Letter From an Unknown Woman
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Letter From an Unknown Woman
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… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Of all the cinema's fables of doomed love, none is more piercing than this."
‑ , Time Out
"[Max] Ophuls' first personal project in Hollywood and he injects this exquisitely stylish romantic melodrama with his continental sensibility."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Parallax View
"One of Hollywood's, and cinema's, grandest and most emotionally satisfying tales of unrequited love and self-sacrifice."
‑ Michael W. Phillips, Jr., Goatdog's Movies
"Does the job of the perfect melodrama and moves the audience to tears."
‑ David Parkinson, Empire Magazine
"Gorgeously mounted Ophuls film."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"A breathtaking, bitter, exquisitely orchestrated exploration of love and selfishness by Max Ophuls."
‑ Don Druker, Chicago Reader
"A moving weepie woman's picture."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"One of the greatest achievements in American film."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
‑ Nell Minow, Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
"An atmospheric and unsettling mix of European style and Hollywood muscle, this is a beautifully shot and thought-provoking film about lost love."
‑ Jon Fortgang, Film4
"...a women's picture that nonetheless turns on male chauvinism."
‑ Josh Larsen, LarsenOnFilm
"A weepie like they don't make them like anymore."
‑ Anthony Quinn, Independent
"Remarkable romantic drama."
‑ Michael E. Grost, Classic Film and Television
"In the hands of Max Ophuls, the stuff of penultimate melodrama becomes the stuff of exquisite observation and contemplation."
‑ , Austin Chronicle
"Beneath the film's beauty lies the type of love that obsessed Ophuls: the unsuccessful kind."
‑ Wesley Morris, San Francisco Examiner
More reviews for Letter From an Unknown Woman on Rotten Tomatoes