In a long flashback, a New York publisher is in Venice pursuing the lost love letters of an early-19th-century poet, Jeffrey Ashton, who disappeared mysteriously. Using a false name, Lewis Venable rents a room from Juliana Bordereau, once Jeffrey Ashton's lover, now an aged recluse. Running the household is Juliana's severe niece, Tina, who mistrusts Venable from the first moment. He realizes all is not right when late one night he finds Tina, her hair unpinned and wild, at the piano. She calls him Jeffrey and throws herself at him. The family priest warns Venable to tread carefully around her fantasies, but he wants the letters at any cost, even Tina's sanity. Written by
As the great Frank Sinatra song says, "if you could survive to 105 look at all you'll derive out of being alive". Well in The Lost Moment Agnes Moorehead does survive to that advanced age, but she truly looks like she's not deriving much from her continued existence.
The Lost Moment casts Robert Cummings as a book publisher who goes to Venice on a mission to get some rumored love letters of a famed poet who mysteriously disappeared in the last century. The great love of his life was Agnes Moorehead and she's survived him considerably. She lives in a decaying mansion with a many generations removed niece played by Susan Hayward.
Cummings comes there with a ruse to rent a room from the ladies who are in genteel poverty, not that Moorehead is exactly a spendthrift at this point. Cummings pretends he's a writer trying to soak up some Gothic atmosphere, but he wants those letters to publish. The late poet wrote some of the best romantic words ever and these would be a find. Like a lost play of Shakespeare.
The film is based on a Henry James novel and James would have to wait a bit for The Heiress for one of his works to get a really great screen interpretation. Everyone tries hard, but the emphasis in this film is on atmosphere and that seems to overwhelm the players.
However fans of Cummings, Hayward, and Moorehead will approve.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?