The Letter (1940) was a Crime - Drama Film directed by William Wyler and produced by William Wyler, Hal B. Wallis and Robert Lord.
Another stellar performance by Davis in a Wyler film after their 1938 success with Jezebel. It's almost possible to see the cold, calculating machinery in Davis's mind as she plays the wife of a Malayan rubber-plantation owner who kills her lover and then claims that he attacked her. Her husband (Marshall) defends her until the victim's wife comes forward with a letter Davis had written to her husband - and a blackmail demand. The Maugham story had been filmed once before in 1929 (and was remade again in 1947 as The Unfaithful with Ann Sheridan, and again for TV) and Davis reportedly based her performance on the star of that silent version, Jeanne Eagels. The unfortunate Eagels was a heroin addict and a brilliant, raw actress; she died soon after her appearance in The Letter.
(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion)..
Academy Awards 1940 --- Ceremony Number 13 (source: AMPAS)
|Best Supporting Actor||James Stephenson||Nominated|
|Best Actress||Bette Davis||Nominated|
|Best Cinematography||Gaetano (Tony) Gaudio||Nominated|
|Best Director||William Wyler||Nominated|
|Best Film Editing||Warren Low||Nominated|
|Best Music - Scoring||Max Steiner||Nominated|
|Best Picture||Warner Bros.||Nominated|
On Blu-ray: Bette Davis at Her Best in William Wyler's The Letter (1940)By KC on Nov 7, 2019 From Classic Movies
I’ve always viewed the films that Bette Davis made with director William Wyler as an emotionally charged conversation between actress and filmmaker. There’s something precise about the cinema they made together, as if they are trying to achieve the perfect mix of the authentic and the dr... Read full article
The letter for Lombard I wroteBy carole_and_co on Apr 2, 2019 From Carole & Co.
As you probably know, the campaign for Carole Lombard to get a commemorative U.S. postage stamp -- an honor previously awarded numerous Hollywood legends -- is in full swing. I hope you'll join many others in sending your letter of support to the address above.Towards that end, I sent my letter toda... Read full article
The letter that launched a legendBy carole_and_co on Oct 26, 2018 From Carole & Co.
In 1912, Jane Alice Peters turned four years old and resided in Fort Wayne, Ind. That same year, Myrna Williams turned seven in Helena, Mont.Neither could have known a lengthy letter sent that year would impact their lives...or that of a one-year-old in Kansas City named Harlean Carpenter:That year,... Read full article
How Bette Davis Mesmerizes us in The LetterBy Virginie Pronovost on Mar 27, 2017 From The Wonderful World of Cinema
Bette Davis was one of the most iconic and talented actresses to ever grace the silver screen. She’s remembered for her strong personality, her impressive tact, her unique eyes and, of course, all those classics she starred in such as Jezebel, All About Eve, Now Voyager and many others. Except... Read full article
Bette's Back in The LetterBy Amanda Garrett on Sep 2, 2016 From Old Hollywood Films
Today, I'm reviewing Warner Archive's new re-release of Bette Davis' classic film noir, The Letter (1940). The good folks at Warner Archive are bringing five classic Bette Davis movies back into print. Each Friday in September, I'll have a review of one of these movies, starting today with the cla... Read full article
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Howard Joyce: Strange that a man can live with a woman for ten years and not know the first thing about her.
Robert Crosbie: I'll do whatever you think is right.
Howard Joyce: I don't think it's right, but I think it's expedient. Juries can sometimes be very stupid, and it's just as well not to worry them with more evidence than they can conveniently deal with.
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The original Broadway production of "The Letter" by W. Somerset Maugham opened at the Morosco Theater on September 26, 1927 and ran for 104 performances.
"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie onApril 21, 1941 with Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall and James Stephenson reprising their film roles.
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