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Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 13 September 1948 (Sweden)
Trailer
1:36 | Trailer
A pianist about to flee from a duel receives a letter from a woman he cannot remember, who may hold the key to his downfall.

Director:

(as Max Opuls)

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Marcel Journet ...
Art Smith ...
John
Carol Yorke ...
Marie
...
Herr Kastner
John Good ...
Lt. Leopold von Kaltnegger
Leo B. Pessin ...
Stefan Jr.
Erskine Sanford ...
Porter
Otto Waldis ...
Concierge
Sonja Bryden ...
Frau Spitzer
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Storyline

In Vienna in 1900, Stefan Brand must face a duel the following morning. He has no intention of defending his honor however and plans to flee the city when he notices that he has received a letter from someone in his past. A struggling concert pianist at the time he met Lisa Berndle when she was just a teenager living next door. Brand has had many women in his life however and unaware that Lisa is genuinely in love with him, forgets all about her. They meet again but he only vaguely remembers ever having met her. Unknown to him she bears his child and eventually marries a man who knows of her past but loves her very much. When she runs into Brand many years later her love for him resurfaces and she is prepared to abandon her son son and husband for him. Tragedy follows. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

letter | pianist | duel | love | 1900s | See All (192) »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 September 1948 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Brief einer Unbekannten  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First film produced by Rampart Productions, an independent company formed by Joan Fontaine and her then husband William Dozier. See more »

Quotes

Stefan Brand: Have you ever shuffled faces like cards, hoping to find one that lies somewhere, just over the edge of your memory? The one you've been waiting for? Well tonight when I first saw you, and then later when I watched you in the dark, it was as though i'd found that one face among all the others. Who are you?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The House of Mirth (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Wiener Blut, Op. 354
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss (uncredited)
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User Reviews

 
Subversive Romance
28 August 2004 | by (Brooklyn, NY) – See all my reviews

This has to be one of my all time favorite films. Ophuls is perhaps the most graceful and elegant film-maker ever. Here in Letter from an Unknown Woman, he is at his most romantic. Though the romance is only a fantasy (and so beautifully subverted by Ophuls graceful choreography and merciless sense of irony), passion is nevertheless king (or queen). I have never seen a film celebrate love in quite this way. It reminds me of one of the most beautiful lines in cinema from Altman's "Gosford Park" when Sophie Thompson says, "I believe in love. Not just getting it... giving it. I think as long as you can love somebody, whether or not they love you, then it's worth it." Ophuls' entire film plays with this very notion. Lise's fanatical love (and obsession) is requited not by Stefan but by Ophuls himself, and of course by weepy viewers like me and hopefully you too.


45 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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