70 user 49 critic

A Letter to Three Wives (1949)

Unrated | | Drama, Romance | February 1949 (USA)
2:41 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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.


(adaptation), (Cosmopolitan Magazine novel) | 1 more credit »
Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Fantasy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In 1900, a young widow finds her seaside cottage is haunted...and forms a unique relationship with the ghost.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Gene Tierney, Rex Harrison, George Sanders
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An adventuresome young man goes off to find himself and loses his socialite fiancée in the process. But when he returns 10 years later, she will stop at nothing to get him back, even though she is already married.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, John Payne
5 Fingers (1952)
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

During WWII the valet to the British Ambassador to Ankara sells British secrets to the Germans while trying to romance a refugee Polish countess.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: James Mason, Danielle Darrieux, Michael Rennie
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A writer meets a young socialite on board a train. The two fall in love and are married soon after, but her obsessive love for him threatens to be the undoing of both them and everyone else around them.

Director: John M. Stahl
Stars: Gene Tierney, Cornel Wilde, Jeanne Crain
The Heiress (1949)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A young naive woman falls for a handsome young man who her emotionally abusive father suspects is a fortune hunter.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Montgomery Clift, Ralph Richardson
The Snake Pit (1948)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A detailed chronicle of a woman during her stay in a mental institution.

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Mark Stevens, Leo Genn
No Way Out (1950)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A black doctor is assigned to treat two racist White, robbery suspects who are brothers, and when one dies, it causes tension that could start a race riot.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Richard Widmark, Linda Darnell, Stephen McNally
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After years in prison, Max promises revenge on his brothers for their betrayal. His lover Irene and memories of his past yield him a broader perspective.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Susan Hayward, Richard Conte
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

George Taylor returns from WWII with amnesia. Back home in Los Angeles, while trying to track down his old identity, he stumbles onto a 3-year old murder case and a hunt for a missing $2 million.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: John Hodiak, Nancy Guild, Lloyd Nolan
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A singer becomes a star in the Ziegfeld Follies, but her marriage to a con man has a bad effect on her career.

Director: Gregory Ratoff
Stars: Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, Al Jolson
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An unscrupulous movie producer uses an actress, a director and a writer to achieve success.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Lana Turner, Kirk Douglas, Walter Pidgeon
Champion (1949)
Drama | Film-Noir | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Boxer Midge Kelly rises to fame...mainly by stepping on other people.

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Arthur Kennedy, Marilyn Maxwell


Complete credited cast:
Connie Gilchrist ...
Hobart Cavanaugh ...


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


It's a sheer delightful revelation! See more »


Drama | Romance


Unrated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

February 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Letter to Five Wives  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Partly filmed in Cold Spring, NY. See more »


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


Lora Mae Hollingsway: [amused by Sadie's maid uniform] Sadie Dugan, what are you supposed to be, Baby Snooks?
Sadie: Hiya Lora Mae.
Lora Mae Hollingsway: Get a load of that cap - I can't wait to tell Ma!
Rita Phipps: Lora Mae, would you sit there please?
Porter Hollingsway: Come on, sit down.
Sadie: There's a couple of things I could tell your Ma about you too.
Mrs. Manleigh: This great situation belongs in a true-to-life drama - are you two related?
Lora Mae Hollingsway: No we just had the same governess.
Sadie: [laughing] Ya kill me!
See more »


Remade as A Letter to Three Wives (1985) See more »


Music by Lionel Newman
Played when Deborah and Rita emerge from the ladies' lounge at the country club
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Delightful, Witty and Intelligent Screenplay
13 June 2007 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

In a small town, three couples are close friends: the upper class Brad Bishop (Jeffrey Lynn) went to the war and returned married with the insecure country girl and Navy military Deborah Bishop (Jeanne Crain); the university professor George Phipps (Kirk Douglas) is married with the writer of silly screenplays of radio soap operas Rita Phipps (Ann Sothern), who makes more money than him and financially supports their home; and the wealthy tradesman Porter Hollingsway (Paul Douglas) is married with the smart Lora Mae Hollingsway (Linda Darnell). In common, further to their friendship, the women hate and the men love the elegant and high-class Addie Ross. While going to a picnic in riverboat with the local students, the three wives receive a letter of their "friend" Addie Ross informing that she is running off with one of their husbands. Along the day, each woman recalls events that might have put her marriage in danger, while anxiously waiting for the end of the day.

One of my favorite movies ever is "All About Eve", of Joseph L. Mankiewicz. I know only a few movies of this outstanding director: "Sleuth", "Cleopatra", "The Barefoot Contessa" and "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir". A dear friend of mine gave me "A Letter to Three Wives" on DVD, I have just watched and I must confess that I am enchanted with such delightful, witty and intelligent screenplay. The romance is perfectly developed with the narrative in off and in an adequate pace, disclosing the lives of each couple and their problems in flashbacks and with a wonderful resolution. The cast is in state of grace, with awesome performances, and Linda Darnell is extremely sexy in the role of an opportunist woman and Jeanne Crain is very beautiful. There is a continuity goof not related in IMDb, when Lora Mae arrives with her car for the picnic, followed by Rita and Debbie's car, and the relative positions of the parked cars and buses change, but this mistake never diminishes this magnificent movie. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "Quem É o Infiel?" ("Who Is the Unfaithful?")

22 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

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

Contribute to This Page