The Radio Times logo

Letter from an Unknown Woman

  • Romance
  • Drama
  • 1948
  • Max Ophüls
  • 83 mins
  • PG

Summary

Romantic melodrama starring Joan Fontaine and Louis Jourdan. Lisa Berndle, a sensitive young girl of 15, falls madly in love with concert pianist Stefan Brand. When they finally meet three years later, her feelings have not changed.

Advertisement
Powered By
IMDB

Review

A star rating of 4 out of 5.

After one of the most tragic romantic openings in all movie history ("By the time you finish reading this letter I'll be dead"), this develops into a marvellously bittersweet tale. It's hauntingly played by winsome Joan Fontaine and caddishly handsome Louis Jourdan, and brilliantly and economically dramatised from Stefan Zweig's novel by émigré director Max Ophüls, who delivers that rare beast, a Hollywood art movie. For Ophüls, style was everything, but here the Zweig story harnesses his Viennese sensibility to a very real tale of an unrequited love so painful it tears at your heartstrings. It's very Viennese and very wonderful.

How to watch

Loading

Streaming

Credits

Cast

rolename
Lisa BerndleJoan Fontaine
Stefan BrandLouis Jourdan
Frau BerndleMady Christians
Johann StaufferMarcel Journet
JohnArt Smith
Herr KastnerHoward Freeman
Lt Leopold von KaltneggerJohn Good
Stefan JrLeo B Pessin
ConciergeOtto Waldis
PorterErskine Sanford
Frau SpitzerSonja Bryden

Crew

rolename
DirectorMax Ophüls

Details

Theatrical distributor
BFI
Released on
2010-02-12
Languages
English
Available on
video and DVD
Formats
Black and white
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sponsored content