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Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948)

8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 6,431 users  
Reviews: 56 user | 49 critic

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), (story), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Marcel Journet ...
Johann Stauffer
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, about 1900, a dashing man arrives at his flat, instructing his manservant that he will leave before morning: the man is Stefan Brand, formerly a concert pianist, planning to leave Vienna to avoid a duel. His servant gives him a letter from an unknown woman, which he reads. In flashbacks we see the lifelong passion of Lisa Berndle for him: first as a girl who was his neighbor; next as a young woman who, in secret, has his child; then as a mature woman who meets him again and abandons husband and son to be with him. Each time he does not remember who she is or that they have ever met. By morning, he has finished the letter, and her husband awaits satisfaction. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

letter | pianist | duel | neighbor | 1900s | See more »

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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Hideo Nakata considers this "the best film made in the entire movie history". See more »

Quotes

1st Man on Balcony: [Speaking of Stefan] He returned last week.
2nd Man on Balcony: A concert tour?
Woman on Balcony: Pleasure trip most likely.
1st Man on Balcony: The way he's burning himself up, it's a wonder he's still alive.
2nd Man on Balcony: Ten years ago, he showed great promise. Too bad. With that talent, he could have been a great pianist.
1st Man on Balcony: Perhaps talent is not enough.
Woman on Balcony: Perhaps he has too many talents.
See more »

Connections

Version of Letter from an Unknown Woman (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Un sospiro
(uncredited)
Music by Franz Liszt
Played on piano by Louis Jourdan (dubbed by Jakob Gimpel)
Also used as main theme in the score
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A sad love story

It all starts from a schoolgirl crush.Louis Jourdan (b. 1919) is Stefan Brand, a concert pianist, who's leaving Vienna to avoid a duel.Before he leaves his servant gives him a letter from an unknown woman.The letter is from Lisa Berndl, played by Joan Fontaine (b. 1917).In that letter Lisa tells how deeply in love she's been with Stefan for many years.It all started when she was living as his neighbor as a schoolgirl.Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948) is a movie that Max Ophüls directed.I started watching the movie after about five minutes and I was too captivated by it so I couldn't stop watching it.It's a different kind of love story.Fontaine and Jourdan are perfect people for their parts.Joan Fontaine is amazing going from a teenager to a mature woman.The whole movie has a great casting.This movie is a true classic.A movie that will make you shed a few tears.


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