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While I Live (1947)

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25 years later, a spinster still obsesses over the death of her composer sister and concludes she has returned, reincarnated, in an amnesiac woman who chances upon her house seeking help.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sonia Dresdel ...
Carol Raye ...
Tom Walls ...
Patricia Burke ...
Christine Sloan
Clifford Evans ...
Peter Sloan
John Warwick ...
George Grant
Audrey Fildes ...
Olwen Trevelyan
Ernest Butcher ...
Ambrose, the innkeeper
Enid Hewitt ...
Ruth, the housekeeper
Sally Rogers ...
Hannah, waitress
Charles Victor ...
Sergeant Pearne
Edward Lexy ...
Johnnie Schofield ...
John Martyn ...
Brenda Cameron ...


In 1922, young composer and pianist Olwen Trevelyan, troubled and sleepless over her inability to finish the final notes of her composition, falls to her death from the cliffs of Cornwall. As years pass, Olwen's sister Julia obsessively keeps Olwen's memory alive in the family home. The young composer gains posthumous fame because of her tragic death and her haunting, unfinished composition, "The Dream of Olwen." Twenty-five years later, on the anniversary of Olwen's death, the family gathers to listen to a radio broadcast of "The Dream." Suddenly, a young woman bursts into the room, sits down at the piano, and begins playing along with the music. Claiming to have lost her memory, the young woman is cared for by the obsessed Julia, who comes to believe she is the reincarnation of her dead sister. Written by NewsHound

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Release Date:

31 August 1951 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

While I Love  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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While I Live
Composed by Charles Williams
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User Reviews

I have said what I wish to say beneath
27 November 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

it struck so powerfully when I was young it has stayed in my mind ever since. The daughter in her night dress, sleep walking on the top of a cliff on a windy rainy dark night, and going to throw herself over, as her mother had, but being rescued just in time by her boyfriend and another I think. My philosophical response to it in later years, was that in the event she didn't have to do what her mother had done. In adult interpretation this would be that the repetition compulsion had not had to be acted out. And that this was a deliverance. It must have some connection with my mother's early death from cancer. Jeremy Ross. AFECT film school. London

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While I Live (aka Dream of Olwen) 1947 jaynepluck
While I live/The Dream of Olwen Barrellissimo
DVD jc2352
Music from the film by Charles Williams powley1
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