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 »

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A Letter to Three Wives -- Trailer for this old comedy - drama

Overview

User Rating:
7.8/10   5,116 votes »
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Writers:
Vera Caspary (adaptation)
John Klempner (Cosmopolitan Magazine novel)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for A Letter to Three Wives on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 January 1949 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
All of them wondered while one of them wandered! See more »
Plot:
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:
Awards:
Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination See more »
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. See more (66 total) »

Cast

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

Celeste Holm ... Addie Ross (voice) (uncredited)
Stuart Holmes ... Old Man at Table (uncredited)

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

Thelma Ritter ... Sadie Dugan (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:
Runtime:
103 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
Canada:PG (video rating) | Finland:S | Sweden:15 | UK:U | USA:Unrated | USA:Approved (certificate #13227) | West Germany:12

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:
Continuity: 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:
Sadie:Look, I don't teach you about teachin'. Don't teach me about ducks.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Concerto No. 2 in B Flat Major, Op. 83See more »

FAQ

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29 out of 33 people found the following review useful.
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
Author: J Elliot Burns (elliotburns@aol.com) from Brooklyn, New York

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.

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