Letter from an Unknown Woman

Film, Romance
5 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

5 out of 5 stars
In the opening credits of this 1948 old-Hollywood classic, the legendary German director’s name is Americanised as ‘Max Opuls’. Somehow it’s appropriate, because from its painstakingly designed interiors to its sweeping, fluid camerawork, from its overblown score to its devastating central performances, ‘Letter From an Unknown Woman’ is suffused with opulence. But this is no Sternbergian exercise in glamour: in telling of young Viennese dreamer Lisa (Joan Fontaine) and her desire for an unattainable man (Louis Jourdan) and the high-style world he inhabits, Ophüls comes down on the side of the outsider, those of us with our noses pressed up against the glass. So for all its florid melodramatic trappings, this grand, heartbreaking masterpiece resonates with sad, simple truths: just because one can appreciate beauty, that does not make one beautiful, and just because one loves does not mean one is loved.

By: Tom Huddleston



Release details

Release date:
Friday February 12 2010
90 mins

Cast and crew

Max Ophüls
Howard Koch
Carol Yorke
John Good
Louis Jourdan
Joan Fontaine
Marcel Journet
Art Smith
Mady Christians
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