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A Letter to Three Wives (1949)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 3 February 1949 (USA)
Trailer
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 »
Reviews
Popularity
877 ( 9,997)
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
Learn more

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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Partly filmed in Cold Spring, NY. See more »

Goofs

(at around 5 mins) Positions of George and Deborah when talking at the car at the beginning of the film. See more »

Quotes

Sadie: You oughtn't to run around like that. You'll get consumption.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Moe Letter Blues (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Concerto No. 2 in B Flat Major, Op. 83
(uncredited)
Music by Johannes Brahms
Played at the Phipps dinner party
See more »

User Reviews

 
An American town verging on the 1950s
11 March 2006 | by warrenk-2See all my reviews

"A Letter to Three Wives" was released in early 1949 as America was heading toward the conformist suburban culture of the 1950s. "Three Wives" takes place just before that turning point and, perhaps for this reason, has an innocence about it since the film has no knowledge of what will follow or where the culture was going. For me, this innocence is infused with a feeling of tenderness for a post-World War II America that might have gone in a different direction had it made other choices.

No tract houses or strip malls are here yet. It still has its "plain" Main Street. The town is close enough to New York City to commute, but still maintains its integrity as a town, and one small enough to give someone the opportunity of 'leaving town'. Television is briefly mentioned in relationship to the money that can be made from advertising on it, although the town's one TV set sits idle because the town is too far away to receive a signal. Ann Sothern's Rita is earning her substantial income writing for radio, not television as she most likely will do within a year or two.

Of the three couples, I have a soft spot for Lora Mae and Porter. I've wondered a number of times how their lives progressed after the film ended. Were they able to build a more stable relationship from what they learned about themselves after the incident with Addie, or did their marriage fall apart from other issues they were unable to resolve? In spite of the games they played, they seemed to have something real going on. I've always liked them and wished them well.


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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
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