Adapted by Ayn Rand from Chris Massie's novel, Love Letters matched a sensual yet innocent Jennifer Jones with a spiritual, romantic Joseph Cotten in a story about the ideal of perfect love and the impact of World War II on personal lives. Setting his story in rural England shortly after the soon-to-end war, director William Dieterle matched the Gothic setting and Jones's emotionally heightened acting with expressionistic lighting and canted camera angles, suggesting that something is off about Jones's sweetly beautiful amnesiac long before her trauma is revealed. Sentimental, romantic, spiritual, and sincere, Love Letters maintains a hyper-emotional atmosphere more suited to a story of archetypal, total love, even if its central trauma arises from the disruptive effects of the war. It was another popular success for young star Jones, earning her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress; the film itself garnered nominations for art direction, score, and Victor Young's title song.
by Lucia Bozzola review