Couch Potato Pickings | The Love Letter, and other letter-driven movies

I can’t remember the last time I received a letter.

I’m not counting the pointless duplicate letters I regularly receive from my energy supplier (very green eh!), or the correspondence from estate agents who write to inform me that my road is very desirable right now (yeah, and?), or those baffling letters that come from the various insurance companies that always require a desperate phonecall to clarify.

No, I’m talking a proper hand-written letter with a hand-written address and a proper stamp. Back in the olden days (it feels that long) it was always exciting to see a personal letter bursting through the letterbox and hitting the floor with a thud.

The Lake House, Sandra Bullock

Such a thing is a rarity these days. Email is so easy, and we’re all so lazy. Well, I speak for myself anyway. I have no problem writing, but I have become too lazy to find the paper, the envelope, and the book containing the postal address. And then there’s the hour-long window you need to put aside these days to queue in the post office…

No, sadly in my life, emailing has replaced letter writing, and I’m sure I’m not alone.

The Shop Around the Corner, James Stewart, Margaret Sullavan

So I find it touching that the world of movies continues to preserve the power of real life mail. The letter has always been a popular plot device – letters that go missing, letters that are delayed, letters that reveal secrets and confessions, and letters that unite. From period films to old movies to not so old movies and even to contemporary movies, letters still rule.

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One day I’ll do a ‘Best Of’ post but I haven’t the time today, so this gallery will have to suffice.

The Love Letter is showing tonight, 26th October, on BBC1 at 11.45pm

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