IMDb > A Letter to Three Wives (1949)
A Letter to Three Wives
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

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

Photos (See all 11 | 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

Overview

User Rating:
7.9/10   5,665 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
No change in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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:
Seen from many perspectives See more (67 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 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:
Runtime:
103 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Canada:PG (video rating) | Finland:S | Sweden:15 | UK:U | USA:Unrated | USA:Approved (certificate #13227) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

Trivia:
This film was based on John Klempner's novel, "A Letter to Five Wives." Two wives were lost in the transition to the screen.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When the train first goes by Finney's house, a can bounces around and eventually falls over on a shelf. After Lora Mae walks into the room, the can is standing upright.See more »
Quotes:
Porter Hollingsway:It's a man's world. Yeah! See something you want, go after it and get it! That's nature. It's why we're made strong and women weak. Strong conquer and provide for the weak. That's what a man's for! Teach our kids that, there'd be more men!See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
AgainSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
29 out of 32 people found the following review useful.
Seen from many perspectives, 14 May 2005
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

Usually films are only told from the view of one perspective as a flat narrative. It takes some real writing skills to do a screenplay and then photograph same from many angles.

Joseph L. Mankiewicz who was very involved with Citizen Kane took a page from that book to tell the story of A Letter to Three Wives. Addie Ross who is never seen has written a letter to three of her girlfriends saying she's leaving town and taking one of their husbands with her. The women, Linda Darnell, Ann Sothern, and Jeanne Crain are on a Day Line type cruise chaperoning some of their town kids. They all think they could be the unlucky jilted one and they start reflecting back on their lives and marriages.

We learn a lot about all of them in those flashbacks and like the way we learned about the complex Charles Foster Kane in Citizen Kane, we also learn about Addie Ross. Celeste Holm is the voice of Addie Ross and she probably deserves an Oscar for best performance by an unseen player.

Linda Darnell is a girl from the wrong side of the tracks who marries wealthy department store chain owner Paul Douglas. Jeanne Crain is the sensitive girl who met and married upper crust Jeffrey Lynn who she met while they were both in the Navy. And Ann Sothern is a career minded woman married to teacher Kirk Douglas. The strengths and weaknesses of the relationships are carefully examined in each flashback.

I thought Ann Sothern and Kirk Douglas had the best chemistry between them, too bad they didn't work together again. Her flashback consists of a memorable dinner party with a couple of philistine radio executives played delightfully by Florence Bates and Hobart Cavanaugh. Douglas despises the way his wife cheapens her talent by writing tripe for these two and tells them in no uncertain terms.

Addie Ross's portrait is painted by all the comments made about her in each story. She's obviously a glamorous and chic woman, but who has the heart of a mackerel.

Three years later Kirk Douglas got one of his Oscar nominations in The Bad and the Beautiful. In that one he's the Addie Ross character, but he's very much seen. But their are undeniable similarities in A Letter To Three Wives to that film as well.

Joe Mankiewicz got an Oscar for Best Director in 1949 and he really earned it helming a deceptively complex story.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (67 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for A Letter to Three Wives (1949)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
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
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
The Painted Veil Love in the Time of Cholera The Women Aimee & Jaguar I Vitelloni
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Drama section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.