Inscription and Erasure in All This, and Heaven Too

  • Edward Gallafent
Part of the Palgrave Close Readings in Film and Television book series (CRFT)


We can now move on from the exceptional work that is Letter from an Unknown Woman, to a film that I have chosen as representative of a rich area of Hollywood melodrama, one which is not canonical and has had relatively little critical attention.2 I offer it as a case of how letters and literacy can be sufficiently present and important in the workings of a film as to provide a framework for understanding it, without being signalled in such a way as to become the pre-eminent subject of the narrative. I will analyse how these activities, both in their presence and sometimes as crucially in their absence, enable this film to address issues of power, identity, expressiveness, frustration and love.


Young Lady Love Affair Hollywood Film Snow Globe Murderous Intention 
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  1. 1.
    Stanley Cavell, The Senses of Walden (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1992), p. 87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 7.
    This can be compared with Paula’s/Ingrid Bergman’s speech to the Boyer character at the end of Gaslight, which Stanley Cavell calls an ‘aria of revenge’. See Stanley Cavell, Contesting Tears: The Hollywood Melodrama of the Unknown Woman (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1996), p. 76.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Edward Gallafent 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward Gallafent
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WarwickUK

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