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Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 13 September 1948 (Sweden)
Trailer
1:36 | Trailer

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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 (as Max Opuls)

Writers:

Howard Koch (screenplay), Stefan Zweig (novel)
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Joan Fontaine ... Lisa Berndle
Louis Jourdan ... Stefan Brand
Mady Christians ... Frau Berndle
Marcel Journet Marcel Journet ... Johann Stauffer
Art Smith ... John
Carol Yorke Carol Yorke ... Marie
Howard Freeman ... Herr Kastner
John Good John Good ... Lt. Leopold von Kaltnegger
Leo B. Pessin Leo B. Pessin ... Stefan Jr.
Erskine Sanford ... Porter
Otto Waldis ... Concierge
Sonja Bryden Sonja Bryden ... Frau Spitzer
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Storyline

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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This is the love every woman lives for...the love every man would die for!

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 September 1948 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Brief einer Unbekannten 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

In 1992, Letter from an Unknown Woman was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Stefan Brand: Have you ever shuffled faces like cards, hoping to find one that lies somewhere, just over the edge of your memory? The one you've been waiting for? Well tonight when I first saw you, and then later when I watched you in the dark, it was as though i'd found that one face among all the others. Who are you?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Max par Marcel (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Wiener Blut, Op. 354
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Never have I seen such a masterpiece!
31 December 2005 | by Classic_Vintage_BeautySee all my reviews

never have I seen such a masterpiece. Such a simple story, such a MASTERPIECE! Joan Fontaine plays Lisa, a woman who loves a man far too much. A the start, a man arrives home in order to find a letter written for him from a woman that he never knew. As he begins to read it, it unfolds the story of Lisa Bendl, first a teenager mesmerized by his music (he was a pianist of the finest kind) then a young woman, then a married woman in her 3o's. She encounters some men in her pressence but she reserves herself from him, even though he does not know her. When she has to move town when a teenager, she still thinks and wishes to be with him and with his mesmerizing music. So when a colorel proposes to her one day, she says no and runs away to her old town. He mets her and seems like the most perfect wonderful man for her. He has a child with her one night and promises to return to her in 2 weeks after his piano concert in Italy. He never returns and she gets married and still keeps him in mind as she is still in love with him. Their eyes meet 10yrs later in an opera. He meets her after she tries to run home(because she is still in love with him and wants to forget him) But he is convinced that he knows her of some sort (eventhough he never knows about his child) She.......... Please this is an undiscovered masterpiece, watch it!


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