Cinema: Picture Man's Picture

The Letter (Warner) is almost actionless. It opens with a murder, somewhat later shows a creepy sequence among hidden hallways in the Chinese quarter of Singapore. Otherwise the plot is unwound with conversation rather than movement — usually fatal for cinema. Furthermore, it is a rather conventional mystery story, the tale of a sly and devious wife (Bette Davis) of a British rubber planter (Herbert Marshall) who murders her lover when he appears to be losing interest. There is a trial, an acquittal, a day of reckoning. Moving, as it does, at...

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