Sticking with his Oscar theme, this week Steve Hayes tells us about the performance he says should have won, but didn't -- Bette Davis in "The Letter." Steve says: Davis lost to Ginger Rodgers in "Kitty Foyle" (what the?). It's sort like when Judi Dench in "Mrs. Brown" lost to Helen Hunt in "As Good as It Gets."
THE LETTER (1940): Director William Wyler sits on her mannerisms and squeezes out of Bette Davis what may be the ultimate depiction of sexual repression gone haywire. Set in the jungles of Malaysia with a thundering score by Max Steiner and strong support by James Stephenson as her lawyer and sinister Gale Sondergaard as the wife of the man shes murdered, its high melodrama at its steamy best. "The Letter" was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including best picture, best actress, and best director.