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The Love Letter (1998)

Campbell Scott , Jennifer Jason Leigh , Dan Curtis  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (197 customer reviews)

Price: $22.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Campbell Scott, Jennifer Jason Leigh, David Dukes, Estelle Parsons, Daphne Ashbrook
  • Directors: Dan Curtis
  • Writers: Jack Finney, James S. Henerson
  • Producers: Dan Curtis, Brent Shields, Lynn Raynor, Richard Welsh
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Hallmark
  • DVD Release Date: October 17, 2000
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (197 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004WI57
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,057 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Love Letter" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

No one with romantic tendencies will be able to resist The Love Letter. Campbell Scott plays a Civil War buff who buys a desk from that era. While polishing it, he discovers a secret compartment, in which sits an unmailed letter--a letter written by a young woman named Lizzie (Jennifer Jason Leigh) over a century earlier. Touched by her yearning for passion, he writes her back, egged on by his mystically inclined mother (Estelle Parsons). Magically his letter reaches Lizzie and they begin a correspondence that threatens Scott's impending marriage but promises to bring fulfilment to Lizzie. The Love Letter is absurd, yet somehow that doesn't stop it from being completely engaging and even moving. Scott and Parsons are solid, while Jason Leigh is downright rapturous--the movie may owe its success to her. The plot has surprising twists and the conclusion is sweet and satisfying. An unexpected pleasure. --Bret Fetzer

From the Back Cover

Transcending the dimension of time, a love letter found in a secret compartment of an antique desk magically seals the fate of two young people linked by destiny yet separated by more than one hundred years. When Scotty (Cambell Scott-Dying Young) discovers a poignant letter written by a mysterious woman called Lizzie (Jennifer Jason Leigh-N.Y. Film critics Award for Georgia), he cannot get her out of his mind. Putting thoughts of his upcoming wedding aside, he is compelled to write Lizzie a letter of his own. A romantic correspondence ensues and flourishes into a love so powerful, not even a century and a half of time can keep them apart. Spanning an era from the Civil War to the present day, the perils of Lizzie's war torn present threaten her safe passage into the future. Would their love be strong enough to endure the test of time?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
127 of 131 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly Enchanting. May 24, 2001
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This wonderful Hallmark Hall of Fame television film was adapted from a short story from the master of time travel novels, Jack Finney ("Time and Again", "Time After Time", "About Time", "From Time to Time", just to name a few). This story by Finney delves once again with time, in that a modern-day young man named Scott (played by Campbell Scott) discovers a letter hidden in a secret compartment of an antique desk that he had just purchased. The letter (as well as the antique desk) belonged to a woman named Elizabeth (played by Jennifer Jason Leigh) who (at the time of her writings) is living during the civil war.
Scott becomes so enchanted by the letter that he ends writing to her, and after some obsession, and on a lark, actually decides to mail his response at a post office with historical significance using an authentic-period one-cent stamp. Shortly thereafter, and to his utter astonishment, he discovers a second letter in the hidden compartment. This letter turns out to be her reply to his letter...and thus begins a fascinating relationship of two people falling in love, but separated not by distance, but by 130 some odd years of time.
Although this may seem to be a "You've Got Mail" with a time twist, it is really more similar to "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" and "Somewhere in Time". Believe me, if you liked either one of those films, you'll love "The Love Letter". This fantasy/drama pulls you in and keeps you pleasantly entranced all the way to the end. While this film does suffer a bit from situations handled too simplistically, I'm such a sucker for this type of film that I quickly forgave these missteps.
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57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Movie March 9, 2002
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a great romantic story, thoroughly enjoyable, and is told without swearing or vulgarity. It is truly a family movie and you don't have to worry that it will be offensive to anyone. Although the story line is a bit far out, with a supernatural quality, it is presented so naturally that you actually find yourself believing that it really happened. Some may be uncomfortable with the fact that the story is similar to re-incarnation, but personally I tried not to take that part of it too seriously. This movie is an improvement from the movie "Somewhere in Time" in which the character goes into the past in his mind through hypnosis. There is a "realness" about the way this movie is presented, and I also like that the characters ultimately get together. A great bit of acting on the part of Campbell Scott and Jennifer Jason Leigh to pull this one off! It has a good message about waiting for someone that makes you "light up like a Christmas tree", someone you can love completely, not just settling for the first person who comes along. I got this movie a few weeks ago and have already watched it 4 times. I certainly would strongly recommend it!!
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 star movie! June 21, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
What a great, great movie! It aired on Hallmark Hall of Fame's Sunday Night at the Movies back in 1998 or 1999, and I loved it!
It is the story of a man in present-day Boston who buys an antique desk. When he searches through this desk, he finds a secret compartment with love letters written by a woman named Elizabeth, who lived in the 1860s Civil War era.
He would answer these letters and mail them at Boston's oldest post office, which just happened to be the only one open during the Civil War. The girl in the past would keep these letters and write responses to them, then put them in her writing desk, in that secret compartment.
It was just the most romantic story I've ever seen, and I've just added it to my wish list with Amazon.
If you want to see a really great movie, buy this one. Make sure you have a couple of BIG boxes of Puffs Tissues beside you while you watch.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Admit It - I Like It May 22, 2006
OK, I hate using this term, but I will, only because there is not a better one to use: this is definitely a "chick flick."
But I like it, too.
Time travel is a fascinating subject to me and, unfortunately, most male oriented movies on the subject tend to leave me a bit empty (except 'Final Countdown' which is awesome!). 'The Love Letter' is not time travel per se - no one actually travels through time...or do they? The dream sequences seem to tell another story, as does the very end when the dog walker enters the picture.
But, passing letters through time is a unique way of presenting a time travel story. I just wonder why modern day Scott couldn't send his mail in the same way 1860's Elizabeth does - through the secret compartment in the desk.
Accuracy must have been a priority for the director and producer in portraying the scenes from the past, as the language, the clothing, and the sets are among the best I have seen and heard and would put them against most period flicks. Even the short Battle of Gettysburg sequence was done very well.

Warning: Spoilers coming up:
There are a number of twists and turns throughout this movie to warrant repeated viewings - I'm on my third and I seem to catch something new each time. I think my very favorite 'twist' is near the end of the film, during the 'trunk' scene. The look on the caretaker's face upon looking inside is priceless.
The other part that particularly strikes me is when Scott (in the modern day) has a publisher friend read an 1860's poetry verse that Elizabeth wrote, and the friend laughingly knocks it as being archaic, which angers Scott.
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