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A Letter to Three Wives (1949)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 3 February 1949 (USA)
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2:42 | Trailer
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.

Writers:

Vera Caspary (adaptation), John Klempner (Cosmopolitan Magazine novel) | 1 more credit »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jeanne Crain ... Deborah Bishop
Linda Darnell ... Lora Mae Hollingsway
Ann Sothern ... Rita Phipps
Kirk Douglas ... George Phipps
Paul Douglas ... Porter Hollingsway
Barbara Lawrence ... Babe Finney
Jeffrey Lynn ... Brad Bishop
Connie Gilchrist ... Ruby Finney
Florence Bates ... Mrs. Manleigh
Hobart Cavanaugh ... Mr. Manleigh
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Storyline

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 <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

All of them wondered while one of them wandered! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

3 February 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Letter to Five Wives See more »

Filming Locations:

Lake Mahopac, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,768
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lora drives up to the boat landing in a 1949 Lincoln convertible coupe. MSRP was $3,116 ($31,600 in 2016). At auction, in excellent condition, this car can bring in over $80,000 in 2016. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the one dinner date when she's about to exit Porter Hollinsway's car, Lora Mae thanks him but call him Mr. Hollingsworth. Also at the country club dance at the film's end, when the man returns Lora Mae to the table after a dance, he thanks both her and her spouse calling each Mr. and then Mrs. Hollingsworth. No one points out the error. See more »

Quotes

Lora Mae Hollingsway: I've got very definite ideas.
Porter Hollingsway: Like what?
Lora Mae Hollingsway: There's never been anybody in particular. Nobody special.
Porter Hollingsway: Plenty that wanted to, I'll bet.
Lora Mae Hollingsway: What do you think?
Porter Hollingsway: That you've been waiting for that one guy to come along.
Lora Mae Hollingsway: I got very definite ideas.
Porter Hollingsway: What's he got to be like, this one guy?
Lora Mae Hollingsway: Someone who wants to marry me more than anything else in the world.
Porter Hollingsway: You sure got wrong ideas about things.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Screen Director (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

Chi mi frena in tal momento?
(uncredited)
aka "Sextet"
From "Lucia di Lammermoor"
Music by Gaetano Donizetti
Played on the phonograph at Porter's house
See more »

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User Reviews

Sparkling comedy with one of the wittiest scripts ever...
14 April 2001 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

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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