This month we’re deep in the tropics, about to unload our six shooter into William Wyler’s 1940 film adaptation of W. Somerset Maugham’s play The Letter.
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The Letter (1940) dir. William Wyler, USA
Read about the real Proudlock case, the inspiration for Maugham’s story, on the Victoria Institution’s website.
Two seminal discussions of film noir came in the 1970s, when the idea of noir as a genre, movement or style began: from British film critic Raymond Durgnat with Paint It Black: The Family Tree of Film Noir, and from American writer/director Paul Schrader with Notes on Film Noir.
William Wyler tops the list as the director with the highest number of Academy Award acting nominations and wins. Check out his closest competition (hint: they’re not very close).
Donato Totaro of Off Screen magazine wrote an in-depth exploration of the structure and openings of several seminal film noirs. It’s well worth the time to read. It’s in two parts, and The Letter is discussed in part one.
If you want to follow us on Letterboxd, we’re always logging and rating films we’ve been watching and occasionally Luke will do some pretty in-depth reviews, too.
Thanks again for checking out Celluloid Junkies. Join us again in a month when we attend the funerals of some complete strangers and discuss the merits of Hal Ashby’s Harold and Maude. Until then, don’t forget to check out the archives, or hit up our website.