powered by AFI
According to SAB, producer I. G. Goldsmith and Gertrude Purcell collaborated with Vera Caspary on the first draft of the film's treatment. A handwritten note on the SAB states that according to associate producer Anthony Z. Landi, Goldsmith did not want credit for the original story, and that Caspary (who was married to Goldsmith) should receive sole story credit. Purcell's contribution to the final film has not been determined. Caspary also wrote the screenplay for the 1949 Twentieth Century-Fox film A Letter to Three Wives (see entry above), whose basic story premise is similar to Three Husbands. A December 21, 1949 Hollywood Reporter news item reported that Goldsmith registered the story idea with the Screen Writers Guild on March 1, 1949 under the title Letter to Three Husbands, after discussing any possible conflict with Twentieth Century-Fox. When Twentieth Century-Fox registered the title A Letter to Three Husbands the next day, however, Goldsmith changed his title to Three Husbands.
According to information in the file on the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the Breen Office objected to the characters' casual attitude toward adultery, and to the idea that "Arthur" would be happily reunited with his wife after having engaged in an affair with "Mathilda." Goldsmith agreed to make it clear that no adulterous relationship existed between these characters, and to clean up the character "Max" by removing dialogue that conveyed his "loose sexual nature." A Hollywood Reporter news item and the Independent Film Journal review state that this was Welsh actor Emlyn Williams' first American film; although Williams had previously appeared in several American productions shot in England, Three Husbands was his first film made in the U.S.