Love Letters of a Star (1936)

66 mins | Mystery | 8 November 1936

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HISTORY

This film's working title was The Case of the Constant God . According to MPH , the film was based on a widely publicized Hollywood incident, although no information on the incident was available. The preview length for this film was 55 min. Copyright records list Herman Heller as music director, although Charles Previn is credited in ... More Less

This film's working title was The Case of the Constant God . According to MPH , the film was based on a widely publicized Hollywood incident, although no information on the incident was available. The preview length for this film was 55 min. Copyright records list Herman Heller as music director, although Charles Previn is credited in reviews. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
21 Oct 36
p. 3.
Film Daily
1 Dec 36
p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Oct 36
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
22 Oct 36
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
14 Nov 36
pp. 64-65.
Variety
2 Dec 36
p. 38.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
2nd asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Ed supv
COSTUMES
Ward
MUSIC
Mus dir
Mus dir
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr clerk
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "The Case of the Constant God" by Rufus King in Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan (Apr 1936).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Case of the Constant God
Release Date:
8 November 1936
Production Date:
27 August--15 September 1936
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
27 October 1936
Copyright Number:
LP6668
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
66
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
PCA No:
2731
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

A half-demented blackmailer named Sigurd Repellen confronts Jenny Aldrich with a stack of intimate fan letters she wrote to stage star Meredith Landers. Initially Jenny submits to Repellen's demands, but when the threat of scandal mounts, she kills herself with poison rather than embarrass her prominent, wealthy Long Island family. Her suicide note reveals that she was being blackmailed, and her husband John, her parents, Veronica and Artemus Todd, and her sister Lydia inadvertently make themselves the center of a police murder investigation by trying to cover up the circumstances surrounding her death. Suspecting Landers of complicity in the blackmail scheme, Lydia's fiancé, Charley Warren, a lawyer, lures Landers to his home and confronts him. Landers, however, insists he does not recall receiving letters from a woman named Jenny Aldrich, but is sure that if he had, his valet, Jaffrey, would have burned them. After threatening to continue the blackmail, Repellen visits the Todds. John knocks Repellen down, and he suddenly drops dead, apparently from a heart attack. John, however, believes he is responsible for the death, and he and Artemus dispose of the body, but are seen by a stranger, who calls the police. The stranger is a small town undertaker named Chester Blodgett. Police detective Lieutenant Valcour holds off arresting John until he has gathered more evidence. The Todds, meanwhile, take a trip on their yacht, the "Amberjack," and force Landers to come with them. Valcour arrives by seaplane and, while he searches the yacht, Landers is stabbed to death in his cabin. Valcour catches Charley stooped over the body and holding a butcher knife. Believing a family member committed ... +


A half-demented blackmailer named Sigurd Repellen confronts Jenny Aldrich with a stack of intimate fan letters she wrote to stage star Meredith Landers. Initially Jenny submits to Repellen's demands, but when the threat of scandal mounts, she kills herself with poison rather than embarrass her prominent, wealthy Long Island family. Her suicide note reveals that she was being blackmailed, and her husband John, her parents, Veronica and Artemus Todd, and her sister Lydia inadvertently make themselves the center of a police murder investigation by trying to cover up the circumstances surrounding her death. Suspecting Landers of complicity in the blackmail scheme, Lydia's fiancé, Charley Warren, a lawyer, lures Landers to his home and confronts him. Landers, however, insists he does not recall receiving letters from a woman named Jenny Aldrich, but is sure that if he had, his valet, Jaffrey, would have burned them. After threatening to continue the blackmail, Repellen visits the Todds. John knocks Repellen down, and he suddenly drops dead, apparently from a heart attack. John, however, believes he is responsible for the death, and he and Artemus dispose of the body, but are seen by a stranger, who calls the police. The stranger is a small town undertaker named Chester Blodgett. Police detective Lieutenant Valcour holds off arresting John until he has gathered more evidence. The Todds, meanwhile, take a trip on their yacht, the "Amberjack," and force Landers to come with them. Valcour arrives by seaplane and, while he searches the yacht, Landers is stabbed to death in his cabin. Valcour catches Charley stooped over the body and holding a butcher knife. Believing a family member committed the murder, Charley takes the blame. Valcour and the family later discover Blodgett in Landers' cabin and realize he is really Jaffrey, who countermanded his employer's orders to destroy the letters. After conspiring with Repellen to blackmail the Todds, Jaffrey was enraged when Repellen planned to skip town with the profits and shot him through a window at the Todd home while John was struggling with him. A thunderclap and the sound of a falling bust covered the sound of the gunshot. Jaffrey locks Valcour and the family in Landers' cabin and takes control of the yacht. Valcour outwits him, however, and is eventually trapped. +

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.