The Love Letter (TV Movie 1998) Poster

(1998 TV Movie)

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10/10
A fascinating romance.
wetok129 January 2001
I first saw The Love Letter on Hallmark Hall Of Fame in 1998. I found it to be the most fascinating love story I had ever seen. As much as I was impressed, I gave it little thought until recently when I ran across a copy of it at the library. I took it home and lost count of the number of times I played it. Each time, I found something new and experienced a different emotion. Maybe because of this story, I've become very interested in the Civil War and spend much time doing research on the subject. I had to get the video and I have.

Back to the story...Jennifer Jason Leigh and Campbell Scott are both great actors. They make you believe that they are the characters they portray. With them, you run the gamut of Scott's and Lizzie's emotions, the strongest being their love for each other. This romantic fantasy is one I would recommend to anyone who has the ability to remove themselves from this world and retreat to the fantasies of this story. They will never forget it. Watch it when there is no distractions.
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Wonderful, charming. For all of us romantics!
nz man12 May 2001
My wife and I were very tired, after a long day of work and coming home from dancing. We decided to have a quick look at the TV movie I taped, to see if it was worth keeping. What a surprise: it kept us awake late at night, in spite of our tiredness. A lovely movie!

There are a few annoying flaws. The music at the beginning was out-of-date and I don't know how the director let a few shoddy scenes slip by, but they were probably on a tight budget. These are mainly due a script that, while generally good, was too stilted in parts. However, considering this is a made4TV movie, it is exceptionally good.

So get your loved one, cuddle up, and have let some warmth into your hearts with this little gem.
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9/10
Time-Travel Fantasy...No Space Ship Needed ! One of the Best !!
jonnieking21 September 2004
"The Love Letter" was written by Jack Finney. If you are familiar with his classic time-travel novel "Time And Again", you will definitely love this TV version of his short-story "The Love Letter".

The leads are very competent. Campbell Scott, for those who don't know, is the son of the late George C. Scott...one of America's Greatest Actor's. Campbell has come into his own, and does very well. Jennifer Jason Leigh and Daphne Ashbrook are perfect as the female time-travel counterparts.

Remember: this IS a fantasy. But a beautifully constructed one at that. If you've ever wanted to reach back into the past for a long-lost love, this story will surely tug at your heart strings. And the ending is "just right" and very touching in its own way...there may not be a dry eye in the room when it's over with. And that's okay.

PS: Jack Finney also wrote one of the greatest Sci-Fi Thrillers of all-time: "The Invasion of the Body Snatchers". In addition, if you like "The Love Letter" and want more of the same, treat yourself to the above-mentioned "Time And Again" ! Time-Travel, Romance, Mystery, Fantasy...all wrapped-up in the full-blown novel that has become a true Cult Classic.
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9/10
An Exceptionally Well Made TV Movie
dataphasia23 August 2004
I came across this title in the IMDb as I have so many others -- by accident. The concept intrigued me, so I browsed Amazon.com and was lucky enough to find a relatively inexpensive used copy.

I must admit, to begin, that I was a bit biased, in that I am a time-travel fanatic at heart. So, when a movie is themed as such, I am a sucker for it from the beginning. Though the actual traveling in this movie is mostly by way of a seemingly "magic" desk and an unusually efficient U.S. Mail service (Wouldn't that be nice?), it nevertheless fell within my realm of my fascination.

I won't recap the story, as the IMDb does a good job of that already. My only comments are of the quality of the movie. I was pleased with the movie overall. Myself being a 29 year old male, anyone who sees this movie will plainly tell you that I was not the demographic that they were aiming for. It is a love story and I found myself very drawn into it, even with it's implausible premise -- but, we must remember that this movie IS a "fantasy" and it should be viewed with that in mind. Those who are looking for a good sci-fi flick should look elsewhere, because science does into enter into the picture here. It is a human story about two people who are separated from each other by time. It is well acted, beautifully filmed and well worth a look if you can pick it up at your local library, video store or online somewhere.

I give it 9 out of 10. My only critiques would be Scotty's coma 'dreams' which left me scratching my head a bit and the ending -- but I won't spoil it for you. Watch, enjoy and you be the judge.
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9/10
My favorite chick-flick!
daniel-shoop11 April 2004
This is is a real tear-jerker, the type of show I thought I was immune to. Turns out I was more weepy than my wife throughout the whole movie. What a great story and the actors were superb. I found myself to be in love with Elizabeth Whitcomb and despising David Duke's (RIP)character. I truly felt sorry for Scott's fiance, however, and could empathize completely with her conclusion that Scott was perhaps a little bit nuts.

I rated this show a 9 (out of 10), downgrading only because the railroad train used was common around 1915, not 1863. Why couldn't they have used a 4-4-0 American locomotive and light weight wooden coaches typical of the Civil War era? Other than that minor glitch, the movie was exceptionally well done and will occupy a prominent place in my movie collection.
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It's a wonderful, wonderful movie
NPilbeam27 June 2002
I love romance movies. I'll spend boring weekends just popping them in the VCR. I love time travel romances and after watching SOMEWHERE IN TIME for the 10th time spent an entire weekend debating where "the watch" originated with my husband and friends. I happened to catch THE LOVE LETTER on cable one rainy afternoon and by the end of the movie I had gone through an entire box of Kleenex. The "romance" between Scotty and Lizzie was so touching. I did think that the poems Lizzie wrote were pretty sappy but we're talking about the 19th century here. Whenever you watch a time travel movie or read that type of book, you really have to learn to suspend disbelief, but the way this movie was handled it seemed so possible. That they could actually feel each others presence across time was so beautifully handled. The music was hauntingly beautiful as well. My only quibble with the whole story was if the time portal worked from the past to the present, why couldn't it work from the present to the past. I felt so sad that Lizzie had to live all those years without Scotty. All in all it's a great movie. I would, and have, recommended it to anyone who loves romance.
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10/10
a personal review...
cingee2 January 1999
"The Love Letter" is a deeply touching, wonderful film. I love the story, first and foremost. It has been well written, and it is very believable, in the way that it is presented...in a fantasy type way. The director gets the most out of his actors, and in such a way that keeps you glued to the television. Miss Leigh and Mr. Campbell are Elizabeth and Scott...across time, in the present, in the past, wherever they are!

I think that the thing that I like most about this film is the Civil War time period, that Scotty's letters travel back to, and the fact that he and Elizabeth are so believable in their actions and reactions. The settings are beautiful, the costumes divine! I have seen this 8 times, and I never tire of it!
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10/10
The Love Letter
Riamert14 July 2005
I saw this movie on Hallmark with my daughter and until this day, it is our most favorite romantic movie. We saw him at least 3 or 4 times.It is about a man and a woman who are living in different centuries. The scene I like best is when they both go up the stairs and they feel on another, strange but so romantic. And when she goes to him when he is at war and she found him very much hurt, I needed a tissue. I can't wait to buy him on DVD. But in Belgium he is not yet available. Can someone tell me when he would be released in Belgium? I be the first the buy this movie. I like to read about the American History and The Civil War is one of my favorite theme's. Both actors: Campbell Scott and Jennifer Jason Leigh are very good in the movie. They really touched my heart. I hope I can see this movie again soon. I really hope they release him soon in my country.Many greetings Ria Mertens
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Top-notch Time Travel / Romantic Fantasy
nicholas.rhodes31 August 2003
Unknown in Europe, this movie was recommended by someone from the States and I certainly wasn't disappointed once I'd received the DVD and watched it! On a par with "Somewhere in Time" and similar in some respects to "A Message from Charity" which was one of the "New Twilight Zone" episodes, this film is beautifully made and a real pleasure to watch over and over again. In fact nowadays, many of these so-called "TV Movies" are actually better than those made for the cinema !!

Plots in time-travel movies cannot of course be logical but this film had a very reasonable and believable plot ( bar, of course the way the letters were supposed to travel in time ) but when you watch films of this nature, there is no point in worrying about details of that kind.

The sets and picture quality were magnificent and I found the ending totally satisfactory although I would have perhaps wished the movie to continue on so that we see romance developing between Campbell Scott and the lady in the cemetery. I had already seen Campbell Scott in a film called 'Dying Young ' and do like this actor very much. This film was just suited to me as I don't really like time-travel movies with tons of special effects as they dont really appear believable ! So I hope people will make more movies like this because at present it is true that they are rather thin on the ground. And we do need doses of romantic fantasy to whisk us out and above of the dreariness of modern life !!
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10/10
Amazing stuff.
tonybaird28 July 2002
I rarely leave comments about movies on the IMDB, but after reading the comments from the Norway guy, I just had to respond; (Of course everyone is entitled to their opinion) But I feel this is a beautiful film, well acted and by far better than the short story by Jack Finney on which it is based. You need only to read 90% of the other comments to decide for yourself if this is worth seeing, but I have recommended it to many people and they all loved it....guys as well as girls. The first time I saw this it just blew me away, so please don't deny yourself the pleasure of a wallow in sentiment....see for yourself. Please email me if you watched this after reading my comments, I would love to hear your opinions....thanks, Tony.
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Can see it over and over!
Melch17 May 1999
This is a lovely movie -- the story is well-thought and although it seems tortuous, they pull it off nicely and make it entirely believable. I very much enjoy Leigh and Scott together. I've seen it several times already, and will continue to see it over and over.
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10/10
My pleasure in seeing this movie
actonsv5 February 2002
This Movie was recently screened on TV in Melbourne. We actually watched it as there was nothing else on that night. We were very well rewarded by a fine movie. A great story. Sensitively acted by both main actors. The storyline was not predictable, and kept us guessing how it would turn out. In all a wonderful experience.
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10/10
Oh, this was just so beautiful
overseer-328 December 2004
It really says something when a TV station like the Hallmark station can fund a better, more emotional and memorable film than 99% of the tripe that passes for entertainment today in the movie theaters. This little movie has real heart and class. Please seek it out and watch it.

I loved the picture. Filmed on location in Virginia (not Massachusetts where it is supposed to take place), and even showcasing a wonderful re-enactment of the battle of Gettysburg, and a charming, believable cast, it just captivates you immediately and you are drawn into its time travel plot device without any problem. It's probably most similar to "Somewhere In Time" that way, which was also lovely to look at, and boasted those period locations and authentic dress.

Campbell Scott was superb as Scotty, who buys an antique desk complete with old love letters addressed to a "mystery man" from the 1860's. Jennifer Jason Leigh was lovely as Elizabeth Whitcomb, and you feel for her character all the way. When she stops on the stairs and reaches out for Scotty (more than 100 years away from her in distance in the future), I cried. It was so bittersweet.

Estelle Parsons was great as Scotty's mom, always nice to see her. She's such a natural actress. Daphne Ashbrook was also excellent as Scotty's fiancé, who unfortunately gets hurt as the growing relationship between Scotty and Elizabeth develops. She shows a real vulnerability here and doesn't behave revengefully. Wonderful.

If I would change anything I would have had the film end with the grave scene, and not with the girl and her dog, to do otherwise is to suggest that Scotty won't be as faithful to Elizabeth as she was to him.

10 out of 10.

Addition: And to the commentator janeellen, above, who was critical of my review, I would add that even if the story was trying to suggest reincarnation, it doesn't work, and it makes the story less poignant to insist on it. Just as with cloning, no one is EXACTLY the same person or being, or has EXACTLY the same SOUL. So for Scotty to go off at the end with the modern girl and her dog, a girl without the same 19th century sensibilities or soul as Elizabeth Whitcomb, is a disappointment.

Scotty should stay just as true to the memory of ELIZABETH through the years, as she remained true to him until her death. That would have been the PERFECT ending.
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10/10
Love can Conquer Mountains but can it conquer Time..?
steve_kaden29 July 2002
I gave this movie the highest rating for at the end there is two questions that the viewer is left to answer.....Why did these events happen and why to these two people..? The answers are there but you are left to find them.

An antique desk is purchased. Inside, in a secret compartment, is a letter written 100 years earlier. The letter is to a phantom man. The secret love created in the mind of a lonely girl. A young mans finds the letter and feels the pain the girl who wrote must have felt when waiting for a love that wasn't there.

A strange occult mother convinces her son to answer the letter and comes up with a scheme to do it. Thus begins a love affair where the participants are separated by 100 years in time.
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10/10
Comments from a guy
whooven21 June 1999
Just saw this with my wife on TNT tonight. The commercials drove me nuts because I didn't want to wait to see how the movie turned out. A good mixture of happy and sad with a creative ending. A very original storyline. Campbell Scott is especially good in this role because he looks like a normal guy and is so serious. If you like him in this, be sure to see The Spanish Prisoner which stars Steve Martin in an unusual bad guy roll. I LOVED this movie (my wife did also) and I just now clicked through to Amazon.com to buy it for our personal collection. Probably one of my top ten movies of all time.
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10/10
Marvelous!
rpj-31 February 2006
This is a fantastic fantasy film. I especially enjoyed Jennifer Jason Leigh's acting. I think her mannerisms and speech patterns were right on for the time period she was portraying. Her move to a modern woman at the end just amazed me. Her acting ability is tops.

Campbell Scott's love for her was clearly evident, even though there was no interaction between them for most of the movie. Stellar acting on his part also.

The story was quite logical for fantasy and was easily followed.

I only wish there was someplace to retrieve the poem from the movie if indeed it was more than just the one line "Stranger, not on this earth shall we meet..."

I can't say enough good things about this film. I have watched it several times and enjoyed it more each time.
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10/10
1 of the Best Romantic movies is Hallmark's The Love Letter
ladyharley8822 October 2005
The movie The Love Letter from Hallmark is one of the best Romantic & intriguing films I've ever seen! I give this a 10 out of 10!The mysteriousness about it all is what captivated me! Campbell Scott & Jennifer Jason Leigh make a great pair! & Estelle Parsons was funny. If in Scotty's shoes, I'd want someone to encourage me like that! I would love to have it on DVD to watch without all the commercials. I've watched it at least 3 times & I think I even have it on VCR tape. If you enjoyed this, as I did, other movies to consider, would be Back to You & Me with Lisa Hartman Black, Dale Midkiff and Rue McClanahan & Straight from the Heart, starring Teri Polo & Andrew McCarthy. Talk about fantastic!
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10/10
A Great Film for Romantics
acnmorrison25 June 2004
This film requires you to accept that letters can move through time.If you will just accept this and your romantic,you like New England in autumn then just sit back and enjoy. The male lead is already engaged at the start but in the correspondence crossings back over 130 years he sees that there is something missing which is the same that his correspondent yearns for.The correspondence is started by his encountering a secret letter written in 1863 put in a bureau he bought which once belonged to a 29 year old lady who wrote the letter and hid it dreaming of a lover she longed to exist and come into her life.He replies using contemporary writing paper,ink and stamps the post box being a long surviving one.The letter reaches the writer who following the shock replies by leaving replies in the drawer.Falling in love he encourages her to continue her poetry.The story involves tragedy in the civil war but in the end the ending is in the present.Watchers may miss the last words with the music but it only confirms the situation.Now where can I find a bureau such as the one used. The scenes are brilliantly dove tailed,the screenplay writer did a brilliant job and must have taken a lot of care with this short story by Jack Finney.

Nicholas Morrison
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If you are a romantic - this movie is for you.
agbutler7 July 1999
What a story! A love that transcends time. If you are a romantic you are in for a treat when you watch this film.

Campbell Scott and Jennifer Jason Leigh play two people who fall in love by corresponding with one another. This would not be totally unheard of except that she is living during the civil war period and his is living in the present day. He buys an antique desk which belonged to her and finds a letter hidden in one of its secret compartments. The letter was written for no one to read - she is merely venting about her life (she is unmarried, 28, and expected to wed a man she does not love). Magically they start writing each other and gradually fall in love.

To tell you anymore would be giving away some major plot lines. Just be prepared for the last five minutes and make sure you have plenty of kleenex on hand. I guarantee you are going to need them!!
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10/10
This is a gorgeous movie and a lovely and well told story
macpherr11 October 1999
Campbell Scott (Singles, Dying Young) "Scotty Corrigan" is engaged. He and his fiancee go to an antique store. He falls completely in love with this beautiful nineteenth century desk. He is not sure whether he can afford it, but he buys it anyway. He finds a letter in a small secret compartment in the desk and tells his mother about it. His mom was really cool! Mom told Scotty about the possibility of going back in time. She goes out and gets the right ink made in the nineteenth century, and finds out the address of oldest Post Office in town, built in nineteenth century. Scotty begins corresponding with this woman Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hudsucker Proxy) "Lizzie." I was amazed how I was glued to the television. Those intriguing stories about the possibilities of going through the time tunnel, possibilities of reincarnation, romance, really get to me. This is a very intertwined story of the unfulfilled love between a civil war soldier and Elizabeth. I fell in love with the story and had to order the tape. It is just a lovely story. There was not even electricity in those days! I would love to elaborate on the story but I do not want to give it way, because of those have not seen it yet. I highly recommend it. If you watch this movie, it is more likely than not that you will be glued to the television. This is what I consider great and solid story telling. James S. Henerson won WGA Award Adapted Long Form for the teleplay/story. My Favorite Quotes: Lizzie "The laws of nature for whatever reason have been suspended... write soon before the law of nature reset themselves." "You have no right to get involved in a life that has already lived." Lizzie: "Tell me what it means to light up like a Christmas tree." Scotty: " Ben Franklin invented electricity to glow like a Christmas tree is to glow with pleasure." Favorite Scene: The dog at the cemetery ...
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10/10
A beautiful and moving film
janeellen51112 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
***Possible Spoilers Ahead*** I cannot believe that so many people are missing the mark when it comes to the subtext of this amazing story. There is no "unfaithfulness" implied at the cemetery scene in the end, because Scott has found the reincarnation of Lizzy. He had known her in a previous life as Colonel Denby, and now, just at the moment in which he accepts her death in the 19th century, he meets not a "descendant" but his reincarnated lost love. This is exactly why the Civil War flashback was included, not to give the lead actors a chance to work together, but to show their previous relationship in a past life. 20th century Lizzy is not cheap and shallow, she's a 20th century woman meeting a stranger whilst walking her dog, and inviting him out for a cup of coffee. There's no need for depth in an everyday scene such as this, because that would only detract from the power of this unexpected twist. If you don't understand what's intended by Jack Finney's original story and Dan Curtis' adaptation, you're missing the real beauty of this Hallmark production.
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10/10
Little Gems Do Exist.
videonut-217 August 2001
Warning: Spoilers
Once in a great while you go to the library hoping you will find a gem of a movie that will surprise you. This movie is that gem. it mesmerizes you from start to finish. I have always been the incorrigible romantic and this movie touches you. Based on a short story by Jack Finney, who seems to be engrossed in writing stories that transcend time, for example his novel "Time And Again", this film does not disappoint. The ending was perfect, but yet you did not want it to end, and that the story would go on, and show the romance develop between the Scott Denby character and the girl he meets in the graveyard, (Beth), who is like Elizabeth Whitcomb, his link to the past. However, I am very satisfied how the movie ended. It gave me that little tear of happiness, and the boost to write about it here. I highly recommend thsi film to all the lovers out there, who will find that love really has no limits.
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10/10
A superb romantic drama
Cidla15 April 2001
This was by far the most enthralling romantic drama I have ever seen. Throughout it at various times I was in tears. It was so very touching. I didn't consider it as a fantasy for it was so genuinely portrayed that I believed every scene. I gave it a 10, but would have given it a 10+ if possible.
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10/10
A believable fantasy love story.
Big D-1520 June 2000
A good almost believable story, with excellent sets particularly the Civil War section. First rate acting, especially from the ever-wonderful Jennifer Jason Leigh.

The end though not unexpected was very satisfactory, a very enjoyable 90 minutes or so.
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10/10
A wonderful escape
kathe-35 November 1999
This was one of those rare movies that was able to pull me away from reality. I consider myself a student of cinema but I have always had a soft spot for a good, well done love story- and this movie comes through on most fronts! The acting by Jennifer Jason Leigh and Campbell Scott is first rate and the story so beautifully told that you don't notice its few shortcomings in plot. I saw the movie first on television and then bought a copy on amazon.com. I have seen it several times and never tire of it. When Scott asks Lizzie to send a picture to him and that he wants her to look as if she is about to walk into his arms- I cry every time. Everyone needs an escape from time to time and this movie presents a wonderful opportunity!!
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