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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 4,924 users  
Reviews: 66 user | 39 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 doesn't 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:
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...
...
...
...
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

Plot Keywords:

letter | picnic | marriage | radio | writer | See more »

Taglines:

All of them wondered while one of them wandered! 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

At one point the film was called "A Letter to Four Wives". Upon submitting the adapted screenplay to 20th Century-Fox chief Darryl F. Zanuck, Joseph L. Mankiewicz mentioned that he found it too long and asked how he felt the movie could be shortened. "Take out one of the wives," Zanuck replied. Originally, the movie would have featured Anne Baxter as the fourth wife. Zanuck didn't feel Baxter's segment was as strong as the other three, so that one was cut. See more »

Goofs

The wire used to tip over the glass is visible. See more »

Quotes

Porter Hollingsway: It's a man's world. Yeah! See something you want, go after it and get it! That's nature. It's why we're made strong and women weak. Strong conquer and provide for the weak. That's what a man's for! Teach our kids that, there'd be more men!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Dick Van Dyke Show: Three Letters from One Wife (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Concerto No. 2 in B Flat Major, Op. 83
(uncredited)
Music by Johannes Brahms
Played at the Phipps dinner party
See more »

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User Reviews

Sparkling comedy with one of the wittiest scripts ever...
14 April 2001 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

One of the funniest and truest commentaries on married life is set into motion when the three wives receive a letter stating that the town siren has run off with one of their husbands--but which one? Flashbacks trace the course of three stories in one--along with witty dialog and comic situations that keep you entertained from beginning to end. All of the principals are excellent--but if I had to choose the favorite couple it would have to be Paul Douglas and Linda Darnell. Why they weren't both at least nominated for Oscars, I'll never understand. Darnell, in particular, more noted for being a great beauty than a great actress, has some of the wittiest lines in the movie and gets them across with slambang effect. Her Lora Mae Hollingsway just about steals the film in some of the funniest, yet poignant moments in the whole story. Paul Douglas is superb opposite her, as are Thelma Ritter and Connie Gilchrist as two outspoken bystanders. Not far behind are Ann Sothern and Kirk Douglas as the squabbling couple whose marriage is falling apart because of her financial success as a soap opera writer vs. his non-lucrative teaching career. Only sequences that fail to register strongly are those between Jeanne Crain and Jeffrey Lynn--lacking the wit of the other stories. The lines and situations get more hilarious as the film goes on and by the end you've seen one of the most richly satisfying comedies ever about the ups and downs of domestic bliss. Fully deserved its Oscars for best screenplay and direction.


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