Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

THE 13TH LETTER

THE 13TH LETTER  (1951). Director: Otto Preminger.
In a small town in French Quebec, an unknown person is sending anonymous letters to various parties, spreading lies and gossip, causing emotional upheaval, and in at least one case, causing a suicide. Much of the gossip seems centered on the new doctor in town, Pearson (Michael Rennie) and the wife, Cora (Constance Smith), of another doctor, Laurent (Charles Boyer). The suspects include Denise Turner (Linda Darnell) and nurse Marie (Judith Evelyn of The Tingler). Rennie isn't bad, Darnell gives one of her lesser performances, and Boyer and Evelyn walk off with the acting honors. Dark, intriguing, and suspenseful movie. Alex North's unusual musical score is exceptional, especially during a grim funeral sequence. This is a remake of the French film Le corbeau, directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot.

Verdict: A lost Preminger film that is worth hunting down. ***.

 

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