The only son of wealthy widow Violet Venable dies while on vacation with his cousin Catherine. What the girl saw was so horrible that she went insane; now Mrs. Venable wants Catherine lobotomized to cover up the truth.
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Because aging boxer Bill Thompson always lost his past fights, his corrupt manager, without telling Thompson, takes bribes from a betting gangster, to ensure Thompson's pre-arranged dive-loss in the next match.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Won the Directors Guild of America (DGA) Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures in 1949. The 1949 awards was the Guild's first ceremony. The DGA used a non-calendar year honoring films released in both 1948 and early 1949, unlike the Academy Awards. Both the 1949 and 1950 DGA winners, A Letter to Three Wives (1949) and All the King's Men (1949) respectively, competed for the 1950 Academy Award for Best Director, which was awarded to Joseph L. Mankiewicz for A Letter to Three Wives, the 1949 DGA winner. This explains why the heavily favored Robert Rossen did not win for directing All the King's Men at the Oscars, however the film was awarded Best Picture. See more »
(at around 1h 40 mins) The wire used to tip over the glass is visible. See more »
"Good night, Mother dear, and don't wait up." If a daughter of mine ever really talked like that I'd cut her tongue out!
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Sparkling comedy with one of the wittiest scripts ever...
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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