Which Husband Ran Off With Addie Ross?: A Letter to Three Wives (1949)

I consider myself extremely lucky to be able to take with me a memenento…you see girls I’ve run off with one of your husbands.

This is one of my favorite movies. One year for Christmas my friend bought me a 20th century fox 4-DVD set. It had An Affair to Remember, Leave Her to Heaven, Peyton Place, and A Letter to Three Wives. 

Wow!

I had never seen this film before, but when I showed it to my mom she said it was a great film. I decided to watch it and feel in love with it. Its an amazingly well done film.

So it isn’t really a horror film or one you would watch around Halloween-but it is a mystery so I decided to included it. My blog, my rules.

So the film starts off with three women, all in bad places in their marriage-and at the root of everyone’s trouble’s is the beautiful, classy, perfect woman-Addie Ross.

Ugh

We have Deborah Bishop (Jeanne Crain) who is fighting with her husband Bradford “Brad” Bishop (Jeffery Lynn). He is taking a bag and might be staying overnight for “business”. Deborah is upset because Bradford’s old sweetheart, Addie Ross, still is a close friend and seems to influence him. Brad bought Deborah a dress just like one that Addie wore. She feels so insecure and pale in comparison.

Rita Phipps (Ann Sothern) is a radio writer and she and her husband have been fighting about work and money. Addie Ross, who her husband George Phipps (Kirk Douglas), admires-just sent him a record that George loves and inscribed it with “if music be the food of love play on”. He also is wearing his blue suit on his fishing day…what is happening?

Hmm…

Lora Mae Hollingsworth (Linda Darnell) and her husband, Porter Hollingsworth (Paul Douglas), have the most tumultuous relationship of all. They constantly fight, bicker, argue, call each other names, etc. Addie Ross has always been Porter’s ideal woman, the only “queen in a silver picture frame” to grace his home.

They are all supposed to be going to help at the kid’s picnic, then home to change for the first big country club dance of the season. Addie was supposed to join them, but isn’t coming after all.

When they get there they receive a telegram. As they ferry across to the picnic area they discover that Addie Ross has left town, and with one of their husbands.

Which one? Well, she’s decided to keep that her little secret.

Seriously?

The women do their best to help out, but each has a hard time keeping their mind from wondering which one it could be. Is it Brad? Is it George? Is it Porter?

Hmm…

Is it Brad?

Brad and Addie had been dating and broke up before he went to war (WWII). He has money, prestige, class, etc-just like Addie-and unlike Deborah. Deborah grew up on a farm in Iowa. When they arrive in his hometown and she gets ready to go out to the country club dance and meet his friends she is definitely out of her element. Not sophisticated, young, cheap clothes that are long out of style. She gets so nervous she drinks more than she ever has and forgets to eat, making a fool out of herself. Did Brad finally see Deborah for what she is, a farmgirl out of her depth? And has he decided to go back to the real deal, the one best suited for his position, Addie Ross?

Is it Brad?

Hmm…

Or…is it George?

George is a teacher and Rita works in radio, paying the majority of the bills. She invites her bosses over-pople who would rather listen to commercials than the radio programs that are supposed to entertain people-and everything goes wrong.

The radio people are superficial, narcissistic, and don’t care anything for Rita but what they can get out of her. They are so eager to hear their advertisements they break George’s priceless record. He gets so upset that he rips them a new one and shatters all of Rita’s hopes for him to work at the station and make more money. To make it worse, Addie always understood that side of George. She’s too classy to ever choose radio over Shakespeare and the two have always had their little inside jokes. Could he have gotten tired of Rita’s pushing, her being gone all the time working and strayed for a more literary lady-Addie Ross?

Is it George?

Hmmm….

Or…is it Porter?

Lora Mae is from the wrong side of the tracks. She was working in the Hollingsworth Department store when Porter put the moves on her. But unlike the other clerks he had worked through, she wanted the real thing. She wanted to be loved, adored, and in a silver picture frame on a piano-like how Porter reveres Addie Ross. Porter tries at first to just get “the goods”, but Lora Mae doesn’t play that way. She dumps him and quits her job. But Porter comes after her and asks her to marry him, they should be happy right? Wrong. Porter sees her as a gold digger just trying to get the payout and never expects her to care or want more than money. Lora Mae is angry at him insulting her that way and how he doesn’t really love her, but loves Addie Ross. They fight constantly…did he decided to ditch his plan B for the woman he always wanted? Addie Ross?

Is it Porter?

Hmm…

The picnic is over sooner than they they though, as each one is dreading what comes next. Which wife will return to an empty home and missing husband.

Which one, which one?

This is an amazing film that I recommend watching to everyone. I love this movie I watch it practically every month.

You have to decide which one you think is the one who runs off. The end is good, but has confused people. In fact General Douglas MacArthur was so confused by the ending that he had his aide write Joseph L. Mankiewicz, the director,  a letter asking with whom Addie had, in fact, run off.

To start Horrorfest VII from the beginning, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

For the previous post, go to Just Read Books: Three Days of the Condor (1975)

For more Jeanne Crain films, go to I Do Think You Are Confused Mrs. Bowman: Dangerous Crossing (1953)

For more Kirk Douglas, go to  Why Didn’t You Stop Me, Sam? You Know How Much I Hated Her! Why Didn’t You Stop Me?: The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)

For more film-noir, go to Is Christine the Ultimate Femme Fatale?

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Why Didn’t You Stop Me, Sam? You Know How Much I Hated Her! Why Didn’t You Stop Me?: The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)

Why didn’t you stop me, Sam? You know how much I hated her! Why didn’t you stop me?

So I love Kirk Douglas:

How can you not like this face

In fact I even wrote him a fan letter once, but have yet to hear back from him.

Oh, well

Anyways, I picked up a great book not too long ago about his life, The Films of Kirk Douglas [although it ends with The Indian Fighter (1955)]. I found the book to be interesting, well written, and hard to put down.

So the first film that Kirk Douglas was in is called The Strange Love of Martha Ivers. It sounded so interesting-film noir about a woman who destroys one man after another in her pursuit of money, power, and love.

So when I spotted it on Amazon Instant Watch, I knew I needed to watch it immediately.

However, as I started watching the film it turned out that was sadly mistaken. This film was nothing like what I thought it would be like.

I know, right?

So the film starts out with young Martha Ivers, niece to Mrs. Ivers (Judith Anderson) the richest woman in the town. Her aunt controls everything and everybody, except for one-Sam Masterson. The two were trying to run away together, just to be free, but are found out and Martha is sent back with her aunt.

Martha Ivers as a girl: You don’t own the whole world.

Mrs. Ivers: Enough to make sure you’re always brought back to me.

Mr. O’Neil, her tutor discovered where she was hiding. Mr. O’Neil is a super brownnoser, trying to get Mrs. Ivers to help his son Walter become more by blessing him with a good education. Mrs. Ivers thanks him for his help, but in no way does she care about him or his needs.

Meanwhile, upstairs Martha and Walter are talking when Sam arrives to take her with him. Everything is going well until Mrs. Ivers senses something is up, as Martha has been far too quiet, and heads upstairs. Sam sees Mrs. Ivers and runs off, Mrs. Ivers trips on Martha’s cat (which Mrs. Ivers hates), Mrs. Ivers begins to hit the cat with her cane, and Martha becomes so angry that she takes the cane, beats her aunt, and Mrs. Ivers falls down the stairs dead.

Walter saw everything, so Martha takes him into her confidence and gets him to lie with her to his father, Mr. O’Neil. She says a man came in and attacked her aunt.

Mr. O’Neil looks at the body and Martha and figures everything out about what really must have happened. But he goes along with her, using this to tie the two kids in the closest bond imaginable.

Time passes and we pick up in the present with Sam Masterson (Van Heflin) who is driving along. Since he ran away Sam has been everywhere, with all kinds of women, and done  little of everything-although he gets his money from gambling. He is surprised to find himself back in his old area, so surprised that he crashes his car and has to stay in Iverstown until it is fixed.

He discovers that Walter O’Neil (Kirk Douglas) and Martha Ivers (Barbara Stanwyck) married and that Walter did get the fancy education, making him district attorney. Sam heads off looking around the changed town and meets a young, troubled, blonde, Toni Marachek

Hmm…

For me this is where the story seriously tanks.

Ugh.

Sam falls in love with Toni after just meeting her. It is really weird as he is this tough guy who takes whatever he wants from people, you know, and then this girl gives him like 3% of her life story and he is hooked. I thought the whole interaction was dumb and not necessary. It was also extremely boring.

Eventually after a lot of blah, blah, blah

Blah, blah

It turns out Toni is an ex-con and that since she didn’t take her bus home like she was supposed to, she broke probation and was sent back to prison. Sam is so upset that he lost his “love”

YOU JUST MET HER AND KNOW NOTHING ABOUT HER!!!!!

So he goes to Walter to try and get him to spring her. Walter has become an alcoholic, his life devastated at the fact that he helped send an innocent person to prison. When Sam comes in asking for things, Walter assumes that Sam witnessed the death of Mrs. Ivers and is trying to blackmail them.

Meanwhile, Martha runs into Sam and she likes what she sees more than ever. She never got over Sam, and even though Walter loves her with every part of his being, she can’t stand him. She constantly tries to come on to Sam and rekindle their childhood interest.

Meanwhile, a jealous Walter tries to take care of Sam-using Toni to set him up and sending guys after him to rough him up a bit.

Ouch

Sam survives and comes to take revenge on Walter. The two fight, with Walter trying to shoot Sam, but Sam wrestling it out of his hands.

Martha runs off to a private rendezvous with Martha and as they are talking it is revealed that Sam never saw anything.

Martha Ivers: Why didn’t you stop me, Sam? You know how much I hated her! Why didn’t you stop me?

Sam Masterson: I wasn’t there.

Martha Ivers: Why didn’t you stop…[realizes] You, weren’t there?

Sam Masterson: No, I left as soon as I saw your aunt enter the room.

Now armed with such knowledge, Sam makes a double play. One-he starts demanding more from Walter while two-making Martha care for him again.

What jerks

It all comes to a head when Walter and Sam fight, Walter falling down stairs, drunk, and discovered by Martha. Martha tries to convince Sam to kill her husband so they can be together.

Help me! I’m confused!

Sam refuses, and then Martha tries to get Walter to kill Sam. Sam doesn’t like where everything is going.

Eventually Sam leaves, and Walter and Martha are left together in their twisted web of deceit and division. Martha tries to say something to Walter, but he shoots her.

Wow

Afterwards he turns the gun on himself.

Sam and Toni take off into his car free forever.

I thought this was horrible. I was looking for mystery, plotting, intrigue, evil woman creating downfall everywhere she went, etc. Instead we got insta-romance and boring melodrama. I would just pass this film on by, not worth your time at all. And let me say, I cannot fathom how every girl was going ga-ga over Van Heflin. He’s not that attractive or particularly charming.

And yeah, again no banner for this film. I don’t know why I picked so many bannerless films this year. Oh, well.

To start Horrorfest VI from the beginning, go to One of Our Guests is a Werewolf, I Know It.: The Beast Must Die (1974)

For the previous post, go to I Don’t Kill People Anymore: Psycho II (1983)

For more film-noir, go to It’s A Hard World: Backfire (1950)

For more Kirk Douglas, go to Make My Day

For more with Judith Anderson, go to Murder is My Favorite Crime: Laura (1944)

Make My Day

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Day 3) Bullet Your Whole Day

So I didn’t do too many interesting things today, but here we go:

  • I woke up at five in the morning and let the cat outside.

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  • After that I went back to sleep as I was tired and it was too early to get up.

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3) I ate Apple Jacks for breakfast.

Under Capricorn Dining eating

  • 4) I finished reading The Disappearance of Edwin Drood, by Peter Rowland, a retelling of Charles Dickens’s novel The Mystery of Edwin DroodThe Mystery of Edwin Drood was Dicken’s last novel and declared unsolvable as it is unfinished. In this version, Sherlock Holmes is on the case in order to find out what happened to Edwin Drood.

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  • 5) I took a shower, did my makeup, and straightened my hair: while watching Bones. 

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  • 6) After I was ready for the day I got a book ready for mailing, And then I wrote a letter to Kirk Douglas. I had previously printed a picture and was going to send it to be autographed. 🙂 Love him!

KIRK DOUGLAS -- Pictured: Actor Kirk Douglas -- Photo by: NBCU Photo Bank

KIRK DOUGLAS — Pictured: Actor Kirk Douglas — Photo by: NBCU Photo Bank

  • 7) Afterwards I went to the post office in which I had to wait in a super long line to mail my packages. They had a million people, but only two workers. Horrible!

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  • 8) After the post office I went to Staples to buy school supplies. The supplies aren’t for me, but for a backpack I was donating to children who are in need. Let me tell you, Staples advertises that they have cheap supplies, but they hide them so deeply in the store so that you have to sift through the more expensive things to find them.

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  • 9) From there I went to a thrift store to buy a cheap dress. I am doing a secret project that I cannot talk about as I am on strict orders. Sorry! But I needed something I didn’t care about to mess with.

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  • 10) After the thrift store I went to the Dollar Tree to pick up some more school supplies and some fake flowers.

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  • 11) After that I headed home to have dinner.

Eat

  • 12) After dinner I went to work. We did an art project with the kids today, painting shirts.

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  • 13) After the kids finished that we worked on a mural together all on kindness and happiness.

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  • 14) I returned home in which I spent time on twitter and facebook

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  • 15) After hanging out on the internet I then attempted to make dinosaur marshmallow filled cookies. (Which were AWESOME!)

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  • 16) I watched An Amish Murder, a Lifetime movie, but it wasn’t that good. It didn’t focus on the mystery as much as Neve Campbell’s character having left the faith and her strained relations. It was nice seeing her still as tough as she was in Scream.

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  • 17) After cookies + film, I then moved on to WordPress, in order to finish this post for you all.

Hmm

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to Musical Madness

For the previous post, go to Going on a Treasure Hunt