Letter From An Unknown Woman

Max Ophuls

Tit. It.: “Lettera Da Una Sconosciuta”; Scen.: Howard Koch, Max Ophuls, Dalla Novella “Briefe Einer Unbekannten” Di Stefan Zweig; F.: Frank Planer; M.: Ted J. Kent; Scgf.: Alexander Golitzen; Cost.: Travis Banton; Mu.: Daniele Amfitheatrof; Int.: Joan Fontaine (Lisa Berndle), Louis Jourdan (Stefan Brand), Mady Christians (Frau Berndle), Marcel Journet (Johann Stauffer), John Good (Tenente Leopold Von Kaltnegger), Carol Yorke (Marie), Art Smith (John, Il Maggiordomo), Howard Freeman (Herr Kastner), Otto Waldis (Portiere), Leo B. Pessin (Stefan Da Piccolo), Sonja Bryden (Frau Spitzer), Erskine Sandford (Facchino); Prod.: John Houseman Per Rampart; 35mm. D.: 86’. Bn.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

Letter from an Unknown Woman seems timeless in its intimate focus on a woman and her consuming desire for love. Joan Fontaine stars as this woman bearing a lifelong adoration – from schoolgirl crush to complete obsession – for a charming, womanizing concert pianist (Louis Jourdan, who producer John Houseman thought lacked sex appeal). In true melodramatic fashion, time and fate play their inevitable roles in the picture, which is told primarily in flashback. The film’s fluid long takes, elaborate camera movement, opulent detail and narrative and visual repetition are some of Ophuls’stylistic trademarks. At the time, executives at Universal deemed the film “too European” and poorly marketed it, while the “New York Times” dismissed it as “schmaltzy” and “overwritten”. Now, Letter from an Unknown Woman is arguably one of the most revered works in Ophuls’ oeuvre.

Kimberly Yutani, UCLA Film and Television Archive – 11th Festival of Preservation, 2002

Copy From

Courtesy of Tv Matters, Amsterdam

Restored In 2002 From 35mm Original Picture Negative Nitrate And 35mm Combined Master Positive Nitrate.
Laboratory: Cinetech.
Sound Services: Dj Audio And Audio Mechanics.

Preservation Funded By The Film Foundation