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William A. Seiter
When a man asks another man more facile with words to do his wooing for him, there are always complications. The man with no talent for writing marries the girl, confesses one night he didn't write the letters and ends up with a knife in his back. The writer of the letters fell in love with the woman he wrote to and wants to become her second husband even if she did murder husband number one. Singleton doesn't remember the murder or anything about the first 22 years of her life as Victoria Remington. Then at her second wedding she wonders why she said "I take you, Roger," instead of "I take you, Allen." Written by
Dale O'Connor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »
Dilly Carson relates to Allan Quinnton that she found Singleton sitting by the fireplace with a bloody knife and a letter from which Dilly quotes the signature line, "I think of you my dearest as the distance promise of beauty". But during the climactic flashback, we see the letter with that very line burning in the fireplace. See more »
I think very few people are happy. They wait all their lives for something to happen to them - something great and wonderful. They don't know what it is but they wait for it. Sometimes it never happens. What they want is the kind of spirit I found in those letters. A spirit that makes life beautiful. I love that man. I loved him more than my own life. I still love him. So you see, I couldn't have loved Roger Moreland, the man I killed.
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sweet film with screenplay by no less than Ayn Rand
"Love Letters" is a 1945 film starring Joseph Cotten and Jennifer Jones. It's a mystery/romance that also is a spin on "Cyrano de Bergerac." As a favor to a buddy, British soldier Allen Quinten writes letters to his friend Roger's girlfriend Victoria while they are serving together, though Allen's conscience begins to bother him. He has also fallen in love with Victoria, and he believes that Victoria has fallen in love with a "man who doesn't exist." Once discharged and back in the London area, he learns that Roger married Victoria and later was killed. As it turns out, Roger was murdered by Victoria, who served a year in prison for manslaughter. Allen blames himself, feeling that the murder happened because Victoria was disillusioned when she realized she married a man who was not the person she fell in love with. When by coincidence he meets Victoria, she has amnesia. Once he finds out who she is, it's too late - they're in love, and he wants to marry her.
This is a really lovely film, based on a novel and adapted for the screen by Ayn Rand. Though it may not seem a likely subject for Rand, her personal philosophy is in play. "Cyrano de Bergerac" was one of her favorite stories, and she believed, as she shows in "Atlas Shrugged," that any deception in love can only lead to disaster.
There's not much mystery to the story - you know what happened from the very beginning - but the romance is good, as is the acting. Gladys Cooper plays Victoria's aunt, who suffered a stroke after the murder. She's very good. Cotten and Jones make a great team as always, Cotten strong, sensitive, pensive and handsome, and Jones stunningly beautiful and fragile with that dreamy quality that made her so good in the later "Portrait of Jennie." "Portrait of Jennie" is more interesting and a better film overall, but both benefit from an ethereal performance by Jones and nice chemistry with Cotten.
The song "Love Letters" comes from this film. It is played throughout and adds to the lovely British country atmosphere. Highly recommended.
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