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Three Husbands (March 8, 1951)

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Eve Arden in Three Husbands

Released on March 8, 1951: A man in heaven watches over his three buddies to see their reaction to a note that he left for each of them claiming to have had an affair with each of their wives.

Directed by Irving Reis

The Actors: Eve Arden (Lucille McCabe), Ruth Warrick (Jane Evans), Vanessa Brown (Mary Whittaker), Howard Da Silva (Dan McCabe), Shepperd Strudwick (Arthur Evans), Robert Karnes (Kenneth Whittaker), Emlyn Williams (Maxwell Bard), Billie Burke (Mrs. Jenny Bard Whittaker), Louise Erickson (Matilda Clegg), Jonathan Hale (Edward Wurdeman, attorney), Jane Darwell (Mrs. Wurdeman), Ralph Brooks (movie house patron), Frank Cady (elevator operator), Philip Carey (Officer McCarthy), Jack Chefe (movie house patron), John Dierkes (night court judge), Richard Flato (waiter), Benson Fong (George, butler), Gay Gayle (French girl in movie), Alvin Hammer (Tout, seedy little man), Tom Hanlon (race track announcer), Jerry Hausner (Joe, bartender), Jill Kraft (Miss Reynolds, receptionist), Maurice Marsac (Frenchman), Marta Mitrovich (Mary, secretary), Ralph Peters (first policeman), Stanley Prager (Sharpy, tout), William Simpson (Barry), Dorothy Vaughan (maid), Dorothea Wolbert (cleaning woman).

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Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn, drizzle the warm melted butter over it, grab a beverage of choice, and settle down for a drama about husbands and wives. Perfect marriages? No, far from it. Lasting marriages? Good marriages? Happy marriages? Something like your marriage? Maybe . . .

So this smooth-talking British fellow has three best friends that he plays poker with, and he seems to have as much fun with these three fellows' wifes as he does with them. He does all of the things with them that their husbands don't want to do. He goes to the symphony every Thursday with one wife, and entertains the three wives as well as the three husbands. But they are all good friends, just friends. Until the day when he dies and goes to Heaven. In Heaven, like every new arrival, he is given one wish, and his wish is to watch his three buddies for the next 24 hours. Why? Because he left each of them a personal note. And each note was exactly the same. He informed each of the three buddies that he had been having an affair with their wives. Now the three guys don't know that each of them got the same note, they only think that the dead man was having an affair with their wife. The rest of the movie is a bitter-sweet peek at the lives of three couples and the way they handle each other and their marriage. That's all you need to know about this one, you'll get hooked very quickly and be totally involved in each of the lives of these three couples, and I'm betting you won't guess the ending.

Two sayings come to mind, one of them is purportedly from an old African-American mama, who says, "When it's hot, we want it cold. When it's cold, we want it hot. We always want what we ain't got!"

The other saying I should have heard from my dad, but didn't. Decent folks just didn't talk about these things with their children in my day. Ha, I am certainly glad that those days have passed. The advice is that a man shouldn't go out looking for gingham when he has silk at home. And finally (yeah, I know that I only promised two sayings . . . . I lied), a line from ditzy movie-mom Billie Burke, to her son after his wife storms out of the house. "You're not alone, son. You still have your Mother." - Ha . . . isn't that just what every man wants to hear when his wife walks out on him? NOT!