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Beware of Pity (1946)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 22 July 1946 (UK)
A man asks a pretty young woman for a dance and discovers that she has been paralyzed in a fall from a horse and can't walk. Taking pity on her, he begins spending more and more time with ... See full summary »


Maurice Elvey


Stefan Zweig (novel), Elizabeth Baron | 2 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lilli Palmer ... Baroness Edith de Kekesfalva
Albert Lieven ... Lt. Anton Marek
Cedric Hardwicke ... Dr. Albert Condor
Gladys Cooper ... Mrs. Klara Condor
Linden Travers ... Ilona Domansky
Ernest Thesiger ... Baron Emil de Kekesfalva
Emrys Jones ... Lt. Joszi Molnar
Gerhard Kempinski Gerhard Kempinski ... Mayor Jan Nivak
Ralph Truman Ralph Truman ... Maj. Sandor Balinkay
John Salew John Salew ... Col. Franz Bubencic
David Ward David Ward ... Capt. Ferencz Herczeg
Anthony Dawson ... Lt. Blannik
Godfrey Parker Godfrey Parker ... Count Ferdinand Salm
Peter Cotes Peter Cotes ... Kosma (orderly)
Fritz Wendhausen Fritz Wendhausen ... Josef (as Frederick Wendhausen)


A man asks a pretty young woman for a dance and discovers that she has been paralyzed in a fall from a horse and can't walk. Taking pity on her, he begins spending more and more time with her. They gradually become friends, and she soon finds herself falling in love with him. Not wanting to hurt her feelings, he doesn't let her know that, although he's fond of her, he doesn't really love her. Unfortunately, she inadvertently finds out his true feelings and, distraught, flees from him, intending to kill herself. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

love | disability | based on novel | See All (3) »


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

22 July 1946 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Ungeduld des Herzens See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Two Cities Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

B.A.F. Sound System

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Out of pity an officer gets involuntarily involved with a suicidal cripple with consequences.
2 April 2017 | by clanciaiSee all my reviews

This was Stefan Zweig's one and only novel, who was a great psychologist and in this novel approached the realms of Dostoievsky's keen insight into the complexities of the human mind and dealing with it with a very delicate touch. The film has succeeded in embracing the terrible predicament of the officer, who sees no way out when a suicidal cripple has given him her unconditional love which he can't answer. It's a universally worrying situation for everyone involved, including her entire family, her doctor and his wife and his own regimental fellow officers, and the real title of the novel is "The Heart's Unrest", driving the unreleased passion of the heart to the brinks of hysteria and desperation, like also in his short story "Verwirrung der Gefühle" ("The Confusion of Feelings"). Lilli Palmer dominates the film giving one of her best performances of extreme charm and sensitivity, Cedric Hardwicke is perfect as the troubled doctor who is also stuck in the dilemma of not being able to deliver the truth, he is in a similar situation himself stuck for life as married to a blind wife (Gladys Cooper, always excellent), playing a vital part in the drama, while Albert Lieven is just as helpless in his role as he should be. It is beautifully filmed, Cecil Beaton having created the exquisite costumes, the environment is like the beauteous dream of a fairy tale but real, and reality is all too palpable as the first world war breaks out - Archduke Franz Ferdinand has a small part in the film. On the whole, it's a film well worth seeing for its challenging task of realizing a very worrying and troublesome story of a predicament that could happen to anyone.

It's interesting to compare this Stefan Zweig film with the other one of almost the same year, Max Ophuls' "Letter from an Unknown Woman", on one of his short stories. In that film very much is altered, the writer in the story is a pianist in the film, and the events of the story are much less tragic and poignant than in the film. In "Beware of Pity" very little is altered, it sticks to the book with carefulness, and still Max Ophuls' film is so much more interesting and gripping. Curiously enough, just by making so great changes to the story, he makes Stefan Zweig more alive and convincing, than the almost pedantic "Beware of Pity" being more true to the letter.

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