THE LETTER MEN is based on the real love letters written by Gordon Bowsher to his sweetheart, Gilbert Bradley. Their love letters were exchanged throughout World War II, between the years of 1938 and 1941, but were not uncovered until 2017. The two men met in Devon in the UK in 1938, only to be separated in 1939 when Bradley was drafted into the British Army.
Life as a homosexual at that time was incredibly difficult: gay activity was a court-martial offense, jail sentences for so-called “gross indecency” were common, and much of society strongly disapproved of same-sex relationships. The two men were taking a tremendous risk by exchanging such intimate letters. Keeping them, and not burning them, was an even greater risk. It’s therefore unusual for letters such as these to have survived.
This historical collection of over 600 letters is the largest collection of LGBTQ+ love letters from that era, providing gay filmmaker Andy Vallentine with unique, intimate, and tender source material for THE LETTER MEN.
Vallentine’s 9 mins totally stunning short THE LETTER MEN (which he made with filmmaker husband Danny) stars Garrett Clayton (NBC’s Hairspray Live!, King Cobra) and Matthew Postlethwaite (Netflix’s Peaky Blinders). It had its World Premiere at Tribeca, then went on to win Best Director and Best Editing at Social World Film Festival, and Best International Short at the Paris Film Festival.
Its next screening is at OUTONFILM, Atlanta’s LGBTQ+Film Festival and for all future screenings check with http://andyvallentine.com/
PS. Make sure you have a large box of kleenex handy when you watch it.
Labels: 2022, Andy Vallentine, love story, The Letter Men, WW2