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Letter from an Unknown Woman

Letter from an Unknown Woman

Joan Fontaine
Director: Max Ophüls Cast: Joan Fontaine
Joan Fontaine
, Louis Jourdan
Louis Jourdan
, Mady Christians
Mady Christians
Max Ophüls

Blu-ray (Black & White)

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Perhaps the finest American film from the famed European director Max Ophüls, the film stars Joan Fontaine as a young woman who falls in love with a concert pianist. Set in Vienna in 1900, the story is told in a complex flashback structure as the pianist, Stefan Brand (Louis Jourdan), comes upon a letter written to him by Lisa Berndl (Fontaine), a girl who has been in love with him for years. Stefan is in the process of fleeing Vienna on the eve of fighting a duel. As he prepares himself for the nocturnal journey, the letter arrives. It begins, "By the time you read this letter, I may be dead." As Stefan sits back in his study to read this letter, it turns out to be a confession of unrequited love from Lisa. The story flashes backs to when Lisa was 14 years old and Stefan was her neighbor. After following Stefan with a girlish obsession, the romance gets much more serious, and they have a brief encounter. Stefan promises to come back to her after a concert tour, but he never does. Meanwhile, Lisa marries another man when she discovers that she is pregnant with Stefan's child. When she runs into Stefan years later, he doesn't remember her and tries to seduce her. After Stefan reads the letter, he wants to rush to her side, but now poor Lisa is dying from typhus.

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Product Details

Release Date: 12/05/2017
UPC: 0887090601504
Original Release: 1948
Rating: NR
Source: Olive
Region Code: A
Presentation: [B&W]
Time: 1:27:00
Sales rank: 16,782

Special Features

Mastered from new 4K Restoration; Audio Commentary by Max Ophuls expert Lutz Bacher; "A Deal Made in a Turkish Bath" - Interview with Oscar-winning documentarian Marcel Ophuls; "An Independent Woman: Changing sensibilities in a post-war Hollywood" Interview with Professor Dana Polan; "Ophulsesque: The Look of Letter from an Unknown Woman" - with Cinematographers Ben Kasulke and Sean Price Williams; "Letter from An Unknown Woman: Passion's Triumph" - Visual Essay by film scholar Tag Gallagher; Essay by critic Molly Haskell

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Joan Fontaine Lisa Berndle
Louis Jourdan Stefan Brand
Mady Christians Frau Berndle
Marcel Journet Johann Stauffer
Art Smith John
Carol Yorke Marie
Howard Freeman Herr Kastner
John Good Lt. Leopold von Kaltnegger
Erskine Sanford Porter
Otto Waldis Concierge
Sonja Blyden Frau Spitzer
Douglas Carter Actor
Jack Gargan Man
Ramsay Hill Col. Steindorf
Arthur Lovejoy Footman
John McCallum Store Helper
Manuel Paris Baron's Second
Jean Ransome Maid
Diane Stewart Actor
Doretta Johnson Actor
Cy Stevens Actor
Leo B. Pessin Stefan, Jr.
Audrey Wilder Pretty
William Trenk Fritzel
Fred Nurney Officer on Street
Torben Meyer Carriage Driver
Hermine Sterler Mother Superior
Lotte Stein Woman Musician
Ilka Gruning Woman Ticket Taker
Paul E. Burns 2nd Concierge
Roland Varno Second
Leo Mostovoy Older Man
Shimen Ruskin Older Man
Celia Lovsky Flower Vendor
Lester Sharpe Critic
Michael Mark Cafe Customer
Louis Austin Elderly Woman
Lisa Golm Woman Musician
Rex Lease Station Attendant
Edmund Cobb 2nd Carriage Driver
Betty Blythe Frau Kohner
Vera Stokes Girlfriend
Will Lee Mover

Technical Credits
Max Ophüls Director
Alexander Golitzen Production Designer
Daniele Amfitheatrof Score Composer
Travis Banton Costumes/Costume Designer
Russell A. Gausman Set Decoration/Design
John Houseman Producer
Ted Kent Editor
Peter Howard Screenwriter
Ruby Levitt Set Decoration/Design
Franz Planer Cinematographer
Bud Westmore Makeup

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