Soup’s on!

letter23

I have contributed an essay to this fine product. Since most commentary on Joseph L. Mankiewicz tends to focus on the witty dialogue and the performances, I’ve tried to concentrate on the visual and aural aspects of his work — he’s always praised as a master of talk, and rightly so, but there’s a tendency to underrate him as a true cinematic storyteller. Which is what he was.

You can buy the disc here —

A Letter to Three Wives (1949) [Masters of Cinema] Dual Format (DVD & Blu-ray)

The movie is a masterpiece, of course.

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7 Responses to “Soup’s on!”

  1. Cool.

    Eugene Luther Vidal Jr. (Gore to us mere mortals) considered ALTTW Monkeybitch’s best film. It’s certainly a key work of postwar suburban anomie along wit Bernstein’s “Trouble in Tahiti”

  2. Congrats!! I’ll be buying on payday!

  3. The movie certainly stands comparison with JLM’s other best films, and achives a truly imaginative vision of everyday dramas and finds the sociopolitical in the personal. Very strong on class. And it has Thelma!

  4. True. But its dark beating heart is Linda Darnell and Paul Douglas.

  5. henryholland666 Says:

    Per the IMDb trivia page for this classic, it was originally supposed to have four wives. Anne Baxter’s scenes ended up being cut, I would think they were destroyed at the time.

  6. They were never shot — Mankiewicz wrote them, the script was three hours long, and Zanuck advised him that rather than shorten every scene until it didn’t work, it was better to make one big cut. Mank realised this was sound advice — and he didn’t always credit Zanuck with the best script sense.

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