A Letter to Three Wives

1949, Drama, 1h 43m

18 Reviews 2,500+ Ratings

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A Letter to Three Wives Photos

Movie Info

Deborah Bishop, Lora Mae Hollingsway and Rita Phipps are three friends who all receive letters from another friend, Addie Ross, telling them that she is about to leave town with one of their husbands. Deborah, Lora Mae and Rita have to find out which of their spouses, Brad, Porter and George respectively, have been unfaithful.

Cast & Crew

Jeanne Crain
Deborah Bishop
Linda Darnell
Lora Mae Hollingsway
Ann Sothern
Rita Phipps
Kirk Douglas
George Phipps
Paul Douglas
Porter Hollingsway
Barbara Lawrence
Georgiana `'Babe'` Finney
Jeffrey Lynn
Bradford `'Brad'` Bishop
Connie Gilchrist
Mrs. Ruby Finney
Florence Bates
Mrs. Manleigh
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Critic Reviews for A Letter to Three Wives

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (1)

  • Despite its emotional intensity, the film is comic, effervescently so, and its magical ending lends wit a metaphysical dimension.

    October 6, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Mankiewicz's writing is bright and hard -- he's sharpening his teeth for All About Eve, made the next year -- but his acid wit is almost too much for his fragile characters to bear.

    January 1, 2000 | Full Review…
  • Movies this mature, this powerful, this moving, are incredibly rare.

    August 13, 2020 | Rating: 10/10 | Full Review…
  • A brilliantly handled exercise in building understanding of three highly strung characters and the men in their lives.

    July 6, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • A sophisticated and witty slice of life drama.

    March 29, 2015 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
  • There's a lot more focus on the development of the women while the men in their lives are really just window dressing. It's this angle that makes the film most intriguing.

    December 6, 2013 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Despite its emotional intensity, the film is comic, effervescently so, and its magical ending lends wit a metaphysical dimension.

    October 6, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Mankiewicz's writing is bright and hard -- he's sharpening his teeth for All About Eve, made the next year -- but his acid wit is almost too much for his fragile characters to bear.

    January 1, 2000 | Full Review…
  • Movies this mature, this powerful, this moving, are incredibly rare.

    August 13, 2020 | Rating: 10/10 | Full Review…
  • A brilliantly handled exercise in building understanding of three highly strung characters and the men in their lives.

    July 6, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • A sophisticated and witty slice of life drama.

    March 29, 2015 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
  • There's a lot more focus on the development of the women while the men in their lives are really just window dressing. It's this angle that makes the film most intriguing.

    December 6, 2013 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for A Letter to Three Wives

  • Nov 21, 2013
    A very entertaining film. Each marriage involves a different relationship with different men. How does an accusation of potential adultery get treated in each circumstance? Will the infamous Addie end up with any of the men?
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 05, 2010
    This movie is both dramatic and suspenseful, while telling four different stories, and I liked the ending too. This is a good movie.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • Jan 17, 2009
    My favorite Linda Darnell film. It's hard to stand out in a cast that includes such greats as Kirk Douglas, Ann Sothern and Jeanne Crain but she still manages to shine.
    Randy T Super Reviewer
  • Jan 14, 2009
    I'd forgotten what a great movie this is! Celeste Holm narrates as Addie Ross, the unseen but effortlessly superior friend of three women (Jeanne Crain, Ann Sothern and Linda Darnell), one of whose husbands Addie claims, in a mischievous letter, to have run off with. But whose husband does she mean?!?! Each adores Addie, and each seems to be acting strangely... Moving to flashback, one for each wife in turn, we see the women quietly upstaged in their domestic bliss by their infuriatingly perfect girlfriend. Linda Darnell stands out from the excellent cast, probably because she gets most of the best lines, but Ann Sothern is just as good. It's nice to see Kirk Douglas taking his place in the ensemble for a change, instead of selfishly chewing the scenery; even when he does explode, in a rant against radio advertising, he does so with relative restraint and his performance is the better for it. Thelma Ritter plays that same part she always plays. As you would expect with Mankiewicz, there's some wonderfully sophisticated dialogue. Celeste Holm's sweetly malicious voiceover, though brief, must qualify as one of cinema's greatest.
    Stephen M Super Reviewer

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