Letter from an Unknown Woman (2004)
"Yi ge mo sheng nu ren de lai xin" (original title)

 |  Drama  |  4 March 2005 (China)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 560 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 4 critic

Peking, 1948. A winter night. A man returns home to find a letter awaiting him written by a woman before her death. in the letter she tells him the story of her love for him -a life-long ... See full summary »



, (novel)
0Check in
4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A story of four teenagers during Cultural Revolution in Beijing.

Director: Wen Jiang
Stars: Yu Xia, Xiaogang Feng, Le Geng
Action | Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In 1920s China, a bandit arrives in a remote provincial town posing as its new mayor, where he faces off against a tyrannical local nobleman.

Director: Wen Jiang
Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Wen Jiang, You Ge
Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Set in 1920s Shanghai, Ma Zouri and Xiang Feitian establish a notorious beauty pageant called the Flowers Competition. All of the city's elite attend the gala event, but when Wanyan Ying ... See full summary »

Director: Wen Jiang
Stars: Zhang Wen, Zhiwen Wang, Huang Hung
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

During the Japanese occupation of China, two prisoners are dumped in a peasant's home in a small town. The owner is bullied into keeping the prisoners until the next New Year, at which time... See full summary »

Director: Wen Jiang
Stars: Wen Jiang, Kenya Sawada, Yihong Jiang
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

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: Max Ophüls
Stars: Joan Fontaine, Louis Jourdan, Mady Christians
Green Tea (2003)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Director: Yuan Zhang
Stars: Wen Jiang, Wei Zhao, Lijun Fang
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Jiang Wen stars in his third directorial work that boasts a stellar cast including Joan Chen, Anthony Wong and Jaycee Chan. A polyptych of interconnected stories in different time-zones, ... See full summary »

Director: Wen Jiang
Stars: Wen Jiang, Joan Chen, Anthony Chau-Sang Wong
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A con-team couple (Andy Lau & Rene Liu) head west after taking a city businessman for his BMW. But an encounter with a naive young carpenter travelling home with his life savings challenges their fate as thieves.

Director: Xiaogang Feng
Stars: Andy Lau, Rene Liu, Baoqiang Wang
Blind Massage (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A drama centered around the employees of a Nanjing massage parlor who share a common trait: they are all blind.

Director: Ye Lou
Stars: Xiaodong Guo, Lu Huang, Xuan Huang
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

How happy and proud they are those two ladies back in their Tras-os-Montes region! Thanks to them, their bright nephew can study medicine in Lisbon and may already have become a physician. ... See full summary »

Director: José Cottinelli Telmo
Stars: Vasco Santana, Beatriz Costa, António Silva
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

After breaking up with girlfriend Zeta, Frankie heads north for prostitution where he meets an attractive girl Celia and develops feeling for her.

Director: Mark Wu
Stars: Justin Cheung, Gregory Wong, Mark Wu
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Qin Fen, a funny, honest, single inventor, met a girl called Smiley, who was in agony of her boyfriend's betrayal. They traveled to Hokkaido, tried to help Smiley cure her pain in heart, ... See full summary »

Director: Xiaogang Feng
Stars: You Ge, Qi Shu, Xiao Che


Credited cast:
Jue Huang ...
The Officer / Captain Huang
Writer / Mr. Xu
Huang Jiao ...
Officer Huang
Yuan Lin ...
Enran Ma ...
Xiaoming Su ...
Zihao Su ...
Feihu Sun ...
Jinglei Xu ...
Woman / Miss Jiang
Baomo Zhang ...


Peking, 1948. A winter night. A man returns home to find a letter awaiting him written by a woman before her death. in the letter she tells him the story of her love for him -a life-long passion that has not diminished over time, but one that he has never known. her story spans 18 years from the moment she -then a 13 year-old girl- sets her eyes on her new neighbor. she tells their brief but passionate love in her youthi the hardship she goes through raising their child alone, and their final encounter after the war, during which the man fails tor ecognize her and one which leaves her in despair. Now having lost her son, she no longer has the courage to live on. Only in a letter is she capable of telling him everything, for the first and the last time. shaken by the letter, the man searches his memory for the nameless woman. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




See all certifications »




Release Date:

4 March 2005 (China)  »

Also Known As:

Carta de una mujer desconocida  »

Box Office


CNY 20,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When the man brings the woman to his home in the "Six years later" segment (which takes place in the late 1930s), the woman brushes her hand against the spine of the second volume of the World Book Dictionary as she admires his books. The first edition of the dictionary was published in 1963. See more »


References Woman of the Year (1942) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

So pretty and so deadened--a superficial reworking of an emotional classic
19 September 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Letter from an Unknown Woman (2004)

I got this in the mail by mistake, but was thrilled to see a contemporary Chinese adaptation of the famous story by Stefan Zweig. The lush, fluid Max Ophuls version from 1948 would have to wait.

But hopefully not for long. This one, filmed with the common "pretty" cinematography of a lot of contemporary epics and romances, is really adequate on the surface. I say that without sarcasm, because it does gradually and slowly (too slowly) tell the story. It lingers on pretty details, it luxuriates in mood and in the passing of time, and it inserts some historical particulars that make it its own film (namely the Japanese aggression on China as WWII approaches and then unleashes). All of this goes almost nowhere emotionally, or even in a narrative sense, mostly because it is simply presented, rather than organically unfolded.

I think it might be enjoyable for its ambiance, and for a nostalgic look at an earlier China. The story is given what it needs to make sense, but is overwrought in a way the Ophuls film, by some magic, is not, even though it's the same melodrama at hand. Maybe it is partly an issue of good old acting and directing--a lack of truly penetrating acting is plain enough, but the direction avoids some of the great possibilities with even these two main leads, often watching them from afar or without words. This can work beautifully in film, of course, but it takes a different kind of poetry to pull off.

So, the appearances of a moving, great movie only.

4 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
DVD pink_lvr
Soundtrack xkurenaix
Discuss Letter from an Unknown Woman (2004) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: