The Letter

1940

Crime / Drama / Film-Noir / Mystery / Romance

151
IMDb Rating 7.6 10 10,511

Synopsis


Downloaded 8,585 times
October 15, 2019

Director

Cast

Bette Davis as Leslie Crosbie
Gale Sondergaard as Mrs. Hammond
Herbert Marshall as Robert Crosbie
Victor Sen Yung as Ong Chi Seng
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
827.83 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
95 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.47 GB
1920×1080
English
NR
23.976 fps
95 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by garrard 10 / 10 / 10

Chalk up another winner for the great Bette Davis

In a career that spanned almost six decades, it would be hard pressed to cite one definitive Davis performance. There are so many, and with the number of Davis fans worldwide, it would be redundant to list them here. However, Davis's performance as adulterer/"devoted" wife "Leslie Crosbie" has to rank as one of her finest. Davis does more in the short span of ninety-five minutes (the film's running time) than an actor of lesser skill could do in an entire career. Her "Leslie" is delicate, yet demanding, appealing yet repulsive, and submissive yet authoritative. The character dominates every inch of the screen and the actress makes full use of those trademark "eyes" of which Kim Carnes sang. The supporting cast is equally as brilliant, with Herbert Marshall outstanding as her loving (but dim-witted) husband, James Stephenson, suave and determined, as Davis's lawyer, Victor Sen Yung (later to achieve fame as "Hop Sing" on TV's "Bonanza"), and Gale Sondergaard, magnificent in the speechless yet captivating role of "Mrs. Hammond." And praise of this film is not complete without mention of its score. Max Steiner contributed one of film's greatest musical accompaniments. So powerful is this work that Laurence Rosenthal adapted themes in his score to the television version, starring the late Lee Remick.

Reviewed by RaiderJack 9 / 10 / 10

Exquisite!!!!

From the opening sequence where we see Bette emptying her gun on this poor unsuspecting soul, you become riveted watching one of Ms. Davis' all-time flawless performances. In a nutshell, this tells the story of what happens when first we practice to deceive. Bette claims she was attacked by a friend she has seen only casually until she was forced to "defend" herself against his unwanted advances. Initially, it looks like a slam dunk but when the case is taken to trial, more and more, Bette's lies get the best of her. Not a sympathetic character for the most part. There is one chilling scene where she, totally exasperated with having to remember so many lies, makes a confession to her husband. It is a fascinating scene for while you recoil at her seemingly selfish attitude, there is this underlying, reluctant admiration you feel for this woman's brutal honesty. Excellent supporting cast all around, most notably, Herbert Marshall as the poor unsuspecting (it appears many men fall under this category when dealing with the Divine Ms. Davis!)husband whose main goal is to support his wife. Now whether she deserves this loyalty is another ugly story. Excellent mystery with certainly enough twists and turns to keep you totally engrossed in a very good story. *Just watched it again last night (10/8/2006) - I'm tellin' ya guys - after 900 viewings, the movie still rocks!!!!

Reviewed by FlickJunkie-2 9 / 10 / 10

Bette Davis and William Wyler, a winning combination

In `The Letter' William Wyler takes a predictable plot and turns it into a brilliant film with the help of one of the grande dames of film. For hell hath no fury like Bette Davis with a revolver in her hand. The film opens with Leslie Crosby (Bette Davis) emptying her revolver into a man on her front porch, shooting him twice after he hits the ground. She tells the police she was defending herself against his sexual assault. She seems to be headed for an easy acquittal until (surprise) an incriminating letter surfaces that suggests that she summoned the victim to her house with the clear intention of murdering him. Can the evidence be suppressed? Will she be acquitted? Was she really in love with the victim? The answers to these questions are obvious to all but the most naïve viewer. Yet, despite the transparency of the plot, this film works for two reasons: Bette Davis and William Wyler. Bette Davis is arguably among the best actresses of all time. She was originally signed by Universal Studios, who dropped her because she didn't have the looks to be a movie star. Still, Warner Brothers decided to take a chance on her in 1932, signing her to a seven-year contract that would produce two Oscars. She was nominated for best actress eleven times, winning twice (`Dangerous', 1936 and `Jezebel' 1939). She was nominated five straight years from 1939 to 1943. This performance was in the middle of that run. It is classic Bette Davis, utterly in command of every scene. Her portrayal of Leslie is superb, a duplicitous and cunning woman who could manipulate any man to do her bidding. It took another woman to humble her. This is Davis in her prime and it is awesome to see her at work. She could make a dog food commercial exciting to watch. What Davis was to acting William Wyler was to directing. (The two shared more than a professional relationship, and it was widely rumored at that time that they were romantically involved.) Wyler was nominated for best director twelve times winning three (`Mrs. Miniver', 1942; `The Best Years of Our Lives', 1943; `Ben Hur', 1960). Like Davis, he was also nominated for this film. Wyler's camerawork here is fantastic. In black and white films, lighting is critical, because the director doesn't have the luxury of relying on color to dramatize the images. Aided by veteran cinematographer Tony Gaudio, Wyler's use of lighting and shadows in this film is brilliant. It could serve as a primer for dramatic black and white cinematography. Gaudio was also nominated for an Oscar for this film, one of his six nominations in a forty-year career. This film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including best picture, but it was shut out. Despite a predictable story, I rated it a 9/10 on the strength of the acting, directing and cinematography. It is an excellent opportunity to see Bette Davis during her glory years in one of her many outstanding performances.

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