Letter From An Unknown Woman

Letter From An Unknown Woman

DVD - 2012
Average Rating:
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In early 20th century Vienna, Stefan Brand is in the process of fleeing on the eve of a duel he wants no part of. However, before he can do so, he receives an anonymous letter from an unknown woman. Stefan is deeply moved by what he reads and starts to realize that the letter's author is Lisa Berndl, a young woman he's known but disregarded for most of his life.

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a
akirakato
Jul 24, 2016

This is a 1948 American romance film directed by Max Ophüls, based on the novella of the same name by Stefan Zweig.
Although it is one of the greatest romances, I can hardly believe that such an unbelievable love story existed in reality.
They say, however, fact is stranger than fiction.
Well... God only knows.
In any case, it is one of the superb entertaining and thought-provoking pieces.

n
nptphoto
Jan 16, 2014

Fontaine is miscast, Ophuls can't direct (could he, ever?), and the great Louis Jourdan effortlessly outshines the proceedings. I did like the scene with a ferris wheel backdrop against a winter night sky, as carnival music plays softly in the background...

a
a_esquimaux
May 23, 2013

The VERY definition of "overlooked classic". An all-time great director, one of the great screenwriters, one of the great producers, and (arguably) one of the all-time great actresses... how is this not getting the "Criterion" treatment? Hell, if "Tiny Furniture" can qualify... regardless, I'm glad someone saw fit to put out a DVD transfer (excellent quality btw)! All the trappings you (filmgeeks) expect from an Ophuls work: tragic-romantic-irrational female lead; pretty-faced male lead played with rakish charm; stirring soundtrack; dynamic plot structure; and that ever elegant camera (though perhaps toned down for an american audience). Joan Fontaine (who is still alive btw; I respectfully demand we flood her with fanmail) does -- quite simply -- a badass job embodying her character's gradual progression from plain, awkward girl to refined, stately beauty; this is no mere makeup/wardrobe job, people -- watch the way she moves and carries herself. Louis Jordan does a good job keeping up.

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