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A British army officer becomes fascinated by the portrait of a young woman. He travels to Germany to find her only to discover that she is suffering from amnesia. Written by
Steve Crook <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A tragic tale from a displaced persons camp in Germany after the War
This is a very moving and effective film starring the young Mai Zetterling, then aged 23 but looking 18 and acting even younger than that. She has amnesia because of terrible events which she has experienced during the War, including time spent in Auschwitz because she was a Jew. She is the lost daughter of a German Jewish professor who is living as a refugee in London, and who has not seen any members of his family for nine years and does not even know if they are alive. In the camp, she is disguised as the daughter of a man who calls himself Fritz Handelmann, played by Herbert Lom at his most sinister and threatening. Zetterling does not know she is not his daughter and believes him when he tells her she is. But meanwhile, Lom is really 'the fourth in command of the SS' with a secret bunker near the camp, who is attempting to revive the Nazi cause while remaining in disguise as a refugee. Guy Rolfe plays an English officer posted to the British Army of Occupation in Germany. He is home on 21 day leave in London and meets the old professor, who tells him of his missing daughter. This is because a war artist has painted a haunting portrait of her which is on show at the Royal Academy, Rolfe visits it and hears the professor exclaim upon seeing it: 'But that's my daughter!' Rolfe is taken by the girl in the portrait and decides to help investigate. And so a considerable saga ensues, leading to dramatic events and the finding of the utterly charming young Zetterling, who at that age was enough to set any number of hearts aflutter. It's quite a story and superbly directed by Terence Fisher, who had only directed his very first film the year before. Later, in 1962, he would direct the version of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA which has Herbert Lom play the Phantom and Heather Sears as Christine.
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