In Vienna in 1900, Stefan Brand must face a duel the following morning. He has no intention of defending his honor however and plans to flee the city when he notices that he has received a letter from someone in his past. A struggling concert pianist at the time he met Lisa Berndle when she was just a teenager living next door. Brand has had many women in his life however and unaware that Lisa is genuinely in love with him, forgets all about her. They meet again but he only vaguely remembers ever having met her. Unknown to him she bears his child and eventually marries a man who knows of her past but loves her very much. When she runs into Brand many years later her love for him resurfaces and she is prepared to abandon her son and husband for him. Tragedy follows.Written by
In the film, Lisa is at least several years younger than Stefan Brand. In reality, Joan Fontaine is older than Louis Jourdan. See more »
While most signs in the movie are written correctly in German, since the movie is set in Austria, parts of them are in English, e.g. Stefan Brand's concert flyer, which says "Concert Program" instead of "Konzertprogramm". See more »
This movie is really great in how it conjures up so much tasteful melodrama through its structure and the unique way in that the main characters spend less time on screen together interacting than they do just being painfully tragic.
I really enjoy the structure of the piece, through the title letter which gives a sense of dated urgency if that makes any sense. We read along with the man who also doesn't not really know the whole story, and so we see through her eyes in a fresh sense his being while discovering the story along with him. It is an interesting way of making the movie. Fontaine is wonderfully vulnerable and believable as a woman who tries and tries and tries and matures and regresses through decades of life. My favorite part of course is the lovely "train ride" through different vistas, its cutesy but also a comment on how their romance is so supercilious to him but everything to her, in a fake box car. Depression may occur after viewing this film.
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