Movie Review – A Letter to Three Wives

A Letter to Three Wives

A Letter to Three Wives
Directed by joseph L. Mankiewicz
1949
Available on Amazon Prime

Lora May Hollingsway (Linda Darnell), Rita Phipps (Ann Sothern), and Deborah Bishop (Jeanne Crain) all board a boat to volunteer with children at a picnic. Their best friend Addie Ross has abandoned them, but not without having a messenger hand the three friends a letter saying that she ran away with one of their husbands. Each friend has her own insecurities about her marriage, and flashes back to when she might have know that Addie has seduced her husband. All three husbands had expressed fondness of Addie in the past, so each has a legitmate reason to be concerned. The cruelty of receiving the letter as they board the boat is that none of them can rush home to their husband to find out if he was the one – they must wait until the end of the day.

There is really something brilliant on the premise of the story. Not only did Addie write the mysterious letter to instill fear in each of these women, but she did it in such a way as to draw out the anxiety of not knowing. Plus, none of the three women knew who to pity, herself or her friend. If the waiting doesn’t kill them…

I enjoyed the novelty of the movie. It was also nice to see that each of the women was portrayed with strength and grace. None of them broke under the pressure, and each in their own way had a sense of independence about them – not your typical 1950’s bombshells.

IMDB gave this movie a 7.9 and I agree.

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