In fact, I was rather surprised at myself for being drawn into this obvious romantic drama during its second half. Jones and Cotten are such an appealing pair that you really want them to triumph, although there's little doubt that they will. Yet they make you forget the clanking plot mechanics.
Their performances also bring up an age-old question: Is it easier to give a great performance with great material or with lesser material? I don't know the answer, but here's proof of two good actors elevating their material several notches, which could not be easy. In fact, Jones received her third consecutive Oscar nomination for this role.
The film was released by Paramount, with both Jones and Cotten on loan from David Selznick. Selznick, in his usual way, gave numerous notes, criticisms and unwanted advice on what to do with his stars to producer Hal Wallis and director William Dieterle. I'm sure Selznick took credit for how Jones glows in this film, regardless of whether he's to thank. Add in a lovely score from Victor Young and "Love Letters" did what everyone wanted -- it turned a profit at the box office.
"Love Letters" will never be a well-loved classic. But I was surprised at how fond I remain of this film, in spite of its shortcomings. It provides a comfy afternoon at the movies if you're willing to go along for the ride, and sometimes that's all a classic movie lover needs.