Fascinating, Tantalizing and DANGEROUS!
After a woman shoots a man to death, a damning letter she wrote raises suspicions.
After a woman shoots a man to death, a damning letter she wrote raises suspicions.
Bette Davis Herbert Marshall James Stephenson Frieda Inescort Gale Sondergaard Bruce Lester Elizabeth Inglis Cecil Kellaway Victor Sen Yung Doris Lloyd Willie Fung Tetsu Komai Zita Baca Brooks Benedict David Bruce Roland Got Holmes Herbert Charles Irwin Pete G. Katchenaro Crauford Kent Al Lloyd Leonard Mudie David Newell Thomas Pogue John Ridgely Douglas Walton Leo White Otto Yamaoka
A Carta, La lettre, De Brief
"he tried to make love to me and i shot him"
bitch me too the fuck
With one of the best opening scenes I’d seen in old Hollywood, Bette Davis shoots a man in cold blood, this film starts off on a high, and sort of drags on from there. It has a few fun moments, and it’s interesting to see things unfold but it doesn’t have the pacing or the Bette Davis performance I was hoping for.
Davis isn’t given quite as much as I’d like to see her given in this. She has very little agency, and she’s the most fun when she’s steering the film. Unlike Now Voyager, Dark Victory, or her other vehicles from this time, this movie centers a surprising amount around the men around her.
If you’re a Bette Davis fan it’s still worth watching! I was just hoping for slightly more given the premise.
this movie is setting a precedent and if bette davis doesn’t kill a man in the first five minutes of every other movie she’s in then i’m going to be severely disappointed!
”He tried to make love to me and I shot him”
With a killer opening that kicks this drama off with a bang, Bette Davis, in her fifth Oscar nominated role, shoots a man repeatedly on the front steps of her home. As she recounts the events to her husband and their lawyer it’s obviously a case of self defense that’ll require legal proceedings, but shouldn’t be an issue… at least until the revelation of a letter changes everything.
William Wyler directs the hell out this picture to make what is essentially a very dialogue heavy play come to life, and it works, as the film earned a total of 7 Oscar nominations including Best Director and Best Picture.
”I don’t want you to tell me anything,
except what is needed to save your neck”
Like the predatory eagles that chatter in Malaya's jungle canopies, the characters in here take every opportunity they can. A murder unfolds in this movie's opening, a woman claiming self-defense against a man to protect her honor.
But it's not so easy as that; a letter is found which casts her honor into doubt and suddenly everyone wants a piece of the pie. The dead man's widow demands recompense and loathes our lead for being his mistress; her attorney's assistant is involved and gets a cut of the sale so he proffers the letter to them to make a quick buck; and even our protagonists must deceive others in order to get that letter as otherwise a death sentence is…
i love any movie where bette davis kills a man
Strange that a man can live with a woman for ten years and not know the first thing about her.
The film starts off with Bette Davis shooting a man that stumbles out of her house and before you get a chance to even wonder about Davis defending herself, she shoots him again... and again... and again until her gun runs out of bullets and even pulls the trigger a few more times just to make sure. Don't get on Bette Davis' bad side.
As Leslie Crosbie, Davis looked like a complete badass gunning down a man with no remorse, but moments later when she's explaining the events of the night her character suddenly has the demeanor of…
A tour de force from Davis as the colonial wife on trial for shooting the man she claims made advances at her. Her cold, layered performance shifts with the facts and only really exhibits genuine passion while she is killing someone.
Herbert Marshall as her husband, tied down by propriety, duty and love is excellent but it is of course Davis' film; one that was listed in the earliest definitions of noir and one that does really take the woman's picture somewhere else entirely so that it embodies the spirit of noir even if it has none of the cliched trappings.
Wyler shoots the hell out of it, the opening is justly famous but again and again he creates perfect…
I can't imagine anyone else bringing a complicated character much like Leslie Crosbie to the screen that same way Bette Davis did: you're never sure whether or not she's telling the truth, but you still can't help but find her sympathetic in that same sense. Simplistic, perhaps, but given the sort of subject matter that William Wyler delves into, you'd be amazed that a movie like The Letter was made in 1940.
Bette Davis can murder me whenever she wants.
Solid entry to arguably the best sub-genre: the cross between a woman's picture and a noir. Plus this is probably my favorite Bette Davis performance I've seen. Often she really grates me, or seems too showy. Here she was excellent.
Bette Davis is the ultimate femme fatale.
My favorite classic actress does an amazing melodramatic performance as Leslie Crosbie, a calculating killer with an almost perfect murder, but there's a letter that puts her in a questionable position that can ruin everything.
The mystery was great, I'm a fan of the film noir. The black and white makes the tension even bigger. However, I felt the ending of The Letter weak and a little bit rushed.
Shockingly dull, especially after the opening scene. It never even comes close to the same level of intrigue. The set up is completely wasted by the rest of the story.
William Wyler é absolutamente genial: como eu costumo dizer, ele é o Almodóvar da velha Hollywood! (risos) Esse filme é mais uma prova alucinante: a fotografia é esplêndida, o melodrama é abundante. O modo como a Lua é filmada é fulminante, erótico. Bette Davis está minuciosamente pérfida: a ambivalência de seu caráter fica evidente desde a primeira aparição, mas acreditamos nela, caímos em suas armadilhas. Fiquei com pena do advogado, tadinho: desgraçou a vida! Mas como recriminá-lo? A trama deslinda-se de maneira lenta, com muitas bifurcações imorais, até que redunde num desfecho inexorável: tão belo quanto doloroso. "Até mesmo a agonia causava-me prazer". Quantos exageros, ideais para quem é apaixonado! Adorei: já quero ver novamente! (WPC>)
This movie rules.
Bette Davis on the veranda with a gun in her hand is just incredible cinema
Watching Bette killing a man with my mom made this day so delightful!! Happy Mother’s Day 🥰
This film as my entry into (the) Bette Davis' filmography was the perfect choice. Her onscreen presence is just so undeniably electric that you can't look away when she's there (especially when the shot is focused on her staring right into her co-actor's soul). The opening sequences is quite similar to that of Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard (save for the narration), and I love these films equally as both are so effective in hooking the viewer and keeping the same momentum up until the very last scene.
wyler's delicate restraint can sap the more static, talky scenes, but is surprisingly well suited to sordid melodrama and a traditionally scenery-chewing actress. the repressive approach mirrors crosbie's knitting to control the storm inside her, as well as more broadly diagnosing colonial hypocrisy. even by noir standards it's built around a subtle, breathless interplay of light and shadow, and three patient, fatalistic set pieces floating trancelike down from the former into the latter.
How well William Wyler + Bette Davis worked together isn’t talked about enough.
13th Academy Awards (1941)
Best Outstanding Production
Best Actress - Bette Davis
Best Supporting Actor - James Stephenson
Best Cinematography, black and white
Best Film Editing
Best Original Score
If this included the original ending of the play, it would be perfect. It’s certainly one of Bette Davis’ finest performances.
Merci à Bette Davis et William Wyler d'avoir inventé le cinéma et ainsi sauver ma journée gâchée par le FC Barcelone
Davis' histrionics serve her excellently in Wyler's eponymous remake of THE LETTER. From the opening shot she's already wildly gesticulating, struggling to make sense of her movements as she comprehends the gravity of her situation. These tics slowly yet noticeably grow in prominence and frequency until the film's climax-- much like a pot of water that has been left to boil too long, Davis falls victim to a seething and violent outpouring of festered emotion.
Wyler tailored his Leslie Crosbie exactly to fit the idiosyncratic profile of his three-time leading lady, and his efforts pay off splendidly. Bette embodies the role to a hilt in a spellbinding performance. She wavers between impetuous vehemence and alarming nonchalance, providing a subtle yet…
Love old movies.
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