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The Letter

The Letter

A Feature film by Manoel de Oliveira

Release in France : 22/09/1999


    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...

    Actors (13)

    Production and distribution (4)

    Co-productions :

    Wanda Films, Gemini Films

    Film exports/foreign sales :

    Gemini Films

    Foreign production company :

    Madragoa Filmes

    French distribution :

    Gemini Films

    Box Office: Total results

    Box office: Timeline

    International releases (8)

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    TV Broadcasts: Cumulative total

    TV broadcasts: details by country


    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 :

    50% 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 (The Netherlands, 2000)


    Main Program Section Feature Films

    Turin - International Film Festival  - 1999

    Turin - International Film Festival (Italy, 1999)


    Out of Competition

    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