Picks and Pans Review: A Letter to Three Wives

updated 12/16/1985 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/16/1985 AT 01:00 AM EST

NBC (Mon., Dec. 16, 9 p.m. ET)

A

I didn't see the 1949 movie, so for once I can't whine about why Hollywood insists on remaking classics. Instead I sat back and enjoyed this fine morsel of TV trash about three wives—Stephanie Zimbalist, Loni Anderson and Michele Lee—who get a letter from a woman who's stolen one of their husbands. But until the end, neither you nor the wives know which husband it is—Ben Gazzara, Michael (Family Ties) Gross or Charles (The Right Stuff) Frank. The script overflows with wonderful lines: "Lora Mae makes money the old-fashioned way. She marries it." And the acting has just the right balance of restraint and raunch. There's suspense, sex, humor and great clothes. And there's Ann Sothern, one of the wives in the original, who makes a rare and welcome appearance as Anderson's mom. As a remake, A Letter to Three Wives makes an ideal TV movie.

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