base is moved to Los Angeles and she finds an apartment with two friends from stewardess school. She meets a passenger, Mike Lawrence, who is pursuing a degree in science, then also nearly loses her job again by permitting a young passenger to keep her dog in the cabin, against the airline's rules. Marcy is suspended for a week.

When a man named Mike Tracy helps give her stalled car a push, Marcy learns that he works for a Chicago advertising agency. An idea of hers, to let stewardesses endorse soap, pleases Tracy's client, and soon Marcy is invited by a photographer to pose for magazine ads herself. Mike J, Mike L and Mike T, all helping with Marcy's new apartment and all jealous of one another, suddenly realize that the photographer has other things in mind. They arrive in time to start a brawl, which makes the newspapers and gets both Marcy and pilot Mike J suspended from their jobs, as well as costing Mike T his account and Mike L his enrollment at the college.

Marcy goes to the superiors of all three men personally to plead for their reinstatement. After she is successful, all three Mikes propose marriage to her. Not positive what to do, Marcy reacts favorably to Mike L's "I love you," and the other two Mikes concede that he's the guy for her.


The credits state that the film was "based on the story by Ruth Brooks Flippen, from suggestions made by Ethel 'Pug' Wells" (later, Davies). Contemporary publicity states that Wells was a flight attendant for American Airlines; she appeared in a bit part in one scene, playing herself. She is also credited as "Technical Advisor." Since Jane Wyman, the lead actress, had a high stature, her colleagues consisted of one of MGM's leading actors and two up-and-coming actors. American Airlines provided advertising in the film and allowed the producers of the film to use American Airlines aircraft for no charge; during that time aircraft were considered to be expensive props in films. Some early scenes in the film portrayed the training given at the American Airlines school for flight attendants.[2] Sidney Sheldon wrote the screenplay.



The film earned an estimated $1,707,000 at the US/Canadian box office[4] and $523,000 elsewhere, resulting in a profit to MGM of $577,000.[1]

Bosley Crowther of The New York Times criticized the film, stating that "for services rendered in the advertising line, that company should award her a gold star (its advertising is all over the film), but if she's still hostessing, it should keep an eye on her. We suspect she spends too much time reading those leather-bound slick magazines rather than attending to the business of serving her real-life passengers" in relation to the glamorized portrayal of airline travel. Turner Classic Movies stated that many "more plebeian" critics gave a positive reception to the film while "highbrow critics" such as Crowther gave a negative reception. Turner Classic Movies stated that the film "remains a quaintly entertaining time capsule of an era when "stewardesses" became "kiwis" (i.e., non-flying birds) when they got married."[2]


  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study .
  2. ^ a b c d "Three Guys Named Mike." Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved on December 22, 2008.
  3. ^ Pierce, David (June 2007). "Forgotten Faces: Why Some of Our Cinema Heritage Is Part of the Public Domain". Film History: An International Journal 19 (2): 125–43. doi:10.2979/FIL.2007.19.2.125. ISSN 0892-2160. OCLC 15122313. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  4. ^ 'The Top Box Office Hits of 1951', Variety, January 2, 1952

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