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A Letter to Three Wives (1949)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  20 January 1949 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 5,156 users  
Reviews: 66 user | 41 critic

A letter is addressed to three wives from their "best friend" Addie Ross, announcing that she is running away with one of their husbands: but she does not say which one.

Writers:

(adaptation), (Cosmopolitan Magazine novel), 1 more credit »
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Title: A Letter to Three Wives (1949)

A Letter to Three Wives (1949) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
Barbara Lawrence ...
Jeffrey Lynn ...
Connie Gilchrist ...
Florence Bates ...
Mrs. Manleigh
Hobart Cavanaugh ...
Mr. Manleigh
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Storyline

Lora May Hollingsway, who grew up next to the wrong side of the tracks, married her boss who thinks she is just a gold digger. Rita Phipps makes as much money writing radio scripts at night as her school teacher husband does. Deborah Bishop looked great in a Navy uniform in WWII but fears she'll never be dressed just right for the Country Club set. These three wives are boarding a boat filled with children going on a picnic when a messenger on a bicycle hands them a letter addressed to all three from Addie who has just left town with one of their husbands. They won't know which one until that night. Written by Dale O'Connor <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Promise! You won't peek-and-tell... the ending! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 January 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Letter to Five Wives  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was leading stage actor Paul Douglas' motion picture debut. See more »

Goofs

Positions of George and Deborah when talking at the car at the beginning of the film. See more »

Quotes

Porter Hollingsway: OK. OK, you win. I'll marry you. How about it?
Lora Mae Hollingsway: Thanks... for nothing.
Porter Hollingsway: Now what kind of an answer is that?
Lora Mae Hollingsway: I don't know. I just felt like it. That's all.
Porter Hollingsway: We'll do all right, kid. We're starting out where it takes most marriages years to get, out in the open. No jokers. You'll see. You've made a good deal, Lora Mae.
Mrs. Finney: [walking into the room] Lora Mae, honey, if you want me I'll be over at the Callahans' playing...
Lora Mae Hollingsway: Happy new year, Ma. We're gonna get married.
Mrs. Finney: ...Bingo!
[She faints]
See more »


Soundtracks

Wein, weib und Gesang, Op. 333 (Wine, Women and Song)
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauß
Waltz danced by Deborah and Brad at the country club
See more »

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User Reviews

An Interesting, Well-Written Story
1 September 2004 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

Though based on a relatively simple idea, "A Letter to Three Wives" is an interesting and well-written story. The cast and the rest of the production are good as well, but it is primarily the carefully written story that makes it work. Joseph Mankiewicz's screenplay does not necessarily have flashy dialogue or lots of surprises, but rather creates well-defined and believable characters, and puts them into an unusual situation, which he then develops at a good pace.

The opening sequences pull you right into the story, introducing the characters efficiently and then setting up the predicament in which the three wives find themselves as a result of the letter from their absent friend. None of the characters are especially interesting as individuals, but all are believable, and you certainly care about what will happen to them. The cast make their characters work together quite well, and there are quite a few good moments. The unseen Addie Ross is also as much a part of the story as any of the others, and her narration is used effectively.

The story moves along smoothly, almost logically, as things are resolved in an unspectacular but satisfying fashion. It's the kind of well-crafted feature that may not dazzle many of today's viewers, but that makes good use of every opportunity.


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