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

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7.8/10   5,045 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 doesn't say which one. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Sharp Satire 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)
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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


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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:
The identity of the actress Celeste Holm who did the voice-over for Addie Ross was kept secret when the film was released. The studio held a number of "Who is Addie?" contests around the country where moviegoers could guess the actress' name.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:
Lora Mae Hollingsway:All right, so I'm gonna disgrace the fair name of Finney. Wait till it snows and throw me out in the street.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Chi mi frena in tal momento?See more »

FAQ

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22 out of 25 people found the following review useful.
Sharp Satire, 1 April 2005
Author: gftbiloxi (gftbiloxi@yahoo.com) from Biloxi, Mississippi

Jeanne Crain was a very pretty girl, Ann Sothern was chiefly noted for her comic turns, and Linda Darnell was a memorable beauty--but although all three appeared in popular films none were particularly celebrated for their acting talents until Joseph L. Mankiewicz tapped them for the roles of three society wives in this poison pen letter to both sexes. Wickedly witty in script, and remarkably acid in tone, A LETTER TO THREE WIVES would put every one involved in the film firmly on the Hollywood map.

Three society wives (Crain, Sothern, and Darnell) are committed to hosting a children's picnic on an isolated island--and as the ferry prepares to depart they receive a letter from town femme fatale Addie Ross (never seen but memorably voiced by Celeste Holm.) Addie informs them that she is leaving town forever... but has decided to take one of their husbands along as a memento. And each of the three wives, cut off from the outside world for the day, is left to wonder: when I go home tonight, will my husband still be there? During the day each of the wives recalls scenes from her marriage. Deborah (Craine) arrived in town as a pretty but very awkward farm girl fresh out of the navy and with a wardrobe consisting of a single and very ugly mail-order dress; she has never felt entirely secure. Rita (Sothern) is married to a schoolteacher, and has committed the unpardonable sin of becoming the writer of a popular radio show that brings her more money than her husband will ever earn. And Lora Mae (Darnell) was a beauty born on the wrong side of the tracks who connived her way into a wealthy marriage and now specializes in bickering with her gruff and boorish husband. And always they have been victim to Addie--a woman who "has class," who stings them with competition and evil wit, and who has their husbands eating out of her hand.

Although the construction is artificial, the script is wickedly knowing, painting a truly subversive vision of American marriage and mores of the late 1940s. Of the three leads, Ann Sothern dominates with her spirited "Rita"--but Darnell has the best of the script, a series of manipulations and drop-dead quips and ripostes, and Crain is perfectly cast as the insecure beauty who is as out of place as a dove at a gathering of eagles. The supporting cast, which includes Kirk Douglas, Thelma Ritter, and Connie Gilchrist is remarkably fine as well. And before all is said and done, small town society gets raked over coals.

If A LETTER TO THREE WIVES has a flaw, it is the same flaw that would trouble Mankiewicz's later and even more celebrated ALL ABOUT EVE: the point of view that a woman is ultimately nothing without a man, an idea that tends to limit the scope of the film and at times even belittle its characters. Some viewers may also be disappointed with the film's conclusion, which--although extremely ironic--lacks the sharp bite you might expect. Even so, this is a truly memorable and often very funny film, and one that deserves to be seen more often today than it usually is.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer

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