MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 2,069 this week

A Letter to Three Wives (1949)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  20 January 1949 (USA)
7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 4,931 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 »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 40 titles
created 23 Nov 2011
 
a list of 28 titles
created 26 Dec 2011
 
a list of 39 titles
created 17 Feb 2013
 
a list of 39 titles
created 7 months ago
 
a list of 21 titles
created 2 months ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: A Letter to Three Wives (1949)

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

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of A Letter to Three Wives.
Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Kings Row (1942)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The dark side and hypocrisy of provincial American life is seen through the eyes of five children as they grow to adulthood at the turn-of-the-century.

Director: Sam Wood
Stars: Ann Sheridan, Robert Cummings, Ronald Reagan
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Final entry in a trilogy of films dealing with contemporary French society concerns a model who discovers her neighbour is keen on invading people's privacy.

Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski
Stars: Irène Jacob, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Frédérique Feder
Love Letters (1945)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Allen Quinton writes a fellow soldier's love letters; tragedy results. Later, Allen meets a beautiful amnesiac who fears postmen...

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Ann Richards
Mystery | Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When Philip Ashley's much-loved (and rich) cousin Ambrose dies, he is convinced that Ambrose was murdered by his new wife Rachel to inherit his wealth. But when he meets Rachel and falls in... See full summary »

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Richard Burton, Audrey Dalton
Chocolat (2000)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A woman and her daughter open a chocolate shop in a small French village that shakes up the rigid morality of the community.

Director: Lasse Hallström
Stars: Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Alfred Molina
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A group of male friends become obsessed with five mysterious sisters who are sheltered by their strict, religious parents.

Director: Sofia Coppola
Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Josh Hartnett, James Woods
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A young woman visits Paris with her brother only to discover the following morning he has gone missing and the hotel staff have no recollection of his presence.

Directors: Antony Darnborough, Terence Fisher
Stars: Jean Simmons, Dirk Bogarde, David Tomlinson
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Otto and Ana are kids when they meet each other. Their names are palindromes. They meet by chance, people are related by chance. A story of circular lives, with circular names, and a ... See full summary »

Director: Julio Medem
Stars: Najwa Nimri, Fele Martínez, Nancho Novo
Algiers (1938)
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Beautiful Gaby meets a romantic jewel thief in the mysterious Casbah.

Director: John Cromwell
Stars: Charles Boyer, Hedy Lamarr, Sigrid Gurie
Random Hearts (1999)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

After the death of their loved ones in a tragic plane crash 'Harrison Ford' and Kristin Scott Thomas find each others keys in each others loved ones posessions and realize that they were ... See full summary »

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Harrison Ford, Kristin Scott Thomas, Charles S. Dutton
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Four Parisian women navigate the world of romance and daily life looking to fulfill their dreams but often find real-life to be inescapable.

Director: Claude Chabrol
Stars: Bernadette Lafont, Clotilde Joano, Stéphane Audran
Possession (2002)
Romance | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A pair of literary sleuths unearth the amorous secret of two Victorian poets only to find themselves falling under a passionate spell.

Director: Neil LaBute
Stars: Gwyneth Paltrow, Aaron Eckhart, Jeremy Northam
Edit

Cast

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

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:

It's a sheer delightful revelation! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Joseph L. Mankiewicz had a real battle with the American censors at the time who would not permit him to use words like "laxative" and "toilet" in his script. He got his revenge with a famous double-entendre laden exchange which used words like "penetration" and "saturation". See more »

Goofs

The wives pull up to the dock and park their cars pointing at the boat. On their return from the day cruise, the cars have been turned around and are now facing the exit. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in The Screen Director (1951) 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Three wives must endure a day of apprehension over the possibility that one of their husbands has run off with their close friend.
23 May 2002 | by (Brooklyn, New York) – See all my reviews

In `A Letter to Three Wives,' Deborah Bishop, Lora Mae Hollingsway, and Rita Phipps are chaperoning underprivileged children on a day trip picnic. As they board the riverboat that will ferry them up-river to the picnic grounds, they are stopped by a messenger who delivers a letter from their dear, close friend, Addie Ross. Addie, who was supposed to accompany them on the day trip, quite unexpectedly, left town that very morning. After debating whether or not they should open the letter, with a bit of trepidation, they do. And so begins the story of three wives, three husbands, one letter, and Mrs. Addie Ross.

Addie Ross wrote in the letter to her dear, close friends Deborah, Lora Mae, and Rita, that she was so sorry to be leaving town, permanently. And, that by the way, she took one of their husbands with her.

Which husband has run off with Addie Ross? That question is the driving force of this drama, with just a bit of comedy to hone its edges. This movie is compelling, there are no gaps; from start to finish you're hooked. Be there no doubt, you'll be kept guessing until the end. All is not always what it seems.

`A Letter to Three Wives,' is a story nicely staged by a series of three flashbacks, each chronicling meaningful events in the lives and marriages of the three wives.

Jeanne Crain does well playing Deborah, the young, sometimes self-doubting and suspicious wife of the well-to-do Brad Bishop, played by Jeffrey Lynn. As we soon learn, Brad is a lifelong, close friend of the alluring Addie Ross.

The story is further fashioned by the immense talents of Kirk Douglas and Ann Sothern, who portray George and Rita Phipps. George is a devoted school teacher, and Rita is a social climbing script writer of radio plays. Both George and Rita are old, close friends of Addie Ross. However, Rita thinks George is just a little to close. Expect a stellar performance from Ann Sothern, because that's exactly what you're going to get.

This story's most interesting characters are portrayed by Paul Douglas, and the beautiful Linda Darnell. These talented actors play Porter and Lora Mae Hollingsway. They're a couple who tolerate a marriage of convince, he for her beauty, and she for his money. Lora Mae knows that Porter has helped Addie Ross with financial matters in the past, and perhaps other things in the present.

This movie has an excellent supporting cast in Thelma Ritter, and Connie Gilchrist. Look for them to relieve the natural tension of this story. Also contributing are Hobart Cavanaugh and Florence Bates, as Mr. and Mrs. Manleigh. Keep your ear tuned and listen for Celeste Home, as she is the voice of Addie Ross.

`A Letter to Three Wives,' is a festival of love, hate, jealousy, and suspicion. It's propelled by the energy of a very high caliber cast, and the directorial influence of Joseph L. Mankiewiez.

It should be noted that `A Letter to Three Wives,' brought Mankiewiez, two Academy Awards in 1949. Best Director and Best Writing, Screenplay.


29 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
feel bad vs. feel badly sergie-3
Linda Darnell Dhmdowntown-1
Smoking and Cancer Terry Weldon
Addie Leighere
What does the glass breaking mean? mersa06
First One Here? csu16387
Discuss A Letter to Three Wives (1949) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?