The Story of Three Loves Trailer (1953)

Trailer for The Story of Three Loves, a film that features three loosely connected love stories.

The Jealous Lover
On an ocean liner, ballet impresario Charles Coudray solemnly reflects on the events leading up to his London company's one and only performance of a new ballet: At a dance audition, ballerina Paula Woodward suddenly collapses. Her aunt Lydia consults a doctor, who says that Paula has a heart condition and will endanger her life if she continues to dance. Paula retires from dancing, but one evening, after watching a performance by Charles' company, she hesitantly approaches the empty stage and begins to move, gradually losing herself in a slow, expressive dance. Paula is interrupted by the imperious Charles, who has been watching from the shadows. Inspired by her artistry, Charles asks Paula to accompany him to his studio, and when she reluctantly declines, offers to take her home. In the car, Charles recognizes Paula from the audition, and as they discuss their love of the dance, she impulsively agrees to work with him. They return to Charles' elegant home and, setting aside her fears, Paula recreates her earlier performance. The effort leaves her weak, alarming Charles, who has fallen in love with her. Paula assures him that she will be with him always, and they kiss. Paula returns home, radiant, and tells her aunt what has happened. While climbing the stairs, however, Paula collapses and dies. Back on the ship, Charles remains lost in his sad thoughts.

Another passenger on the ship, a pretty young French woman, overhears a governess talking to her young charges and thinks back on her own experience as a governess the previous summer: In a lavish hotel in Rome, eleven-year-old Thomas Clayton Campbell, Jr. chafes under the tutelage of his governess, Mademoiselle, who insists on teaching him French and reading him "mushy" poetry. One night, in the park, Tommy meets an older boy, Terry, who tells him that old Hazel Pennicott, who lives in the hotel's annex, is a witch. Although he is skeptical, Tommy goes with Terry to spy on the old woman. Provoked by the older boy's teasing, Tommy timidly approaches Mrs. Pennicott and asks her to change him into a grown man so he will not have to have a governess. Mrs. Pennicott agrees to effect the transformation on a temporary basis, and gives Tommy an enchanted ribbon, along with instructions to recite her name at 8:00 p.m. and be back in bed by midnight. That evening, following an ugly quarrel with Mademoiselle, Tommy gets into bed and performs the incantation, and is transformed into a handsome young man. After donning a tuxedo and emptying his piggy bank, Tommy goes to the hotel bar, where he is disappointed by his first drink. He then goes for a walk at the Colosseum, where he encounters Mademoiselle. Now able to speak French beautifully--and endowed with both an appreciation for poetry and a sense of shame for his earlier bad conduct toward her--Tommy engages his governess in conversation. There is a strong attraction between them, and as they spend the rest of the evening strolling through the Colosseum and kissing, Tommy realizes that youth passes all too quickly. As the clock begins to strike twelve, Tommy flees, hastily promising to bid farewell to Mademoiselle at the train station the following morning. The next day, Tommy, a child once again, is reunited with his parents at the train station, and Mademoiselle suddenly informs the family that she will stay behind. Tommy rushes off the train and expresses his affection for Mademoiselle in French. After the train leaves, Mademoiselle encounters Mrs. Pennicott, who assures the young woman that love will find her and gives her the other half of the enchanted ribbon. Back on the ship, Mademoiselle meets a handsome man who tells her that he saw her at the train station in Rome and has thought of her ever since.

Pierre Narval leans over the ship's railing and thinks about the recent changes in his life: In Paris, Pierre rescues a young Italian woman, Nina Burkhart, who has jumped off a bridge. Unable to get her out of his mind, Pierre visits the despondent Nina in the hospital and gives her his address. One day, Pierre announces to his friends that he intends to resume his career as a trapeze artist, and they remind him that his passion for taking dangerous risks led to the death of his partner two years earlier. Nina calls on Pierre when she gets out of the hospital and, believing her detachment from life to be a professional asset, he asks her to be his partner. Under Pierre's supervision, Nina begins an arduous training program, and eventually reveals that she and her late husband Walter were in a concentration camp. Nina was released first, and Walter was killed when a letter she wrote urging him not to attempt an escape was given to the Germans by a collaborator. One day, Nina comes home to find a man from the concentration camp waiting for her. She falls into a deep depression after the visit, and shows Pierre the box the man gave her, which contains chess pieces that Walter carved in the camp. Nina says that the man was tortured into betraying Walter, who forgave him before he died. Pierre, who still blames himself for his former partner's death, urges Nina to forgive herself as well, and swears he will do anything for her. Later, at an important audition held by American circus owner William Cyrus, Pierre and Nina perform their routine flawlessly, but are apprehensive when it comes to the finale, a risky maneuver called the "death dive." Just before they are to perform the move, Cyrus demands that the safety net be removed. Pierre refuses, but Nina insists that they go on. Pierre and Nina perform the perilous maneuver successfully and then, with nothing left to prove, silently walk out with their arms around each other. On the ship, Pierre smiles at this memory as Nina appears at his side.

3 min 33 sec


Posted On
May 16, 2009
Vincente Minnelli

John Collier


March 26, 1953
Kirk Douglas
Pier Angeli
Ethel Barrymore
James Mason
Moira Shearer
Trailer Tracks
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