7.0/10
663
21 user 14 critic

The Lost Moment (1947)

Not Rated | | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance | 21 November 1947 (USA)
An publisher insinuates himself into the mouldering mansion of the centenarian lover of a renowned but long-dead poet in order to find his lost love letters.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview:
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Father Rinaldo
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Pietro
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Maria
William Edmunds ...
Vittorio
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

21 November 1947 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Henry James first published "The Aspern Papers" in the March-May editions of "The Atlantic Monthly". In the original story the heroine's name was Tita. In later editions of the story James changed the name to Tina. See more »

Goofs

When Lewis rescues Juliana from the fire, Juliana's stunt double can be seen grabbing onto Lewis and helping him carry 'her' out. See more »

Quotes

Father Rinaldo: [Describing Miss Juliana's medical condition] From a medical point of view she's dying, but then she's been dying for many years.
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Connections

Referenced in Myra Breckinridge (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Fenesta che lucive
Music by William Cottrau (or Vincenzo Bellini)
Sung by Enrico Caruso
In love scene between Lewis and Tina
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User Reviews

 
Remarkable Atmosphere
10 February 2002 | by See all my reviews

This little film is bursting with atmosphere, brooding, wistful, corrupt, overflowing with decay, betrayal and regret. A studio better known for its westerns and horror movies is here responsible for a major gem of delicacy and suggestion.

What makes all this remarkable is that the screenplay is a classic example of Hollywood's idiotic dumbing-down of a major work of fiction, Henry James's novella "The Aspern Papers" (based in turn on the life of Lord Byron). To compare James's brief story with the film is so sad it's almost painful, yet the movie survives and succeeds through sensitive style and sturdy professionalism.

The studio sets are evocative of a time before Venice became an international theme park, and the director's experience in radio drama provides a more finely-judged soundtrack than was the norm.

If your nerve-endings are not already terminally blunted through today's cinematic overkill, this film will prove richly rewarding.


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