6.9/10
876
28 user 20 critic

The Lost Moment (1947)

Not Rated | | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance | 21 November 1947 (USA)
An publisher insinuates himself into the mouldering mansion of the centenarian lover of a renowned but long-dead poet in order to find his lost love letters.

Director:

Martin Gabel

Writers:

Leonardo Bercovici (screenplay), Henry James (based on the novel "The Aspern Papers")
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Cast

Cast overview:
Robert Cummings ... Lewis Venable
Susan Hayward ... Tina Bordereau
Agnes Moorehead ... Juliana Borderau
Joan Lorring ... Amelia
Eduardo Ciannelli ... Father Rinaldo
John Archer ... Charles
Frank Puglia ... Pietro
Minerva Urecal ... Maria
William Edmunds William Edmunds ... Vittorio
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Storyline

In a long flashback, a New York publisher is in Venice pursuing the lost love letters of an early-19th-century poet, Jeffrey Ashton, who disappeared mysteriously. Using a false name, Lewis Venable rents a room from Juliana Bordereau, once Jeffrey Ashton's lover, now an aged recluse. Running the household is Juliana's severe niece, Tina, who mistrusts Venable from the first moment. He realizes all is not right when late one night he finds Tina, her hair unpinned and wild, at the piano. She calls him Jeffrey and throws herself at him. The family priest warns Venable to tread carefully around her fantasies, but he wants the letters at any cost, even Tina's sanity. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 November 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Briefe aus dem Jenseits See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Henry James first published "The Aspern Papers" in the March-May editions of "The Atlantic Monthly". In the original story the heroine's name was Tita. In later editions of the story James changed the name to Tina. See more »

Goofs

When Lewis rescues Juliana from the fire, Juliana's stunt double can be seen grabbing onto Lewis and helping him carry 'her' out. See more »

Quotes

Juliana Borderau: I never sleep. I hear every sound in this house.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Aspern Papers (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Fenesta che lucive
(uncredited)
Music by William Cottrau (or Vincenzo Bellini)
Sung by Enrico Caruso
In love scene between Lewis and Tina
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Remarkable Atmosphere
10 February 2002 | by tonstant viewerSee all my reviews

This little film is bursting with atmosphere, brooding, wistful, corrupt, overflowing with decay, betrayal and regret. A studio better known for its westerns and horror movies is here responsible for a major gem of delicacy and suggestion.

What makes all this remarkable is that the screenplay is a classic example of Hollywood's idiotic dumbing-down of a major work of fiction, Henry James's novella "The Aspern Papers" (based in turn on the life of Lord Byron). To compare James's brief story with the film is so sad it's almost painful, yet the movie survives and succeeds through sensitive style and sturdy professionalism.

The studio sets are evocative of a time before Venice became an international theme park, and the director's experience in radio drama provides a more finely-judged soundtrack than was the norm.

If your nerve-endings are not already terminally blunted through today's cinematic overkill, this film will prove richly rewarding.


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