Crime, Drama, Noir, Retro

Retro Film Series Presents

The Letter & Mildred Pierce

HEALTH CHECK: The Carolina Theatre of Durham is requiring all fans to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours OR full vaccination for entry. The City of Durham is requiring face coverings to be worn while at the theater except while eating or drinking. Additional policies may apply on a show-by-show basis and are subject to change. More details available at our Health & Safety Policies page.

William Wyler’s The Letter
(1940, 95 min)
First-ever screening at Retro!
Bette Davis stars as a wife, liar, adulterer, and murderer who convinces everyone she is actually a victim. On a steamy, moonlit Malaysian night, Davis repeatedly shoots her lover. She claims she was defending herself from a drunken stranger, a story accepted by her husband (Herbert Marshall), and her attorney (James Stephenson). Even as the dead man’s widow (Gale Sondergaard) presents a letter proving adultery, Marshall forgives Davis and pays the blackmail. One way or another, however, a woman as evil as Davis will receive justice in this classic thriller!

Followed by:

Michael Curtiz’ Mildred Pierce
(1945, 110 min)
Last screened in 2014 at Retro!
A mother’s love can lead to murder! Joan Crawford delivers an Academy Award-winning performance as a woman clawing her way to success to provide her daughters with everything she lacks. Dying of gunshot wounds, Monte Beragon (Zachary Scott) croaks the name “Mildred.” The police believe he has named his murderer — and Pierce confesses to the crime. Now, as her story unfolds, the police learn of a woman who divorces her philandering husband, takes a job as a waitress and does anything to achieve success — only to be betrayed by the daughter she adores.