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The Letter [1940]

26 customer reviews

Price: £4.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Only 11 left in stock.
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The Letter [1940] + Mr. Skeffington [1944] + Dark Victory [1939]
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Product details

  • Actors: Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, James Stephenson, Frieda Inescort, Gale Sondergaard
  • Directors: William Wyler
  • Format: PAL, Black & White, Full Screen, Mono
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Arabic, Dutch, English, French, Italian
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000R0V48A
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,288 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

The Letter directed by William Wyler and starring Bette Davis. The wife of a rubber plantation administrator shoots a man to death and claims it was self-defense. Her poise, graciousness and stoicism impress nearly everyone who meets her. Her husband is certainly without doubt; so is the district officer; while her lawyer's doubts may be a natural skepticism. But this is Singapore and the resentful natives will have no compunction about undermining this accused murderess. A letter in her hand turns up and may prove her undoing.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By GlynLuke TOP 100 REVIEWER on 12 May 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The camera pans over the gardens of a Malayan house, as a full moon sidles behind ominous clouds, and rubber drips from the trees...until a shot rings out. Then we see Bette Davis as Leslie Crosbie, wife to plantation owner Bob (Herbert Marshall), coldly empty her gun into her lover`s body. Trust me, I`m giving nothing away.
The rest of this astonishing film concerns, outwardly at least, her trial for murder. Inwardly - well, the great Bette Davis rides another emotional wave in this 1940 drama (from a Somerset Maugham story) and proves once more what a unique and utterly compelling actress she was. An incredibly sexy one, too.
She was thirty-two when she made this, already something of a veteran, and she was lucky enough to be cast alongside a handful of superb actors, including first and foremost the now-obscure James Stephenson as the lawyer-friend who, reluctantly in the end, defends her. He`s brilliant, making one wonder why he wasn`t far better known. He gives a wholly natural performance in a film of high drama contrasted with passages of comparative quiet. You can feel the heat as verdicts are awaited, explanations delayed.
Herbert Marshall (he of the wooden leg, which one tries to forget) is at his best as the patient, slightly boring older husband, and Gale Sondergaard is effective as the Eurasian widow of the murdered man.
With Max Steiner`s overwraught, steamy music, and sensitive direction by the often pedantic William Wyler, The Letter is an irresistible brew of duplicity, sweaty stiff upper lips, smoky inner sanctums, and a neglected lovelorn woman`s crime of passion.
And Bette is, as usual, magical, utterly believable, unforgettable.
She made me give it a full five stars...
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Marilyn Pollard on 10 Mar. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
What a wonderful old movie. The passage of time has not diminished this story or acting in any way. Bette Davis was brilliant and portrayed the deceitful and scheming nature of Lesley to perfection. Good performances all round. Would recommend this to anyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. S. F. Fitzgerald on 22 Feb. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw this film years ago and always remembered it, I thought Bette Davis was wonderful in this role
I thoroughly enjoyed the story line and the settings were so atmospheric, I would recommend this
film to anyone who was a bette davis fan, and even if you were not, this is a wonderful film
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By GG on 5 July 2013
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This is a stellar actress who could augment any script or story just by being the character on a higher level: We have bought every film she ever made, but i continue to buy Bette Davis for friends: This product is great quality and a very good price.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. A. Bolger on 27 July 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The best movie opening sequence ever introduces us to this claustrophobic, brilliantly acted thriller/melodrama. Top class production and brilliant direction. NOT TO BE MISSED!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 17 May 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A classic Ms Davis movie showing just how good they made movies in the golden days of Hollywood, a thoroughly excellent movie and the dvd is in tip top condition
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By lil on 30 Jun. 2014
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A good and enjoyable DVD, and would recommend for anyone who like Bette Davis. Good acting and story. I love this dvd.
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This DVD of course features my favourite actress the late great Betty Davis now there was an actress who put everything she had into her acting, her career was long and varied later on she whent on to tackle more challenging rolls her more famous one was Whatever Happens To Baby Jane with another great actress of her time Joan Crawford.
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