A Letter to Three Wives (1949)


letter“You got it mixed up with Christmas. New Year’s Eve is when people go back to killing each other.” – Sadie

Number of Times Seen – 1 (27 Oct 2013)

Brief Synopsis – 3 women receive a letter from a friend of theirs stating that she has run off with one of their husbands.  They each spend the day trying to figure out (through flashbacks) if it is their husband who has left.

My Take on it –  in my quest to understand how All the Kings Men (1949) won best picture, I decided to watch this movie.

I was surprised at how good it was and perhaps even more surprised that I had never heard of it beforehand.

I had heard that Joseph Mankiewicz was a great writer, but his writing here just blew me out of the water.  He truly knew how to take a very serious subject matter (infidelity) and found a way to make the story interesting, poignant, funny and above all entertaining.

The writing here makes this story so good.

Mankiewicz won best Director and Best Screenplay for this movie and I suppose the only reason it didn’t get best picture was because of the subject matter; which was possibly considered too risque a topic to discuss in public during that time period.

This movie is mostly told in flashbacks, but they each helps us to sympathize with each woman and to understand why each husband possibly would be the culprit.

This movie isn’t perfect, but it’s most definitely better than All the KIngs Men (1949) and Twelve O’clock High (1949).

Bottom Line – Excellent writing by Mankiewicz. Both funny and dramatic script done well.  Recommended.

Rating – Globe Worthy

7 thoughts on “A Letter to Three Wives (1949)

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