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The Letter

The Letter

A Feature film by Manoel de Oliveira

Release in France : 22/09/1999

  • Contents

Actors (12)

Production and distribution (3)

Co-productions :

Madragoa Filmes, Wanda Films, Gemini Films

French distribution :

Gemini Films

Film exports/foreign sales :

Gemini Films

Box Office: Total results

Box office: Timeline

International releases (8)

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Mademoiselle de Chartres had a first heart-breaking experience : she has been deserted by fickle young man. One night , a friend of her mother's, Mrs Silva, the wife of the director of the Gulbenkian foundation, introduces her to a widely-reputed doctor, Jacques de cléves. He was smitten by Mademoiselle de Chartres from the moment he first saw both she and her mother choosing a necklace in a famous jewellery store in the palace vendôme. She accepts his marriage proposal, although feeling no passion for him. However, passion wil br stirred, despite her better instincts, by a fashionable singer, Pedro Abrunhosa...


I immediately foresaw the difficulties involved in setting this story Madame de la fayette's era. At the same time, i thought , given that itis the drama of strong contrsts, if i recreated the conflict, setting it in a society as permissive as ours is today when it comes to love, the dramatic situations would be even deeper. The moral code controlling and thwarting love was anachronistic, and i thought it interesting to accentuare this by making Madame de Cléves' object of passion a pop singer and her confidant a anun who was once childhood friend. I was then overcome by the desire to accompany this sad, intimate story of passion with fragments of a social vision. They would show the disturbances that now rattle, with the same force as cruelties of pas times, this incorrigible world that we live in.

Manoel de Oliveira-Director, excerpt from the press folder.

Photos (3)

Full credits (14)

Executive Producer :

Paulo Branco

Author of original work :

Madame de La Fayette

Co-producer :

Paulo Branco

Sound Recordist :

Jean-Paul Mugel

Press Attaché (film) :

Bruno Barde

Production designers :

Ana Vaz da Silva, Ann Chakraverty

Costume designer :

Judy Shrewsbury

Adapter/dialogue writer :

Manoel de Oliveira

Screenwriter :

Manoel de Oliveira

Director of Photography :

Emmanuel Machuel

Production managers :

Philippe Rey, Jacques Arhex, Élisabeth Bocquet

Editor :

Valérie Loiseleux

Casting :

Richard Rousseau

Sound Mixer :

Jean-François Auger

Technical details

Feature film

Genres :


Sub-genre :

Psychological drama

Production language :


Coproducer countries :

France, Portugal

Original French-language productions :


Nationality :

Majority French (France, Portugal)

Production year :


French release :


Runtime :

1 h 47 min

Current status :


Visa number :

94. 934

Visa issue date :


Approval :


Production formats :


Color type :


Aspect ratio :


Posters (1)


Festival Selections (9)

Istanbul Film Festival - 2000

Istanbul Film Festival (Turkey , 2000)


From Literature to the Silver Screen

Rotterdam International Film Festival - 2000

Rotterdam International Film Festival (Netherlands, 2000)


Main Program Section Feature Films

Turin - International Film Festival  - 1999

Turin - International Film Festival (Italy, 1999)


Out of Competition

New York Film Festival - 1999

New York Film Festival (United States, 1999)


Films selected

TIFF - 1999

TIFF (Canada, 1999)



Montreal World Film Festival - 1999

Montreal World Film Festival (Canada, 1999)


Out of Competition

Cannes International Film Festival - 1999

Cannes International Film Festival (France, 1999)


Official Competition - Feature Films