The Letter (1929)

The Letter (1929)

The Letter





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

The Letter was the first film version of the Somerset Maugham play of the same name. Broadway star Jeanne Eagels plays the wife of Reginald Owen, the owner of a Malayan rubber plantation. The film opens with Eagels shooting a man (Herbert Marshall) to death; she explains that the man had tried to assault her. It is assumed that the subsequent trial will go well for Eagels, who has the advantage of wealth and social position. But Eagels' lawyer (O.P. Heggie) learns of the existence of a letter … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Classics, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Jean de Limur, Monta Bell, Garrett Elsden Fort
In Theaters:
Paramount Pictures Corporation


as Leslie Crosbie

as Joyce

as Robert Crosbie

as Mrs. Joyce

as Geoffrey Hammond

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Critic Reviews for The Letter

All Critics (4)

Jeanne Eagels received Oscar nomination for playing the leading part in this early, primitive talkie, based on Somerset Maugham's play; Bette Davis played the part in 1940.

Full Review… | October 31, 2012

... a revelation of a performance and an illustration of the challenges filmmakers faced in the early sound era.

Full Review… | September 14, 2011
Parallax View

Jeanne Eagels' performance in The Letter secures her legendary reputation.

Full Review… | February 2, 2005

October 24, 2012

Audience Reviews for The Letter


Eagels only existing sound film shows her to be a unique talent well equipped to make her characters live on screen with a minimum of overblown stage theatrics common to early sound films. Similar to the more renown Bette Davis version but with some content that would never have passed the censor board after the code went into effect. The last scene is riveting.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer


the first telling of this tale from paramount, skip this and see the 1940 bette davis version-its far superior

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