89 Days of Oscar Nominees – #76 – The Letter (1940)


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In my attempt to have a more prolific repertoire of Oscar Nominated Films, I have taken it upon myself to watch 89 new Best Picture Nominees that I’ve never seen before between 1 Dec 2016 and The 89th Annual Oscars on 26 Feb 2017.

Here is my 76th review of the 89 chosen Films…


1940-the-letter“Be flippant about your own crimes if you want to, but don’t be flippant about mine! ” – Howard

Number of Times Seen – 1 (13 Feb 2017)

Brief Synopsis – A woman living in Singapore is seen shooting a man and claims that it was in self defense because he attacked her, but is it the truth?

My Take on it – I’ve never been the biggest fan of Bette Davis, but this film has changed my opinion on her work.

She does a great job as a woman who we aren’t 100% sure of her motives after she shoots a man who has attacked her claiming it was in self defense.

This film may seem like a simple whodunit, but they do a great job of touching on so many themes along the way including love, racism and even how the court system works in foreign countries.

William Wyler was an amazing director and this was one of his 12 Oscar nominations for Best Director.

Really enjoyed the way that this plot moved along which adds to the suspense of what is really going on.

Bottom Line – Davis is great here as a woman who committed murder who she claims was in self-defense. The way they explore love, racism and even the way the court system work in foreign occupied countries are all done expertly by Wyler. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The first scene that William Wyler shot was the famous opening shot in which we see Leslie shoot Geoffrey Hammond. The opening shot, which lasted two minutes on screen, took an entire day to film, and that was before even a single word of dialogue was spoken. The studio expected him to shoot at a rate of 3-4 script pages a day, but the opening shot reflected a mere paragraph on page one. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy

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Check out my *updated* movie stats here

To see my reviews of Oscar Winning Performances check out this link

To see my reviews of all Oscar Best Picture Winners click here (now complete)

Here is a link to my movie index A-Z

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One thought on “89 Days of Oscar Nominees – #76 – The Letter (1940)

  1. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Picture – Oscars 1940 |

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