Based upon a Somerset Maugham's story and a subsequent play, "The Letter" is the story of a woman who has murdered a man that she claims tried to rape her. Only a letter surfaces questioning her version.
Before anything else, this film is Bette Davis. She gives one of her best performances, my favourite along with Margo in "All about Eve", truly unforgettable and perfectly timed. The rest of the cast is excellent as well and William Wyler has here one of his best films - the production values are astonishing, showing how big Warner Bros was expecting the film to be: music, decors, costumes are exquisite.
The DVD shows a very good copy, restored, with incredible detail. If you seen the film you might remember Bette Davis' lace shawl - as a test, I zoomed it, and even zoomed three times it was very rich in detail (and my TV is far from be ideal for such tests) . The extras could be more (I'd love an audio commentary and a making of) but what there is good: two radio versions, the original trailer and an alternative ending, in case censorship problems would arise. The differences are subtle and mostly concern a scene towards the ending and although I enjoyed it very much, I am very glad that they kept the one in the film.
I know I am not the only one who enjoys this film. Over the summer of 2004, this film and 19 others were submit to vote and the five favourites were released on DVD. "The Letter" won by far.