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The Letter


Dir. William Wyler. 1940, 95 mins. Restored 35mm print. With Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, Gale Sondergaard. From the opening shot (and that has a double meaning) of this classic melodrama, you know you’re in good hands—those of both star Bette Davis, at her most regal and forbidding, and the great director Wyler, who never met a genre he couldn’t master. Set in Singapore, The Letter involves a rubber plantation owner’s wife who kills a man but claims it was self-defense, although an incriminating note might seal her doom.

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