A Letter to Three Wives (1949)

Not Rated   |    |  Drama, Romance


A Letter to Three Wives (1949) Poster

A letter is addressed to three wives from their "best friend" Addie Ross, announcing that she is running away with one of their husbands...but she does not say which one.

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7.8/10
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  • Kirk Douglas in A Letter to Three Wives (1949)
  • Jeanne Crain and Jeffrey Lynn in A Letter to Three Wives (1949)
  • Linda Darnell and Paul Douglas in A Letter to Three Wives (1949)
  • A Letter to Three Wives (1949)
  • Jeanne Crain and Ann Sothern in A Letter to Three Wives (1949)
  • Jeanne Crain and Jeffrey Lynn in A Letter to Three Wives (1949)

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1 September 2004 | Snow Leopard
An Interesting, Well-Written Story
Though based on a relatively simple idea, "A Letter to Three Wives" is an interesting and well-written story. The cast and the rest of the production are good as well, but it is primarily the carefully written story that makes it work. Joseph Mankiewicz's screenplay does not necessarily have flashy dialogue or lots of surprises, but rather creates well-defined and believable characters, and puts them into an unusual situation, which he then develops at a good pace.

The opening sequences pull you right into the story, introducing the characters efficiently and then setting up the predicament in which the three wives find themselves as a result of the letter from their absent friend. None of the characters are especially interesting as individuals, but all are believable, and you certainly care about what will happen to them. The cast make their characters work together quite well, and there are quite a few good moments. The unseen Addie Ross is also as much a part of the story as any of the others, and her narration is used effectively.

The story moves along smoothly, almost logically, as things are resolved in an unspectacular but satisfying fashion. It's the kind of well-crafted feature that may not dazzle many of today's viewers, but that makes good use of every opportunity.

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