"a letter to three wives" is a dialogue-driven psychological drama by joseph l. mankiewicz who contributes to the legendary bette davis classic "all about eve"....an estrogenic piece which is highly empathetic with female audience.
the story whirls around a striking socialite named addie ross who writes a note to her three best friends in the town that she's gonna elope with one of their husbands....and that leads to the flashbacks of these three women's private jealous animosity and weakening apprehensions that their spouses all seem to have a deep crush on addie....so exactly whose husband becomes the prey of addie's feminine magnetism?
to anchor the mystic charm of addie ross who is also the narrator, she remains abscent through the whole flick, and audience picture her poises of grace thru the three women's bitter reactions just as hitchcock's rebecca never reveals herself...now we witness the typical gender interactions of three housholds. jeanne crain's being self-abased by her rural upbringing, and her fear of being lacklustered by addie ross....ann sothern's mercenery irreconcilbility with her idealistic husband kirk douglas since she's much less thoughtful and refined by taste than the witty addie ross...then the sultry linda darnell with an awareness of her slum-bred background, aspiring to marry her wealthy boss by playing titilating "hard-to-get", still assured as darnell, she's being emulated by the addie ross with class her husband values.
most women share a sort of envious intimidation from their so called "the beautiful friend" whom they criticize behind or gossip about with sour sarcasm when it comes to any female's living experiences, especially your significant the other keeps praising upon that fair confidante of yours, then a sense of vulnerability strikes since you're too infatuated with the man but too stubborn to admit.
linda darnell's tale is most riveting with her lofty glamour as the ragged woman with pride, and thelma ritter plays the wise-cracking maid with an acid tongue. ritter, along with younger fresher kirk douglas, is the scene-stealer who has the "it" to grapple a smirk from the audience.
"a letter to three wives" is mankiewicz's another success examplification that dialogues and sheer performances make the feature work.