Fourteen-year-old Tessa is hopelessly in love with handsome composer Lewis Dodd, a family friend. Lewis adores Tessa, but has never shown any romantic feelings toward her. When Tessa's ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Fritz Bercovy
Joyce Reynolds ...
Jean Muir ...
Montagu Love ...
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Roberto (as Edward Ciannelli)
Janine Crispin ...
Marie
Doris Lloyd ...
Miss Hamilton
Joan Blair ...
André Charlot ...
Dr. Renee (as Andre Charlot)
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Storyline

Fourteen-year-old Tessa is hopelessly in love with handsome composer Lewis Dodd, a family friend. Lewis adores Tessa, but has never shown any romantic feelings toward her. When Tessa's father dies, Lewis contacts her late mother's wealthy family so they'll take care of Tessa and her sisters. Lewis becomes taken with Tessa's haughty cousin Florence and the two soon marry and head off for Florence's estate in England. Meanwhile, Florence sends Tessa and her sister Paula off to finishing school. The girls run away from school and Tessa moves in with Florence and Louis. Florence soon becomes consumed with jealousy over the bond between her husband and Tessa. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He tried to divide his heart and broke theirs.

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

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Release Date:

10 July 1943 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

La ninfa constante  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joan Fontaine got the lead role of Tessa by a lucky chance. One day, she was having lunch at Romanoff's in Hollywood, with her husband, actor Brian Aherne. The two had just flown in by airplane from their grape ranch in Indio, California, and Fontaine was in a leather flight suit with her hair done in pigtails. Director Edmund Goulding walked into the restaurant, and stopped by their table to say hello to his good friend Aherne. Goulding complained that he was having trouble casting a lead actress for his next movie, "The Constant Nymph." Although he had considered Joan Leslie, she was wrong for the part. And, Goulding explained, "Jack Warner wants a star in the lead, but she has to be consumptive, flat-chested, anemic, and fourteen!" "How about me?" said Fontaine. "Who are you?" asked Goulding, not recognizing the freckled girl in pigtails sitting next to him. "Joan Fontaine," said the actress. Goulding looked startled. "You're perfect!" Fontaine was signed for the part the next day, and later called it "the happiest motion-picture assignment of my career." See more »

Connections

Version of The Constant Nymph (1928) See more »

Soundtracks

Tomorrow
(uncredited)
Words by Margaret Kennedy
by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Sung by Joan Fontaine (dubbed by Sally Sweetland) with chamber group
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User Reviews

 
A Lost Classic!
22 August 2001 | by (US) – See all my reviews

This film is one of the hardest to find great films of its day. Joan Fontaine considers it to be one of her two best performances, the other being her work in Letter From An Unknown Woman. Both films share an abundance of similarities. In each, she devotes her life to her love of a musician. Music is as significant and intrinsic to the films as any major character. In addition, the two films both allow Fontaine the dramatic luxury of playing her characters as children. She pulls this off more successfully than any other actress I have seen. In fact, my favorite parts of both films were the early scenes in which she was playing her characters at their most youthful. The Constant Nymph offers some fascinatingly complex characterizations, including Alexis Smith's Florence, whom we hate and feel sorry for at the same time (for stealing away Charles Boyer from Joan Fontaine). This is a very special film with some truly beautiful music. Catch it if you can!


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