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The Letter (1940)
Studio: Warner Brothers/First National
Producer: Hal B. Wallis
Starring: Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, James Stephenson
Synopsis: In the humid, far Eastern setting of colonial Malaysia, Leslie Crosbie, the wife of a British rubber plantation owner, shoots family friend Jeff Hammond. Although Mrs. Crosbie claims that she acted in self-defense against attempted rape, Hammond's Eurasian widow holds a letter that contains valuable information about the killing. Both Mrs. Crosbie and her lawyer, who's already skeptical about his client's version of events, are determined to get their hands on it, whatever the cost. The original ending had to be changed to comply with Hollywood's censorship regulations which stipulated that a murder could not go unpunished. The character of mistress was also changed to wife.
Academy Awards®:
Best Picture   Nominated
Best Director Willliam Wyler Nominated
Best Actress Bette Davis Nominated
Supporting Actor James Stephenson Nominated

Cinematography (b&w)

Tony Gaudio Nominated
Editing Warren Low Nominated
Best Original Score Max Steiner Nominated
National Board of Review
Special Awards James Stephenson Won
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