The Letter (1940) [IN PROCESS - Information may be incomplete or contain inaccuracies]

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Title: The Letter [IMDb]

Film Structure

Tag Cloud

Release date: November 23, 1940
Studio: Warner Brothers
Runtime: 95 minutes
IMDB genres: crime, drama, film-noir, mystery, romance
Award Nominations: Oscar: Best Music, Original Score
BYU holdings: https://search.lib.byu.edu/byu/record/lee.6909230

Synopsis [hide]

The wife of a rubber plantation administrator shoots a man to death and claims it was self-defense, but a letter in her own hand may prove her undoing.

Plot keywords (from IMDb): adulteress, adulterous wife, adultery, arrest, band, bar, based on novel, based on play, bead curtain, birthday, blackmail, ceiling fan, chinese, chinese ghetto, cigarette smoking, clerk, cocktail, colonialism, confession, courtroom, crime of passion, crime wave, crying, dagger, dancer, dancing, dead body, death, deception, dog, drink, drinking, dutch, electric fan, english, eurasian, evidence, extortion, extramarital affair, eyeglasses, family relationships, fan, fate, food, girls with guns, gun, gunshot, hammock, husband wife relationship, hypocrisy, imperialism, infidelity, investment, judge, jungle, jury, justice, kiss, knife, lace, lace shawl, lawyer, letter, malay peninsula, malaya, malaysia, melodrama, mirror, miscegenation, money, moon, moonlight, mortgage, murder, nurse, orchestral music score, packing, party, passion, pipe smoking, plantation, planter, prison, protection, race relations, racism, revenge, rubber, self defense, servant, shadow, shawl, shooting, singapore, stabbing, storytelling, subjective camera, suitcase, sumatra, suppression of evidence, tapping finger, tatting lace, tears, trial, unfaithfulness, vengeance, veranda, wealth, whiskey sour, widow, wind chime, rubber plantation

Cast and Crew

Bette DavisLeslie Crosbie
Herbert MarshallRobert Crosbie
James StephensonHoward Joyce
Gale SondergaardMrs. Hammond
Victor Sen YungOng Chi Seng

William Wyler: director

Hal B. Wallis: producer

Max Steiner: composer

Leo F. Forbstein: musical director

Hugo Friedhofer: orchestrator

Film Statistics

Film duration: 1:35:03
Music duration: 01:02:02
Pages in score: 194
Total themes: 32
Themes with variants: 11
Total variants: 82
Total gestures: 3
Total underscoring sections: 9
Total underscoring duration: 00:02:58
Total instances: 150


Name Uses Variants
Leslie 57 43
Mrs. Hammond 19 17
Leslie B 11 6
Robert and Leslie 8 5
Letter 7 3
Deception 5 2
Native 3 2
Sociable 3 1
Foxtrot No.3 2 0
Glass Curtains 2 0
Law Office 2 1
Lento Mysterioso 2 1
Andante Doloroso 1 0
Chinese Quarter 1 0
Chinese Shop 1 0
Creeping 1 0
Denial 1 0
Distress 1 0
Foxtrot No.1 A 1 0
Foxtrot No.1 B 1 0
Foxtrot No.1 C 1 0
Foxtrot No.2 1 0
Mr. Hammond Has Been Shot 1 0
Murder 1 0
Native 2 1 0
Plantation 1 0
Policeman 1 0
Runners 1 0
Shadow 1 0
Signature 1 0
Waiting 1 0


Film wipe