With the intention of patching up the dissolved marriage of a pair of their friends, three couples assemble for a party at the apartment of Douglas and Sally Lambert. The estranged couple, Michael and Lois Graves, arrive separately—with no hint that the real purpose of the party is to get them to reconcile. When it becomes apparent what their friends' motive is, they decide to leave. But at their friends' pleading they stay—not only to discuss their own problems, but to expose the skeletons in the other couples' closets as well. Gradually, tensions and antagonisms begin to erupt. One by one, the "dear friends" lash out at each other until the facade of affection and kindliness is stripped away. What is left is brash reality: to probe into the lives of others is to risk the disquieting examination of one's own failures.
Now available in the author's own stage adaptation, this probing, absorbing study of marital turbulence was a television milestone in its special, full-length production on the CBS Playhouse. Concerned with well-meaning friends who try to reunite an estranged couple, the play blends irony, humor and moments of high drama as it reveals in turn the secret ills which beset the marriages of the "dear friends" who would set another's house in order.