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A Letter to Three Wives (1949)

Unrated | | Drama, Romance | 3 February 1949 (USA)
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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Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Connie Gilchrist ...
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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

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Language:

Release Date:

3 February 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Letter to Five Wives  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film actually went into production in 1946 as "A Letter to Five Wives" from a script by Melville Baker and Dorothy Bennett. Gene Tierney, Linda Darnell, Maureen O'Hara, Dorothy McGuire and Alice Faye were all earmarked to play the wives but this version was quickly shelved until Joseph L. Mankiewicz retooled it in 1948. See more »

Goofs

When Deborah and Brad dance, she swings her back and forth. She has blurry vision of her (stationary) friends who should be swaying. See more »

Quotes

Lora Mae Hollingsway: [dressed to lead a group of children hiking] Don't expected us back too soon - we kids are going after everything from sardines to wolves.
Rita Phipps: [archly] You'll have no trouble finding wolves, honey.
See more »

Connections

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