Letters -- Drama, Man-woman relationships -- Austria -- Drama, Unmarried mothers -- Austria -- Drama

Letter from an Unknown Woman

Restored Print

  • Introduction

    Film critic and historian David Thomson is the author of more than twenty books, including The New Biographical Dictionary of Film.


Joan Fontaine, Louis Jourdan, Mady Christians, Marcel Journet,

A turn-of-the-century Vienna set, with its spiral staircases, mirrors, and elaborate grillwork, becomes a haunting chiaroscuro canvas for cinematographer Franz Planer and a thematic showcase for Max Ophuls in this classic Hollywood “woman’s picture.” Joan Fontaine portrays a young woman, Lisa, who builds an adolescent infatuation into a lifelong passion for a concert pianist (Louis Jourdan) who is barely aware of her existence. Lisa’s life is like the carnival ride that takes the couple, on their only night together, through the countries of Europe, a fantasy of movement that is really a circular stasis.

Judy Bloch
  • Howard Koch
Based On
  • A story by Stefan Zweig

  • Franz Planer
Print Info
  • B&W
  • 35mm
  • 90 mins
  • UCLA Film & Television Archive
  • Paramount Pictures

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Letter from an unknown woman (program note), Harvard Film Archive, 2000

Max Ophuls: moving pictures (program note), Pacific Film Archive, Judy Bloch, 1999

Max Ophuls: moving pictures (press release), San Francisco Film Society, 1999

Max Ophuls: moving pictures (flyer), San Francisco Film Society, 1999

The incomparable Max (article), East Bay Express, Kelly Vance, 1999

Tracking eternity: Max Ophuls' moving pictures (program note), Film Society of Lincoln Center, Kent Jones, 1999

Ophuls (monograph), British Film Institute, Paul Willemen, 1978

Max Ophuls (program note), National Film Theatre (London, England), Paul Willemen, 1978

Letter from an unknown woman (program note), Internationales Forum des Jungen Films, 1978

Max (article), Seventh Art, The, Marilyn Goldin, 1964

Displaying 10 of 20 publicly available documents.

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