February 23, 2017


Poison Pen – 1939 | 66 mins | Mystery | B&W

Plot Synopsis

Poison Pen

Based on the play by Richard Llewellyn, this intriguingly dark and sordid drama is only let down by the predictable final stages.

The small rural village of Hilldale is torn apart by an anonymous poison pen writer. The chief suspect is foreign dressmaker Connie (Catherine Lacey), but after she is driven to suicide by the village gossips vigilante crusade – the letter campaign continues. Sam (Robert Newton), a jealous labourer, believing his innocent young wife is having an affair with local store-keeper Len (Edward Chapman), Sam shoots her supposed lover as hew is being escorted home by a policeman. The vicar’s daughter Ann Rider (Ann Todd) nearly loses her recently-arrived Australian boyfriend David when he too receives poisonous letters accusing Ann of infidelity.

Eventually the police launch an operation to apprehend the poison pen writer by carrying out surveillance of the village post-boxes and visiting homes in the neighbourhood accompanied by a handwriting expert to analyze specimens of the townsfolk’s writing. Subsequently the police identify the writer as a repressed and unfulfilled member of the community that is now mentally unstable. Whilst the police seek an arrest warrant the perpetrator descends into a maniacal frenzy.

Production Team

Paul L Stein: Director
Philip Tannura: Cinematography
Flora Newton: Editing
Walter Mycroft: Producer
William Freshman: Script
NC Hunter: Script
Esther McCracken: Script
Doreen Montgomery: Script


Robert Newton: Sam Hurrin

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