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The 13th Letter (1951)

6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 166 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 6 critic

Respectable citizens receive anonymous letters revealing their adulterous relationships.

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(screen play), (story)
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Title: The 13th Letter (1951)

The 13th Letter (1951) on IMDb 6.5/10

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Denise Turner
...
Dr. Paul Laurent
...
Dr. Pearson
Constance Smith ...
Cora Laurent
Françoise Rosay ...
Mrs. Gauthier
Judith Evelyn ...
Sister Marie Corbin
Guy Sorel ...
Robert Helier
June Hedin ...
Rochelle Turner
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Storyline

Respectable citizens receive anonymous letters revealing their adulterous relationships.

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Taglines:

A strange kind of KILLER is loose in this Town!

Genres:

Film-Noir

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 February 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Poison Pen  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Connections

Remake of Le Corbeau: The Raven (1943) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Offbeat Premise
10 December 2011 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

A series of poison pen letters roils a small Canadian town.

Boyer and Darnell get top billing, but Rennie gets the screen time and uses it to memorable effect. His aloof Dr. Pearson is a fascinating portrait in guarded emotions. There's one scene where his steely reserve is topped. Catch the old lady, mother of the dead lad, as she brandishes a nasty looking razor while Pearson looks on, hoping it's not meant for him. It's deliciously played.

The movie's a good noirish mystery, benefiting from the Quebec locations, especially during the impressive funeral scene. This was during TCF's neo-realist period when actual locations were widely used. Then too, the French setting lends a kind of exotic air that boosts the unusual poison pen premise.

At first Darnell's role looks like one of her sexually aggressive type-casts, but then the screenplay does an effective job at winning our sympathy. At the same time, I'm impressed with the strikingly pretty Constance Smith holding up so well during director Preminger's extended hospital scene. There's not much info about her or her brief career. Too bad, she certainly had the chops—literally and figuratively—for a starring career. Took me awhile to identify Boyer as the aging doctor and a long way from his usual dashing leading man (sans toupee). After reading his bio, I expect he enjoyed this departure.

Anyway, the solution is rather complex and something of a stretch, for me at least. Nonetheless, the cast and the production carry it off, making for a very watchable 90- minutes.


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