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"Letter from an Unknown Woman," 1948 American romance drama, directed by Max Ophuls, starring Joan Fontaine and Louis Jourdan, based on the novella of the same name by Stefan Zweig


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A few years ago, a good friend with excellent taste in literature recommended I read Stefan Zweig, particularly the novella "The Royal Game." I found the book "The Royal Game and Other Stories," on Amazon, and while the translation is a little stiff and formal at times, I loved every story in the book. 

Two stories stood out in my mind above the others: "The Royal Game," and "Letter from an Unknown Woman." I found the latter particularly moving, and found myself thinking about the story long after I read it.

Two and a half years after reading the story,  I stumbled across the 1948 film "Letter from an Unknown Woman," directed by Max Ophuls and starring Joan Fontaine and Louis Jourdan. The movie is as bittersweet and heart-rending as the novella, but it never becomes sappy or melodramatic. It is a beautifully made film, and although the filmmakers made a few stylistic changes (the protagonist is a pianist in the film and a writer in the book, for example), the movie stays true to the spirit of Zweig's poignant story.

I highly recommend "Letter from an Unknown Woman." The novella is one of the best I have read, and the film is among the finest I have seen.

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