The 13th Letter

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The 13th Letter
The 13th Letter.JPG
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Otto Preminger
Produced by Otto Preminger
Screenplay by Howard Koch
Based on the story "Le Corbeau"
by Louis Chavance
Starring Linda Darnell
Charles Boyer
Michael Rennie
Constance Smith
Music by Alex North
Cinematography Joseph LaShelle
Edited by Louis R. Loeffler
20th Century Fox
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
  • January 19, 1951 (1951-01-19) (United States)
  • February 19, 1951 (1951-02-19) (New York City)
  • February 19, 1951 (1951-02-19) (Los Angeles)
Running time
85 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1,075,000

The 13th Letter is a 1951 American film noir mystery film directed by Otto Preminger.[1][2] The film is a remake of the French film Le Corbeau (The Raven, 1943) directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot.


Doctor Pearson (Michael Rennie), who works at a Canadian hospital in the province of Quebec, receives a series of poison pen letters. More letters, all signed with the mysterious picture of a feather, are delivered to others in the small Canadian town. Cora Laurent (Constance Smith), the wife of the main doctor - Dr. Laurent (Charles Boyer) - at the hospital, receives a letter accusing her of having an affair with Pearson. Another letter informs a shell-shocked veteran Mr. Gauthier that he is dying of cancer, causing the distraught man to commit suicide. Quickly, the townsfolk begin pointing fingers at all possible suspects.



Channel 4's review of the film praised the cinematography and music score: "The movie is redolent with atmosphere: Joseph LaShelle's photography accentuates the black and shadows, and there's dark shading too in Alex North's music. The film is dominated by death and melancholy, and by Françoise Rosay as the matriarch responsible for the trouble."[3]


  1. ^ "The 13th Letter". FilmAffinity. Retrieved 24 December 2015. 
  2. ^ "The 13th Letter". AFI. Retrieved 24 December 2015. 
  3. ^ Channel 4, film review.

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