Henri-Georges Clouzot (The Wages of Fear) directed this thriller in the occupied France of 1943; after the liberation it got him into trouble for its supposedly "anti-French" sentiments. An anonymous letter writer terrorizes the citizens of a small town, spreading suspicion and social paralysis. Polished, impersonal work, it puts forward little more than a spirit of free-floating misanthropy. Remade (and improved) by Otto Preminger in 1951 as The Thirteenth Letter. With Pierre Fresnay, Pierre Larquey, and Ginette Leclerc. In French with subtitles. 92 min.
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