A Letter to Three Wives (1949)
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as Deborah Bishop
as Rita Phipps
as Lora Mae Hollingsway
as George Phipps
as Porter Hollingsway
as Brad Bishop
as Mrs. Finney
as Mrs. Manleigh
as Mr. Manleigh
as Miss Hawkins
as Old Man
as Addie Ross
Critic Reviews for A Letter to Three Wives
Despite its emotional intensity, the film is comic, effervescently so, and its magical ending lends wit a metaphysical dimension.
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.
A brilliantly handled exercise in building understanding of three highly strung characters and the men in their lives.
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.
Audience Reviews for A Letter to Three Wives
This movie is both dramatic and suspenseful, while telling four different stories, and I liked the ending too. This is a good movie.
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.
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.
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