Watch It

Enter your location to get local movie times + tickets:
On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: Now

A Letter to Three Wives Details


Three wives, played by Jeanne Crain, Ann Sothern and Linda Darnell, are about to embark on a boat trip when each receives a letter, written by a mutual friend named Addie, informing her that Addie is about to run off with one of their husbands. In flashback, each wife wonders if it is her marriage that is in jeopardy. Deborah (Crain) recounts her fish-out-of-water relationship with her up-and-coming hubby (Jeffrey Lynn); businesswoman Rita (Sothern) asks herself if she's been too rough on her professorial spouse (Kirk Douglas); and Lora May (Darnell), a girl from (literally) the wrong side of the tracks, questions the security of her marriage to a brash business executive (Paul Douglas). The voice of Addie, who is never seen, is provided by Celeste Holm. Thelma Ritter shows up in a hilarious unbilled bit as a slatternly domestic, while an equally uncredited Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer makes a quick entrance and exit as a bellhop. Written with perception and not a little witty condescension by director Joseph L. Mankiewicz, A Letter to Three Wives won two Oscars ,both for Mankiewicz. Based on a novel by John Klempner, the property was remade for television in 1985, with Ann Sothern back again in a supporting part. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:January 20, 1949


Awarded by
Directors Guild of America Joseph L. Mankiewicz Best Director 1948 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Joseph L. Mankiewicz Best Director 1949 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Joseph L. Mankiewicz Best Screenplay 1949 Winner


Jeanne Crain
as Deborah Bishop
Linda Darnell
as Lora May Hollingsway
Ann Sothern
as Rita Phipps
Kirk Douglas
as George Phipps
Paul Douglas
as Porter Hollingsway
Barbara Lawrence
as Babe
Jeffrey Lynn
as Brad Bishop
Connie Gilchrist
as Mrs. Finney
Florence Bates
as Mrs. Manleigh
Hobart Cavanaugh
as Mr. Manleigh
Ruth Vivian
as Miss Hawkins
Thelma Ritter
as Sadie
Stuart Holmes
as Old Man
Ralph Brooks
as Character
James Adamson
as Butler
Joe Bautista
as Thomasino
John Davidson
as Waiter
Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer
as Messenger
Sam Finn
as Waiter
Celeste Holm
as Addie Ross


Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Sol C. Siegel
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Vera Caspary
Adaptation by
Vera Caspary
Arthur C. Miller
Alfred Newman
Musical Direction/Supervision
Alfred Newman
Composer (Music Score)
Lyle Wheeler
Art Director
Walter Scott
Set Designer
Kay Nelson
Costume Designer
Roger Heman
Sound/Sound Designer
Fred Sersen
Special Effects