A Letter to Three Wives (1949, Joseph Mankiewicz)

Three wives go off on a boat trip to somewhere, it’s not important, knowing that one of their husbands has run off with local temptress Addie Ross (who is cleverly not shown). Many flashbacks ensue.

Military farmgirl Jeanne Crain (Leave Her to Heaven) is married to Brad, and even though she’s kinda the movie’s lead, neither of them has much going on. Ann Sothern (The Blue Gardenia) is a radio writer whose husband Kirk Douglas (between Out of the Past and Ace in the Hole) tells off her insufferable bosses when they come for dinner. Oh, and she forgets Kirk’s birthday and she works too much. Linda Darnell (Unfaithfully Yours, also a movie about imagined cheating) is a hot gold digger from a poor family who landed dumpy, rich shop owner Paul Douglas (Clash By Night). He’s the husband who ran off with the unseen Addie, though he comes back, and all three wives get happy endings, though oddly we don’t see Jeannie’s.

Also: the great Thelma Ritter plays a family friend of Linda’s. Based on A Letter to Five Wives – two wives got cut. Remade in 1985 with Ben Gazzara as the shop owner.

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