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The Letter [1940]

Bette Davis , Herbert Marshall , William Wyler    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
Price: 4.98 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

The Letter [1940] + Mr. Skeffington [1944] + Dark Victory [1939]
Price For All Three: 14.42

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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: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000R0V48A
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,380 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as it gets 10 Mar 2010
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 14 July 2014
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Letter 30 Jun 2014
By lil
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic 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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5.0 out of 5 stars Under a Malayan moon 12 May 2014
By GlynLuke TOP 500 REVIEWER
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant film noir from Wyler 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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5.0 out of 5 stars bette davis is the top 5 July 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful film with Bette Davis The Letter 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Singapore revenge
The film starts with Bette Davis (Leslie) shooting David Newell (Mr Hammond) on the porch of her luxury house in Singapore. Not just one bullet but six. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Alex da Silva
5.0 out of 5 stars Is this the best Actress Ever or What
I just love Bette Davis and this film is her in all of her superbness. Great acting and, well, what more can I say..... just buy it!
Published 6 months ago by I Love Amazon
3.0 out of 5 stars The Letter
Quite good but I have enjoyed Bette Davies in better films. However nice enough to view on a night in due to bad weather when one would not wish to venture out!
Published 6 months ago by misswirral
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic
I have read and loved the book for many many years and the movie does give credit to w. somerset maugham
Published 10 months ago by patricia croston
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't use afternoon matinee for your purchases
Although I have watched the movie and I enjoyed it somewhat, it's not one of my favourite Bette Davis movies, my order arrived loose in it's case, which can damage discs. Read more
Published 14 months ago by dutch
3.0 out of 5 stars Is the Moon always full as seen from Singapore?!)
As with any work of art, repeated acquaintance with the product should confirm its status. I cannot in all honesty say that "The Letter" stands up to this test for me. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Wilberfalse
5.0 out of 5 stars davis at her best
i was looking everywhere for this film i remember seeing it when i was younger so glad i found it on here.....
Published 15 months ago by heaven sent
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