Letters

Last week, the passing of Steve Jobs had everyone talking.  And writing.  Or should I say “tweeting?”  Apparently, Twitter accounts all over the world were busier than usual as the news spread.  Jobs didn’t invent computers or cell phones.  But he made them exciting in a way no one else had.  He took the world of information and put it in the palms of our hands, directing his company to concentrate on ease of use – as well as a cool, “wow” factor.

I like the Internet and social networks.  I like email.  I like texting and messaging.  We read and hear news as it happens, wherever we are.  We stay in touch with friends and family.  We see photos of loved ones, just seconds after someone aimed his phone and took the picture.

But there is something especially personal about a letter.

Knowing that a family member or a friend sat down and wrote out a message just for us.  That that person took the time to do so, because putting pen to paper takes time and deliberate thought.  Today it’s something we reserve for the people who mean the most to us.  The post office may not be doing the business it once did, but they’re still busy at holiday time.  And we still want to find that perfect card for a birthday or anniversary.  We like the individual attention of a thank you card for a gift.  We know that children will be especially excited to receive a card or letter addressed just to them.  We want the warmth of a handwritten letter from one who loves us.  A letter we can hold in the palms of our hands.

Letters are not as common as they used to be.  But the delivery of mail has played an important part in our history and in many of our movies and TV shows.  In these movies, letters might help a relationship grow.  They might bring comfort to someone going through a bad time. They might even bring sad news.  They might express a love beyond measure.  And sometimes a single letter might change someone’s life.

 

  • 84 Charing Cross Road                                                               Letters to Juliet
  • Dear Frankie                                                                                  The Love Letter
  • Dear God                                                                                         Love Letters
  • Dear John                                                                                       M*A*S*H (TV series)
  • Immortal Beloved                                                                         Miracle on 34th Street
  • The Lake House                                                                            Mister Roberts
  • The Letter                                                                                       Possession
  • A Letter to Three Wives                                                              P.S. I Love You
  • Letters to God                                                                                The Shop Around the Corner

 

These are a few of my favorite movies in which letters played a part.  In the case of M*A*S*H, some of the best episodes centered on letters to loved ones.  Are there other movies or TV series you would have included?

 

Comments

Speaking of letters that

Speaking of letters that change people's lives, I can't let this wonderful blog topic be without mentioning Jane Austen's heroines and heroes, and the role the written word plays in their lives. Exhibit A is Elizabeth Bennet of Pride and Prejudice. Exhibit B is the passionate, willful Marianne Dashwood of Sense and Sensibility. And who can forget the heart-stopping letter scene in Persuasion?

You're absolutely right about

You're absolutely right about the importance of letters in Jane Austen's stories.  I definitely should have included them, since letters drive much of the story, especially in Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion.  And the scenes of Marianne writing and finally receiving correspondence in Sense and Sensibility?  One of the most memorable moments.

Thanks so much for reminding me of these beautiful stories.

 

 

What a fantastic blog topic!

What a fantastic blog topic! I suppose I've never given much thought to how many movies revolve around letters - received, written or lost. Personally, I like postcards. Short and sweet, with a picture bonus!

My favorite movie on this list is Dear Frankie. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that Dear Frankie is one of my top ten favorite movies. The setting is gorgeous, the acting is beautiful, and the script is emotional in an understated way.

Thanks so much for

Thanks so much for commenting.  Dear Frankie is one of the sweetest movies I've ever seen.  As you pointed out, there's so much to savor, from start to finish.

Thanks again!