IMDb > A Letter to Three Wives (1949)
A Letter to Three Wives
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A Letter to Three Wives (1949) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 10 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
A Letter to Three Wives -- Three country club wives in a small town get a letter from a local friend graciously inform them she is eloping with the husband of one of them. Told in flashbacks.
A Letter to Three Wives -- Trailer for this old comedy - drama


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7.9/10   5,895 votes »
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Vera Caspary (adaptation)
John Klempner (Cosmopolitan Magazine novel)
View company contact information for A Letter to Three Wives on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 January 1949 (USA) See more »
All of them wondered while one of them wandered! See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
A film that is both humorous and thoughtful, a delight. See more (67 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jeanne Crain ... Deborah Bishop

Linda Darnell ... Lora Mae Hollingsway

Ann Sothern ... Rita Phipps

Kirk Douglas ... George Phipps

Paul Douglas ... Porter Hollingsway
Barbara Lawrence ... Georgiana 'Babe' Finney
Jeffrey Lynn ... Bradford 'Brad' Bishop
Connie Gilchrist ... Mrs. Ruby Finney
Florence Bates ... Mrs. Manleigh
Hobart Cavanaugh ... Mr. Manleigh
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
James Adamson ... Porter's Butler (uncredited)
Joe Bautista ... Thomasino (uncredited)
Patti Brady ... Kathleen (uncredited)
Ralph Brooks ... Bookie Dancer at Country Club (uncredited)
John Davidson ... John, First Waiter (uncredited)
Sayre Dearing ... Country Club Member (uncredited)

Franklyn Farnum ... Country Club Member (uncredited)
Sam Finn ... Second Waiter (uncredited)

Celeste Holm ... Addie Ross (voice) (uncredited)
Stuart Holmes ... Old Man at Table (uncredited)
Wilbur Mack ... Country Club Member (uncredited)

Mae Marsh ... Miss Jenkins (uncredited)
George Offerman Jr. ... Nicholas 'Nick' Butler (uncredited)

Thelma Ritter ... Sadie Dugan (uncredited)
Cosmo Sardo ... Headwaiter at Country Club (uncredited)

Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer ... Leo, Second Messenger (uncredited)
Charles Tannen ... Radio Announcer for 'Confessions of Brenda' (voice) (uncredited)
John Venn ... First Messenger (uncredited)
Ruth Vivian ... Miss Hawkins (uncredited)

Directed by
Joseph L. Mankiewicz 
Writing credits
Vera Caspary (adaptation)

John Klempner (Cosmopolitan Magazine novel)

Joseph L. Mankiewicz (screenplay)

Produced by
Sol C. Siegel .... producer
Original Music by
Alfred Newman 
Cinematography by
Arthur C. Miller  (as Arthur Miller)
Film Editing by
J. Watson Webb Jr. 
Art Direction by
J. Russell Spencer 
Lyle R. Wheeler  (as Lyle Wheeler)
Set Decoration by
Thomas Little 
Walter M. Scott 
Costume Design by
Kay Nelson 
Makeup Department
Ben Nye .... makeup artist
Thomas Tuttle .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
F.E. 'Johnny' Johnston .... production manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Gaston Glass .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Roger Heman Sr. .... sound (as Roger Heman)
Arthur von Kirbach .... sound (as Arthur L. Kirbach)
Visual Effects by
Fred Sersen .... special photographic effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Logan Brown .... grip (uncredited)
Paul Lockwood .... camera operator (uncredited)
Jerry Milligan .... still photographer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Charles Le Maire .... wardrobe director
Sam Benson .... wardrobe supervisor (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Lyman Hallowell .... apprentice editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Edward B. Powell .... orchestral arranger (as Edward Powell)
Other crew
Weslie Jones .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
103 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Argentina:13 | Canada:PG (video rating) | Finland:S | Sweden:15 | UK:U | USA:Unrated | USA:Approved (certificate #13227) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

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 »
Continuity: 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 »
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 »
Movie Connections:
Honey (I'm in Love With You)See more »


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18 out of 23 people found the following review useful.
A film that is both humorous and thoughtful, a delight., 9 March 2004
Author: jbian7 from Rochester, NY

A Letter to Three Wives has a stellar cast with Ann Southern, Jeanne Craine, Linda Darnell, Paul Douglas, and Kirk Douglas. Any one of those actors would assure the viewer of a terrific performance. All of them together creates one of the first ensemble casts that are so popular today as in ER or Friends. Ann Southern is great as she plays off of Kirk Douglas and Thelma Ritter. Just looking at Linda Darnell makes watching the movie worthwhile. She was one of the most beautiful women who ever acted in a motion picture. Paul Douglas plays his usual rough and tumble character with a heart of gold. The premise is that a group of friends has one female who has the attention of all the men, and all the stares of the women. One day when the three wives are working on a volunteer project with some children when they receive a special delivery letter from the target of their stares. In the letter the woman states that she is moving away and will never return, and she is taking one of their husbands with her. The women then think about how easily it could be each one of their husbands. It's a great way to spend a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon, and boy will it surprise your wife when you watch it with her. She won't know what to think.

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Spoiler: If ****** ran off with Addie... joedonato234
feel bad vs. feel badly sergie-3
*SPOILERS* Did Addie Run-Off With Porter and THEN Brad? justaudrey
Addie Leighere
Smoking and Cancer Terry Weldon
First One Here? csu16387
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