B&W, 101 min.
Released: Oct. 26, 1945 (Paramount)
Cast: Jennifer Jones (as Singleton), Joseph Cotten, Ann Richards, Cecil Kellaway, Gladys Cooper, Reginald Denny, Anita Louise, Byron Barr, Robert Sully, Ernest Cossart..
Director: William Dieterle
Producer: Hal Wallis
Complete Credits at IMDB
Joseph Cotten plays Alan Quinton, an officer on the Italian front who writes love letters for his friend Roger to send back home to Victoria, Roger's fiance. When Alan returns home from the war, he learns that Roger was murdered and that Victoria was charged with the killing. He soon meets Victoria, who now has amnesia and goes by the name Singleton. They fall in love and marry as Singleton's memory slowly begins to return and she is tormented by recollections of what really happened on the night of her husband's murder.
Love Letters is a moodily atmospheric film, dramatically photographed by Lee Garmes and features one of Jennifer Jone's best performances. She had been idle for six months following the completion of Since You Went Away as Selznick searched for a suitable project to lavish on her. When Paramount and producer Hal Wallis requested her for Love Letters, she jumped at the chance and Selznick okayed the project with the requirement that the film be completed before January 1, 1945, the start date for Duel In The Sun. Wallis agreed with the terms and the picture was completed a few day before Christmas.
The film was directed by William Dieterle, a German director who later coaxed another great performance from Jennifer in Portrait of Jennie. Singleton was a complex character with neurotic shadowing that appealed to Jennifer. She has some very fine moments, notably the scene on the witness stand in which she eloquently tells the prosecutor what the letters meant to her. She was also beautifully photographed by cinematographer Lee Garmes. She was nominated for Best Actress but lost to Joan Crawford (for Mildred Pierce). The film also received nominations for Art Direction, Scoring and Song.
Interesting Tidbits -
*The role of Singleton was initially planned for Ann Richards, but when Jennifer became available, Richards ended up playing Dilly, Singleton's friend.
*In the first scene in which Cotten is writing the letter, the handwriting and the hand shown in close-up is Selznick's.
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