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A Letter to Three Wives

A Letter to Three Wives(1949)

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  • a wonderful movie

    • sharon
    • 4/7/19

    this is a movie I didn't think I would enjoy. it sounded a little too soap opera at first. but the dialogue and the characters are very well thought out. you honestly care what happens to these people. I do wish they made more movies like this for women these days.

  • Porter and Lora May lead the way

    • Jeff Boston
    • 1/9/19

    in this well-cast character study conundrum of confounded couples (sterile Brad & Deborah, virile George & Rita, and feral Porter & Lora May) that included forever frustrated Paul Douglas' first credited role and delightfully discernible Thelma Ritter's last non-credited role. The great dialogue and performances are profound, but not as profound as the electronically-altered sound emitted when each of the three wives enter wonderland, mind-bending slackeners that may have helped inspire psychedelic rock idiosyncrasies a generation later.

  • What I got don't need beads

    • foley zee
    • 1/4/19

    This is back in the day when they made a lot of women's movies.....not a bunch of cartoon/action crap that appeals to 15-year old boys. But then, back in the day, everybody went to the movies, often, so studios could make movies for and about women, there was an audience for them....movies weren't just a date night activity where the guy picked the movie.....anyhow, love this movie. Great plot, wonderful leads, and the supporting cast: Thelma Ritter and Connie Gilchrist, you can't go wrong.

  • Among The Best Semi Soapers Ever

    • JimS
    • 1/4/19

    Excellent movie. Highly recommend its viewing. Strong cast with great positives. I first saw Linda Darnell in The Mark Of Zorro (1942?) and have never forgotten her beauty. She is drop dead gorgeous. Ann Sothern appeared in many B movies but by herself lifted them into the A category. Jeanne Crane always top drawer. Kirk Douglas to my taste usually overacted, but not here, he shines under restraint. Enjoy!

  • A 5-Star Movie All 'Round

    • el debbo
    • 8/4/17

    Finest hour for Paul Douglas and Linda Darnell. Fantastic script. Brilliant acting from each player, I love to see Connie Gilchrist anytime, same goes for Thelma Ritter. No one else has commented on this, but I was entranced by the liquid synthesized voice as each wife on the day-trip begins to worry. For example, when Ann Sothern begins to smoke and we hear her thinking "Why didn't George go fishing? And why the blue suit?" a touch of genius. 5 glittering stars over the upstate Hudson River.

  • They don't make movies like this anymore...

    • Susan B.
    • 7/18/16

    I never get tired of seeing this movie.Although the Internet describes this movie as a 'comedy', I found it to be a wonderful, albeit sad, commentary on marriage in general; cheating husbands and backstabbing, catty women. Perhaps because the comedienne, Thelma Ritter was in the cast, the film is considered a 'comedy'.I suppose the scenes when the train shakes everything in Lora Mae's house were meant to be funny, but to me that was also sad. It spoke of her life in poverty and her desperation to get out - at any cost.I had a difficult time seeing Paul Douglas in a romantic role, especially opposite the beautiful Linda Darnell, but given the background of their relationship, it was a perfect match.Others in the cast: perfect. A terrific movie that can be seen repeatedly with no fear of boredom!

  • letter to 3 wives

    • kevin sellers
    • 3/28/15

    Acute examination, both of three marriages in varying degrees of dysfunctionality, as well as the different social strata of a small American city circa 1948. And because it's Joseph Mankewiecz who's the examiner it's all done wittily and intelligently. With writing of such quality you would expect the acting to be good and indeed the 6 principals all turn in effective performances, especially Ann Sothern as the most sympathetic of the six, Jeffrey Lynn as the most snobbish, and Linda Darnell, who manages to convey both a materialistic and a loving side. I do have two criticisms; one fairly minor, the other fairly major. The first one is Kirk Douglass' diatribe against the radio as a too commercial medium that, instead of hitting its intended satirical target, merely reinforces how insecure and threatened the film industry was by any new media. (Early TV was also a target of blustery attacks by Hollywood.) A much bigger problem I had with this film is that it spends too much time on the least dysfunctional marriage (Sothern/Kirk Douglas) and way too little time on the most broken (Jeanne Crain/Lynn.) Still, like this writer/director's next film, "All About Eve," I found myself wanting to watch it again after it was over. So give it an A minus. P.S. Aren't you glad they haven't re-made this movie, using smart phones?

  • it was BRAD who ran away with Addie-Here's why

    • JackL
    • 2/19/14

    When Brad's wife Deborah returns home from the picnic, the house man gives her a note, the message being that Brad won't be home that evening. When Deborah reads the message, it is read to us in the audience by narrator ADDIE--ADDIE reads the message in a snide fashion, that Brad won't be home. Later, at the club dance, when Porter says he ran away with Addie, but changed his mind, George tells Porter, "you're quite a guy". Why would George congratulate Porter saying he ran off with another woman? Also, Rita states, "She would have known in the morning, anyway" obviously stating that when Brad stayed gone, Deborah would realize it was definitely Brad, not Porter who had run away with Addie, despite Porters' confession, made so that Deborah wouldn't worry all night. Also, nobody reacts to Porter having tried to leave Laura Mae, not even Laura Mae. His confession was an obvious attempt to draw a line in the sand of the relationship between Porter and Laura Mae. Noone seems the least bit concerned that Porter's confession is true, because they know it isn't. I have always known it was Brad who ran off with Addie; if not, then why have Addie narrate Brad's message for Deborah??

  • The Perfect Movie

    • sammy
    • 2/8/14

    I consider A Letter To Three Wives a perfect movie!Great literate script, superb direction, and sublime casting.In fact I feel most actors and actresses are giving the best performance Enough said

  • Skillful Multilayered Story - Doesn't Disappoint

    • Commenter77
    • 3/5/12

    This is an interesting and thoughtful movie, very well done, with absorbing stories. I think it was tied together well. Good characters and portrayals. It's not a comedy. Life has its humor as you go along, but there's more serious business going on here, and it is handled as such.Great actors here, some in the making, such as an early Kirk Douglas role. Linda Darnell, often snubbed for talent, holds her own here. Ann Sothern out of the B movie role, doing well. Great stars throughout. Connie Gilchrist and Thelma Ritter are super treats. I don't know what shakes up that kitchen more, the local coming through or all that snappy dialog. Great character players, always effective. This is a very interesting movie that doesn't disappoint, either as it goes along or as it wraps up. The "mystery woman" Addie, the troublemaker, actually ends up being the one being jilted. Great ending.

  • A Letter to Three Wives

    • Dashiell Barnes
    • 11/6/11

    This is a funny & emotional film. Crain, Darnell & Southern all give terrific performances who each think back to a flaw in their individual marriages. The story is original & a great romantic-comedy (There were no 'Chick Flicks' in the 40's). To sum up, a great film that I look forward to seeing again. I give it a 4/5.

  • Proving Who We Are

    • Henry Hoffman
    • 8/28/11

    The device of using a letter from a wayward erotic deity greases the paratactic machinery from the get-go; it sets in motion a group of three couples, who pack, unpack, repack, their marriages throughout the narrative. It also provides a readymade context for Mankiewicz to explore the shifts in interesting, above-average middle-class people, who are attempting to prove who they are; but they have the opportunity (in Mank's world) to have an "experienced" experience: they might discover that they are not the people who they thought they were. The acting is spot-on, which is in fierce consonance w/ a liquid script, validating Mank for his Oscars. ALL ABOUT EVE brought him another set the following year, thus generating a bookend to LETTERS & a completion of a line of assonance, recommending the countrapuntal pattern of openness & the disturbance of hidden shocks within our words.Codicil: why was Linda Darnell not nominated for an Oscar? Looking over the choices that were made in the Oscar race of 1949 for Best Supporting Actress, there was room for her inclusion. Alcoholism, I suppose, slowed her down, so that she was not in the right place at the right time: such is the vision that an extremity (Best this, Best that) flashes at us,when it moves, inch by inch, until little cries are heard too late.

  • Oldie but goodie

    • Fern
    • 8/27/11

    Totally enjoyed it.

  • Letter to Three Wives

    • ajhidel
    • 8/27/11

    The dialogue between Darnell and Douglas is classic, crackling with sarcasm. The scenes of her family apartment with the subway shaking the place is priceless. The final scene is great. Love this film

  • AB FAB

    • tharold
    • 10/25/10

    Engrossing, wonderful film with witty dialogue and great performances. Best of all is Linda Darnell as Lora Mae, with Paul Douglas and Ann Sothern running close behind. Connie Gilchrist as Darnell's mother, Ma Finney, and Thelma Ritter as Sadie, are hilarious. One of the best and not to be missed!

  • A Letter to Three Wives (1949)

    • James Higgins
    • 2/2/10

    This is such a great movie with a wonderfully original premise: three women read a letter that a close friend of theirs wrote to them. She states she has run away with one of their husbands. Based on that, you never lose interest in the film because you want to know the outcome. The ending is excellent. The cast is superb, with Linda Darell doing the best, but Jeanne Crain and Ann Sothern are also terrific. A fascinating classic.

  • great chic movie

    • kristi
    • 11/9/06

    this movie has everything- suspense, comedy, drama.the acting is superb. you will not be disappointed from beginning to end.


    • margie
    • 10/20/06


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