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A Letter to Three Wives (1949)



A Letter to Three Wives

(1949)

Drama / Romance

103 minutes

Directed by Joseph Mankiewicz 

Cast:

Jeanne Crain as Deborah Bishop
Linda Darnell as Lora Mae Hollingsway
Ann Sothern as Rita Phipps
Kirk Douglas as George Phipps
Paul Douglas as Porter Hollingsway
Barbara Lawrence as Georgiana 'Babe' Finney
Jeffrey Lynn as Bradford 'Brad' Bishop
Connie Gilchrist as Mrs. Ruby Finney
Florence Bates as Mrs. Manleigh
Hobart Cavanaugh as Mr. Manleigh
Celeste Holm as Addie Ross – voice only

A Letter to Three Wives is a 1949 drama released by 20th Century Fox and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, adapted from the novel Letter to Five Wives by John Klempner.

A Letter to Three Wives is basically the story of three imperfect marriages; Deborah and Brad Bishop, Lora Mae and Porter Hollingsway, and Rita and George Phipps.

Deborah was raised on a farm and met her husband, Brad, when they were in the armed services.  When they marry and return to Brad’s home town, their marriage is strained by Deborah’s lack of confidence at being able to fit in with Brad’s high society friends.

Lora Mae has known poverty and she sets her sights on Porter Hollingsway, the wealthy owner of a chain of stores.  Their marriage is stressed by Porter’s belief that Lora could only have married him for his money and prestige.

Rita is a successful career woman who makes more money than her schoolteacher husband, George, and that causes problems in their marriage.

The three women are going to spend the day taking underprivileged children on a boat ride and picnic , and that morning each of their husbands have in some way changed their routine.  As the boat is about to leave shore a messenger arrives with a letter for each of the women.

The letter is a message written to them by Addie Ross, a beautiful woman and the town flirt.  In the letter Addie writes that she is running away with one of the women’s husbands …. but the letter doesn’t reveal which one and the three wives must spend the day in suspense … each suspecting that it is her own marriage that is ending.


The character of Addie Ross is only seen once in the movie, and that is a scene shot from behind her.  Celeste Holm was the voice of Addie Ross, but that fact was not revealed when the film was first released and there were contests to see who could identify who Addie Ross was.

A Letter to Three Wives won Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Writing, Screenplay and was nominated for Best Picture.

The Screen Guild Theater broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on November 3, 1949 with Linda Darnell and Paul Douglas reprising their film roles.



Directors: Joseph Mankiewicz
Actors: Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell, Kirk Douglas, Paul Douglas, Connie Gilchrist, Celeste Holm, Ann Sothern
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Matinee Classics - A Letter to Three Wives starring Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell, Ann Sothern, Kirk Douglas and Paul Douglas
Matinee Classics - A Letter to Three Wives starring Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell, Ann Sothern, Kirk Douglas, Paul Douglas, Barbara Lawrence and Jeffrey Lynn
Matinee Classics - A Letter to Three Wives starring Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell, Ann Sothern, Kirk Douglas, Paul Douglas, Barbara Lawrence and Jeffrey Lynn
Matinee Classics - A Letter to Three Wives starring Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell, Ann Sothern, Kirk Douglas, Paul Douglas, Barbara Lawrence and Jeffrey Lynn
Matinee Classics - A Letter to Three Wives starring Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell, Ann Sothern, Kirk Douglas, Paul Douglas, Barbara Lawrence and Jeffrey Lynn
Matinee Classics - A Letter to Three Wives starring Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell, Ann Sothern, Kirk Douglas, Paul Douglas, Barbara Lawrence and Jeffrey Lynn
Matinee Classics - A Letter to Three Wives starring Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell, Ann Sothern, Kirk Douglas, Paul Douglas, Barbara Lawrence and Jeffrey Lynn
Matinee Classics - A Letter to Three Wives starring Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell, Ann Sothern, Kirk Douglas, Paul Douglas, Barbara Lawrence and Jeffrey Lynn
Matinee Classics - A Letter to Three Wives starring Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell, Ann Sothern, Kirk Douglas, Paul Douglas, Barbara Lawrence and Jeffrey Lynn
Matinee Classics - A Letter to Three Wives starring Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell, Ann Sothern, Kirk Douglas, Paul Douglas, Barbara Lawrence and Jeffrey Lynn


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