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      The 13th Letter

      1951 1h 25m Mystery & Thriller List
      86% Tomatometer 7 Reviews 33% Audience Score 100+ Ratings When Dr. Pearson (Michael Rennie) comes to a quiet Quebec town to set up his medical practice, he attracts the notice of Cora (Constance Smith), whose husband, Paul (Charles Boyer), is the town's other doctor, and Denise (Linda Darnell), eldest daughter of the family in whose house he lodges. When an unknown person begins writing letters attacking Dr. Pearson and Cora for having an affair, a complex web of rumors, lies and accusations begins to ensnare nearly everyone in town. Read More Read Less

      Critics Reviews

      View All (7) Critics Reviews
      Jonathan Rosenbaum Chicago Reader One of [Preminger's] best efforts of the period. Oct 23, 2007 Full Review Variety Staff Variety Well-made and with an offbeat location site, film is an interesting account of the effects of poison pen letters on a small Quebec village. Oct 23, 2007 Full Review Clyde Gilmour Maclean's Magazine Notable for the "debut" of ex-lover Charles Boyer as an old man with side-whiskers and very little hair, this is an interesting yarn about an outbreak of scandalous anonymous letters... Oct 24, 2019 Full Review TV Guide While not nearly as good as the original, Henri-George Clouzot's Le Corbeau, Preminger's film does have some power and a great deal of suspense. Rated: 3/4 Oct 23, 2007 Full Review Derek Smith Cinematic Reflections 'More than simply an Americanized [version of a] foreign film' Rated: 3/4 Apr 2, 2004 Full Review Film4 Staff Film4 The movie is redolent with atmosphere. Sep 16, 2003 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (6) audience reviews
      bill t Good enough remake of the french thriller Le Corbeau, though Preminger doesn't really ADD anything to make this version stand out. He tweaks the story a bit, the doctor no longer performs abortions (which was no surprise) and there's other tweaks, but nothing much else you would notice. In terms of choice though, I'd go with the french original, just because it feels a bit more claustrophobic and you do get that small time vibe. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member Otto Preminger's remake of Henri-George Clouzot's Le Corbeau (1943) loses a lot of the bite and bitterness (and the abortion references) but still retains enough of its mystery to be interesting. A new young and handsome doctor (Michael Rennie) in a small town in Quebec begins to receive anonymous "poison pen" letters accusing him of having an affair with a senior doctor's young wife. The wife (Constance Smith) and the senior doctor (Charles Boyer, almost unrecognisable) also receive letters, as does most of the hospital staff and other people in the town. Some are ready to believe the doctor is guilty but soon suspicion falls on the wife's sister (Judith Evelyn), a nurse at the hospital. When a war hero patient commits suicide after receiving a letter, the nurse is arrested because she had had a recent conflict with the patient, as well as with her sister and the young doctor. But soon the letters continue... even as the young doctor falls for another patient (Linda Darnell). Filmed on location in Quebec, the film looks moody and provincial, with a bit of French spoken for good measure. Rennie is solid as the aloof young doctor who has secrets of his own. Still, I can't help recalling that Le Corbeau struck me harder - I'll have to rewatch it. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/04/23 Full Review Audience Member Excellent pyscholigical drama Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/13/23 Full Review Audience Member Wow! Le remake du Corbeau par Otto Preminger et relocalise à St-Marc-Sur-Richelieu, "A small french community of the Province of Quebec" et precisement à L'Hopital de la Misericorde. A noter, les deux belles apparitions de Juliette Huot en voisine minable. :) Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 01/24/23 Full Review Audience Member Interesting if a bit reserved Canadian set drama. Linda Darnell gives a very fine performance as a woman with a secret. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/27/23 Full Review Audience Member This film is a poor remake of Clouzot's Le Corbeau. But, it really does not work. There is no meat in this film, nothing for a cinephile to chew on. The main flaw of the movie is the story. It is a remarkably un-thrilling thriller. As always in Preminger everything can be explained by a form of psychopathology. I must say I do not share Preminger's passion for damaged brains, so I find that part of his films really tedious. It is rare to have such a common theme in a director's work (see Saint Joan, Angel Face, The Man With a Golden Arm, Bunny Lake is Missing). Rated 0.5 out of 5 stars 02/10/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      The 13th Letter

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis When Dr. Pearson (Michael Rennie) comes to a quiet Quebec town to set up his medical practice, he attracts the notice of Cora (Constance Smith), whose husband, Paul (Charles Boyer), is the town's other doctor, and Denise (Linda Darnell), eldest daughter of the family in whose house he lodges. When an unknown person begins writing letters attacking Dr. Pearson and Cora for having an affair, a complex web of rumors, lies and accusations begins to ensnare nearly everyone in town.
      Director
      Otto Preminger
      Genre
      Mystery & Thriller
      Original Language
      English
      Runtime
      1h 25m