Poison Pen (1939)

Poison Pen (1939)

Released: 1939
Genre: Drama, Genre
Director: Paul L. Stein
Starring: Ann Todd, Robert Newton, Flora Robson, ,
Run time: 79 min
IMDb: 6.7/10
Country: UK
Views: 196525


A small, sedate British village is shocked when its residents begin receiving hate-filled diatribes, known as “poison pen letters”.
User Reviews: Slight but likeable, cusp of the War, b&w ‘B’ movie made in Elstree, almost entirely in the studio but creating a believable enough feel of that archetypal English village of the period. The warm glow of the recognisable and friendly shopkeeper, priest and neighbours. But also the claustrophobia and the restrictions as the values and values of the many that can restrict the behaviour of the few. Here all is exasperated by the vindictive actions of the writer of poison pen letters. I have no idea whether Clouzot saw this before he made his classic Le Corbeau during the ensuing War but whilst this does not have quite the same sinister undertones of the French film this is still powerful enough with what one reviewer describes as ‘several disturbing incidents’. The direction and acting are solid with plenty of recognisable old favourites but Flora Robson is particularly effective and if I have never understood the appeal of Robert Newton, he is prominently billed and certainly had his fans. It is interesting to see Ann Todd holding her own amidst distinguished company and about to become a star herself. A pleasant enough and very English watch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.