Love Letters (1945)

101 mins | Melodrama, Romance | 26 October 1945

Director:

William Dieterle

Writer:

Ayn Rand

Producer:

Hal B. Wallis

Cinematographer:

Lee Garmes

Editor:

Anne Bauchens

Production Designers:

Hans Dreier, Roland Anderson

Production Company:

Hal Wallis Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

This film's working title was The Love Letters . The film was copyrighted twice, on 5 Jun 1945 at a length of 11 reels, and on 26 Oct 1945 at a length of 9 reels. No information has been found to clarify the discrepancy in the length, however, and the released film was 9 reels. HR news items noted that Lizabeth Scott was tested for a role in the picture, and that Derek Cooper was to make his feature film debut. Cooper's appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. The film was nominated for Academy Awards in the categories of Best Actress, Best Art Direction, Best Interior Decoration, Best Music and Best Song. Although the song "Love Letters" was nominated for an Academy Award, it was not heard in the viewed print of the ... More Less

This film's working title was The Love Letters . The film was copyrighted twice, on 5 Jun 1945 at a length of 11 reels, and on 26 Oct 1945 at a length of 9 reels. No information has been found to clarify the discrepancy in the length, however, and the released film was 9 reels. HR news items noted that Lizabeth Scott was tested for a role in the picture, and that Derek Cooper was to make his feature film debut. Cooper's appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. The film was nominated for Academy Awards in the categories of Best Actress, Best Art Direction, Best Interior Decoration, Best Music and Best Song. Although the song "Love Letters" was nominated for an Academy Award, it was not heard in the viewed print of the film. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
25 Aug 1945.
---
Daily Variety
20 Aug 45
p. 3, 10
Film Daily
20 Aug 45
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Sep 44
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Oct 44
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Oct 44
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Dec 44
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Aug 45
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Aug 45
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Sep 45
p. 8.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
16 Dec 44
p. 2230.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
25 Aug 45
p. 2609.
New York Times
27 Aug 45
p. 22.
Variety
22 Aug 45
p. 20.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dial dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
Scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d cam
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Mus score
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
Spec photog eff asst
Process photog asst
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv on hospital scenes
Research dir
Research asst
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Love Letters by Chris Massie (New York, 1944).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Love Letters," music by Victor Young, lyrics by Eddie Heyman.
DETAILS
Release Date:
26 October 1945
Premiere Information:
New York premiere: 25 August 1945
Los Angeles opening: 4 October 1945
Production Date:
mid October--mid December 1944
Copyright Claimants:
Hal Wallis Productions, Inc. Hal Wallis Productions, Inc.
Copyright Dates:
5 June 1945 26 October 1945
Copyright Numbers:
LP13292 LP13566
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
101
Length(in feet):
9,090
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
PCA No:
10573
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

During World War II, while on the Allied front in Italy, Alan Quinton writes love letters to Victoria Remington for fellow British officer Roger Morland, who met her briefly at a ball. Victoria falls in love with the poetic spirit behind the letters, and although Alan is engaged to Helen Wentworth, he too falls in love with Victoria through her letters. Roger and Victoria marry, and when Alan is wounded, Roger visits his parents in England while on his honeymoon. Alan finally returns home and stays in a sanitorium while he recuperates, and soon learns that Roger has died in an accident. At the end of the war, Alan has difficulty returning to civilian life, and is eager to move to Beltmarsh to a country house he has inherited from an aunt. Before leaving London, Alan's brother takes him to a party where he meets Dilly Carson and a woman named Singleton. While drunk, Alan tells the story of how he lost his heart to a woman he never met, but to whom he wrote for another man. Dilly realizes that Alan is speaking of Victoria and Roger, and tells him that an "old murder" was committed at Beltmarsh, and that he should think about the letters while he is there. Shortly after moving to Beltmarsh, which is still looked after by his aunt's caretaker, Mack, Alan breaks his engagement to Helen. One day, Alan goes to Meadow Farm, Victoria's former home, but is told that Victoria died over a year earlier. Recalling Dilly's words, he researches newspaper articles at the library and learns that Roger was murdered by his wife. Alan feels somehow ... +


During World War II, while on the Allied front in Italy, Alan Quinton writes love letters to Victoria Remington for fellow British officer Roger Morland, who met her briefly at a ball. Victoria falls in love with the poetic spirit behind the letters, and although Alan is engaged to Helen Wentworth, he too falls in love with Victoria through her letters. Roger and Victoria marry, and when Alan is wounded, Roger visits his parents in England while on his honeymoon. Alan finally returns home and stays in a sanitorium while he recuperates, and soon learns that Roger has died in an accident. At the end of the war, Alan has difficulty returning to civilian life, and is eager to move to Beltmarsh to a country house he has inherited from an aunt. Before leaving London, Alan's brother takes him to a party where he meets Dilly Carson and a woman named Singleton. While drunk, Alan tells the story of how he lost his heart to a woman he never met, but to whom he wrote for another man. Dilly realizes that Alan is speaking of Victoria and Roger, and tells him that an "old murder" was committed at Beltmarsh, and that he should think about the letters while he is there. Shortly after moving to Beltmarsh, which is still looked after by his aunt's caretaker, Mack, Alan breaks his engagement to Helen. One day, Alan goes to Meadow Farm, Victoria's former home, but is told that Victoria died over a year earlier. Recalling Dilly's words, he researches newspaper articles at the library and learns that Roger was murdered by his wife. Alan feels somehow responsible for Roger's death, and goes to see Dilly in London. There he encounters the amnesiac Victoria, who now goes by the name of Singleton, the name given to her as a child at an orphanage. Dilly warns Alan not to tell Victoria the truth of who he is, and explains that she was a Canadian orphan adopted by Beatrice Remington. Although she only met Roger briefly, Victoria fell in love with him through the letters, and married him, despite Beatrice's protests, only three days after he returned from the front. Dilly then recalls the past: Victoria grows sullen after marrying, and one day, Dilly is called to Meadow Farm, where she finds Roger stabbed to death, Victoria completely dazed, and Beatrice suffering from a paralytic stroke. Because Beatrice cannot testify at the murder trial, Victoria confesses her guilt, but admits she cannot remember anything about her past. After spending one year in a prison psychiatric ward, Victoria is released into the care of her old friend Dilly. Dilly now tells Alan that Beatrice has recovered and is living in a nursing home, but that Victoria has never recovered her memory, and does not even know her real name, believing that she is "Singleton." One day, Victoria unexpectedly appears at Beltmarsh, and she and Alan fall in love. Because Victoria is unaware of her own identity, she still believes that he is in love with another woman named Victoria Morland. Alan and Victoria marry, but she is plagued by her own erratic recollections and Alan's love of the "other woman." One day, while Alan is away, Victoria intercepts a letter from Beatrice telling Alan that she has moved back to Meadow Farm. Victoria goes back to her old house, where the murder took place, and Beatrice recounts the story of Victoria's marriage: Victoria becomes depressed because Roger does not share her sentimental nature. Realizing Victoria is in love with the writer of the letters rather than him, the callous Roger soon becomes abusive. One day, while drunk, he tells Victoria that he did not write the letters and burns them, then beats Victoria as she tries to pull them from the fire. Beatrice, who has an obsessive need to protect Victoria, stabs Roger to death, then has a paralytic stroke. When Victoria, who crouches by the fireplace grieving over the loss of her letters, suddenly realizes that Roger is dead, she picks up the knife, incriminating herself, then lapses into amnesia. When Alan arrives at the house, Victoria recalls her true identity. Although Beatrice tries to persuade Victoria that they should hate the man who wrote the letters, Victoria runs to Alan, who confesses that it was he. Finally, they embrace. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.