The Letter

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Six years after exploding to stardom in Of Human Bondage, Bette Davis equaled that excitement with another W. Somerset Maugham role as an adulteress using her sexual wiles to escape a murder conviction in The Letter. Nominated for seven Oscars including... read more
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Six years after exploding to stardom in Of Human Bondage, Bette Davis equaled that excitement with another W. Somerset Maugham role as an adulteress using her sexual wiles to escape a murder conviction in The Letter. Nominated for seven Oscars including "Best Picture," "Best Actress," "Best Director" and "Best Supporting Actor" (James Stephenson, superb as the anguished defense attorney), The Letter remains one of Hollywood's most special deliveries, a peerless example of melodrama as movie art. Directed by Oscar winner William Wyler (Ben-Hur), Davis stars in this suspenseful jungle thriller as a woman who claims to have killed in self-defense, until a blackmailer turns up with incriminating evidence. Co-starring Herbert Marshall (Duel in the Sun) and Oscar winner Gale Sondergaard (Anthony Adverse). 

Original Release

11/23/1940

Links

Cast

Bette Davis Leslie Crosbie
Herbert Marshall Robert Crosbie
Gale Sondergaard Mrs. Hammond
Frieda Inescort Dorothy Joyce
James Stephenson Howard Joyce
Bruce Lester John Withers
Elizabeth Inglis Adele Ainsworth (as Elizabeth Earl)
Cecil Kellaway Prescott--Well Wisher at Party
Victor Sen Yung Ong Chi Seng (as Sen Yung)
Doris Lloyd Mrs. Cooper
(see additional cast & crew)

Directors

William Wyler

Writers

W. Somerset Maugham, Howard Koch

Cast

Bette Davis Leslie Crosbie
Herbert Marshall Robert Crosbie
Gale Sondergaard Mrs. Hammond
Frieda Inescort Dorothy Joyce
James Stephenson Howard Joyce
Bruce Lester John Withers
Elizabeth Inglis Adele Ainsworth (as Elizabeth Earl)
Cecil Kellaway Prescott--Well Wisher at Party
Victor Sen Yung Ong Chi Seng (as Sen Yung)
Doris Lloyd Mrs. Cooper
Willie Fung Chung Hi
Tetsu Komai Head Boy
Zita Baca Undetermined Role
Brooks Benedict Party Guest
David Bruce Undetermined Role
Roland Got Undetermined Role
Holmes Herbert Robert's Friend at Bar at Party
Charles Irwin Bob's Friend
Pete G. Katchenaro Undetermined Role
Crauford Kent Robert's Friend at Bar

Producers

Hal B. Wallis Executive Producer
William Wyler Producer
Robert Lord Producer
Hal B. Wallis Producer

Editors

George Amy, Warren Low

1941 Oscar Best Picture Nominated
1941 Oscar Best Actress in a Leading Role Nominated
1941 Oscar Best Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated
1941 Oscar Best Director Nominated
1941 Oscar Best Cinematography, Black-and-White Nominated
1941 Oscar Best Film Editing Nominated
1941 Oscar Best Music, Original Score Nominated
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