Blu-ray Letter from an Unknown Woman [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray 16116771),
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Letter from an Unknown Woman [Blu-ray]

  • NR
  • Blu-ray
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • LETTER FROM AN UNKNOWN WOMAN is set in Vienna at the turn of the century, an era Ophls loved and had used in LA RONDE and LIEBELEI. Joan Fontaine gives a moving, heartfelt performance as Lisa Berndl, a romantic young woman who falls in love with the handsome concert pianist Stephan Brandt (Louis Jourdan). After a brief affair, which she takes for love, not seeing that he is just a philanderer, he leaves for a concert in Italy and never returns to the now-pregnant Lisa. She bears the child herself and later enters into a stable marriage, although one lacking the passion and love she still feels for Stephan. Ten years later, when he returns to Vienna, Lisa attempts, at the risk of her marriage, to see if he loves, or even remembers her. Fontaine and Jourdan perfectly project the feelings of a woman in love and a man too selfish to notice or care.

    Written by Howard Koch, the co-author of CASABLANCA, from a novel by Stephan Zweig, LETTER FROM AN UNKNOWN WOMAN is generally described as a "woman's picture" because of its theme of unrequited love. But this somewhat pejorative description hides what in acting, writing, camera work, atmosphere and emotion is not just one of Max Ophls' crowning achievements, but one the finest examples of how all elements needed to make a great film are brought together.
  • Credits
    Joan Fontaine, Joan Burfield, Joan de, Havilland, Louis Jourdan, Louis Gendre, Marcel Journet, Mady Christians, Art Smith, Carol Yorke, Howard Freeman
  • Critic Reviews
    "Ophuls' masterful balance of viewpoints allows the viewer to perceive the long flashback that constitutes the film's main body as both a literal embodiment of Lisa's romantic fantasy and a critique of said romanticism."
    Sight and Sound

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