Wednesday, July 22, 2015

1940 - THE LETTER, classic 40's Hollywood at it's best.

Bette Davis is the British wife of a planter played by the great Herbert Marshall.  The film opens will Davis emptying a revolver into a man she claims was trying to rape her.  As the plot proceeds Davis's lawyer realizes that the dead man was actually her lover who had planned to break it off with her.

This is classic Hollywood film studio stuff.  The director was William Wyler.  The writer Howard Koch adapted the Somerset Maugham play based on a real incident.  But towering over everyone is Warner Brother's diva star Bette Davis who expertly inhabits her leading role.

Apparently the strong willed Davis, who could be a terror on a set when she wanted to be worked well with the equally tough minded Wyler, a professional who always insisted on doing it his way. These two personalities made three good pictures together. 

Finally, you have to give a lot of credit to the studio technicians who made it happen, The Letter was filmed completely in the studio, the film's technical aspects are at a very high level.

95 minutes.

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