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Lost Daughter (1949)

Portrait from Life (original title)
Intrigued by the portrait of a Jewish girl at a London art gallery, a British Army Major attempts to find her among the refugees living in various camps for displaced persons in post-WW2 Germany.


Terence Fisher


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mai Zetterling ... Lidia aka Hildegarde
Robert Beatty ... Campbell Reid
Guy Rolfe ... Major Lawrence
Herbert Lom ... Fritz Kottler Hendlemann
Patrick Holt ... Ferguson
Arnold Marlé Arnold Marlé ... Professor Franz Menzel
Sybille Binder ... Eitel Hendlmann
Thora Hird ... Mrs. Skinner
Gerard Heinz ... Heine
Yvonne Owen Yvonne Owen ... Helen
Ernest Thesiger ... Bloomfield (scenes deleted)
John Blythe ... Johnnie
Philo Hauser Philo Hauser ... Hans Ackermann
George Thorpe George Thorpe ... Brigadier
Cyril Chamberlain Cyril Chamberlain ... Supervisor


A British army officer becomes fascinated by the portrait of a young woman. He travels to Germany to find her only to discover that she is suffering from amnesia. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A psychological thriller, a captivating mystery, a tender love story - all brilliantly COMBINED INTO ONE EXCITING MOTION PICTURE


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English | German

Release Date:

10 January 1949 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Lost Daughter See more »

Filming Locations:

Piccadilly, London, England, UK See more »


Box Office


£132,800 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Gainsborough Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (BAF Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film debut of Anthony Steel. See more »

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User Reviews

A tragic tale from a displaced persons camp in Germany after the War
4 August 2016 | by robert-temple-1See all my reviews

This is a very moving and effective film starring the young Mai Zetterling, then aged 23 but looking 18 and acting even younger than that. She has amnesia because of terrible events which she has experienced during the War, including time spent in Auschwitz because she was a Jew. She is the lost daughter of a German Jewish professor who is living as a refugee in London, and who has not seen any members of his family for nine years and does not even know if they are alive. In the camp, she is disguised as the daughter of a man who calls himself Fritz Handelmann, played by Herbert Lom at his most sinister and threatening. Zetterling does not know she is not his daughter and believes him when he tells her she is. But meanwhile, Lom is really 'the fourth in command of the SS' with a secret bunker near the camp, who is attempting to revive the Nazi cause while remaining in disguise as a refugee. Guy Rolfe plays an English officer posted to the British Army of Occupation in Germany. He is home on 21 day leave in London and meets the old professor, who tells him of his missing daughter. This is because a war artist has painted a haunting portrait of her which is on show at the Royal Academy, Rolfe visits it and hears the professor exclaim upon seeing it: 'But that's my daughter!' Rolfe is taken by the girl in the portrait and decides to help investigate. And so a considerable saga ensues, leading to dramatic events and the finding of the utterly charming young Zetterling, who at that age was enough to set any number of hearts aflutter. It's quite a story and superbly directed by Terence Fisher, who had only directed his very first film the year before. Later, in 1962, he would direct the version of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA which has Herbert Lom play the Phantom and Heather Sears as Christine.

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