Letter from an Unknown Woman

Synopsis: In Vienna in 1900, Stefan Brand must face a duel the following morning. He has no intention of defending his honor however and plans to flee the city when he notices that he has received a letter from someone in his past. A struggling concert pianist at the time he met Lisa Berndle when she was just a teenager living next door. Brand has had many women in his life however and unaware that Lisa is genuinely in love with him, forgets all about her. They meet again but he only vaguely remembers ever having met her. Unknown to him she bears his child and eventually marries a man who knows of her past but loves her very much. When she runs into Brand many years later her love for him resurfaces and she is prepared to abandon her son and husband for him. Tragedy follows.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): Max Ophüls
Production: Universal Pictures
  1 win.
Rotten Tomatoes:
87 min

Then... You've

made up your mind?

You are going through with it?

Why not?

For one thing, he's

an excellent chap.

At least try to get some sleep.

And if I were you,

no more cognac.

We'll come for you at five.

It'd give you three hours.

You will be here.

I don't mind so

much being killed.

But you know how hard it is for

me to get up in the morning.

Good night.

Good night.

I'm afraid this time, Stefan has

picked a fight with the wrong man

I wonder if he'll be

here when we come back?

Who is it?


Good morning, Mr. Brand.

Cheer up, John.

This is one engagement that I

have no intention of keeping.

Honor is a luxury, only

gentlemen can afford.

Pack my things...

Whatever you think that I'll

need for an indefinite stay.

I have a cab downstairs...

In about an hour, I'll

go out the back way.

I'm sorry. I won't be

here to see their faces.

Did this come during the night?

Would you bring me some coffee...

with cognac?

"By the time you read this

letter, I may be dead."

"I have so much to tell you,

perhaps very little time."

"Will I ever send it?"

"I don't know."

"I must find the strength to

write, now before it's too late."

"And as I write, it may become

clear that what happened to us"

"...had its own reason beyond

our poor understanding."

"If this reaches you..."

"You'll know how I

became yours..."

"When you didn't know who I

was, or even that I existed."

"I think everyone has two birthdays.

The day of his physical birth..."

"... and the beginning

of his conscious life."

"Nothing is vivid...

or really my memory."

"Before that day in spring..."

"When I came home from school,"

"And found a moving van in

front of our building."

"I wondered about our

new neighbour..."

"Who owned such

beautiful things."

Lisa! Come in, Lisa!

Come in this minute,

did you hear?


Yes, mother.

Who is going to clean that up?

Me. I suppose.

I haven't enough to do.

You better get another rope.


You better get another rope.


Get another rope!

This is the last time

I move a musician.

Why does he have

to play the piano?

Where do these go?


In the study.

Thank you.

Lisa, what are you

doing out there?

Come inside.

"I didn't see you that day, or

from many days there after."

"But I could listen

to your playing."

I wish he'd stop that noise.

It's not noise.

Don't bite my head off.

Mr. Brand is playing.

You called that playing?


How old is he?



Quite old, I guess.


You know the boy I was talking

to outside the school?

The bony one with the yellow

hair and the long nose.

One who lives next

to the grocery.

I'm gonna do something

about it...

If he doesn keep his

hands to himself.

These things he does,

right out in the street.

Thank you, John.

I'll be home later.

Thank you.

Good morning.

Why, Lisa! You're all

red in the face.

You're blushing!

I'll get you for that!

"Yes, I was blushing."

"And hard as it may be

for you to realize..."

"From that moment on, I

was in love with you."

"Quite consciously, I was

preparing myself for you."

"I kept my clothes neater, so

you wouldn't be ashamed of me."

Bow, two three four...

"I went to dancing school."

"I wanted to become more graceful,

and learn good manners for you."

Bow... two three, and

one two three...

And one two three...

"So I would know more about

you, and your world..."

"I went to the library..."

"And study the lifes of great

musicians of the past."

"Though I was not able

to go to your concerts,"

"I found ways of sharing

in your success."

"As months went by, I began

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Howard Koch

Howard Koch is the name of: Howard E. Koch (1901–1995), American screenwriter Howard W. Koch (1916–2001), American film and TV director, producer Hawk Koch (born 1945), American film producer, son of Howard W. Koch more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Letter from an Unknown Woman" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 14 May 2021. <https://www.scripts.com/script/letter_from_an_unknown_woman_12493>.

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