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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 5,122 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 5 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:

All of them wondered which 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

General Douglas MacArthur was so confused by the ending that he had his aide write Joseph L. Mankiewicz a letter asking with whom Addie had, in fact, run off. See more »

Goofs

About 20 minutes into the film, Brad Bishop and his wife Deborah Bishop are drinking martinis in their bedroom, which are dark colored in the B&W film. Moments later, when Rita Phipps pours two drinks out of the same pitcher, the martinis are light colored. However, when Phipps hands Deborah her drink, she consumes a dark colored drink from her glass. See more »

Quotes

Rita Phipps: People in the show business, you know what I mean, those kind of people always drink scotch.
George Phipps: Well, I know what you mean, but I wish you wouldn't say it in radio English. "That kind", not "those kind".
Rita Phipps: There are men who say "those kind" who earn $100,000 dollars a year.
George Phipps: There are men who say "stick 'em up" who earn more. I don't expect to do either.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in George Stevens: The Filmmakers Who Knew Him (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

My Blue Heaven
(uncredited)
Music by Walter Donaldson
Played at the restaurant
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Gem of a Film
16 October 2003 | by (Cleveland, Ohio) – See all my reviews

There's no doubt about it: "Letter to Three Wives" is, to use a character quote from the script, a "Bingo!"

I agree that the screenplay, directing, acting, and general production are all excellent. What a pleasure to see how well it holds up after so many years.

Constantly engaging, a powerhouse, perfect cast offers beautifully modulated performances, and the writing is creatively brilliant.

I'd forgotten what an effective actor is Paul Douglas. Like Thelma Ritter (also in the cast) he seems like an ordinary guy from real life, not even "acting." Both he and Ritter are "naturals," in that they just seem to "live" their parts, never showing their technique.

Plaudits also go to Linda Darnell, whose scenes with Douglas are gems, as well as veterans Ann Southern, Jeanne Crain and Kirk Douglas. Their casting couldn't have been bettered.

Here's a film that seems to, like fine wine, grow increasingly better with age. It's becoming (if has not already become) a genuine classic.


29 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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