EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|LOST MOMENT, THE (aka: THE ASPERN PAPERS) (director: Martin Gabel; screenwriter: based on the novel The Aspern Papers by Henry James/Leonardo Bercovici; cinematographer: Hal Mohr; editor: Milton Carruth; music: Daniele Amfitheatrof; cast: Robert Cummings (Lewis Venable/William Burton), Susan Hayward (Tina Bordereau), Agnes Moorehead (Juliana Bordereau), Joan Lorring (Amelia), Eduardo Ciannelli (Father Rinaldo), John Archer (Charles), Frank Puglia (Pietro), Minerva Urecal (Maria), William Edmunds (Vittorio); Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Walter Wanger; Republic Pictures; 1947)|
bad Gabel didn't direct another film--this one is
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The only film actor Martin Gabel ever directed. Too
Gabel didn't direct another film--this one is
brilliantly Gothic. The
oddball psychological drama is based on the
novel The Aspern
Papers by Henry James, and is written by Leonardo
book was inspired
by the romance between
Lord Byron and his mistress Claire
Claremont, who guarded with her life the poems written
Byron in her honor.
publisher Lewis Venable (Robert
is in pursuit of the valuable lost love letters of the
poet, Jeffrey Ashton, who disappeared mysteriously
in 1843. Posing as a
writer under the alias of William Burton, the
rents a room in the spooky Venetian mansion of Juliana
who was Ashton's lover and the receiver of those
letters. Juliana is a
frail 105-year-old blind recluse, who never leaves
her room and is
zealously cared for by her niece Tina Bordereau
the large estate with the help of servants, a mother
and daughter team (Minerva Urecal & Joan Lorring).
realizes that Tina is a schizophrenic, living in
both the past and
present. In the past, she believes she's Juliana and
play acts talking
with Jeffrey, playing on the piano the compositions
reading from his letters as if she were Juliana and
wearing her aunt's
ring that Jeffrey gave her.
only reason the unctuous Lewis
was able to rent a room, was because
the family needed the money. After six weeks go by
with no letters
materializing the family priest (Eduardo Cianelli),
voice of reason, warns the houseguest, someone he
has a bad feeling
about, that a tragedy will occur if he interferes
with Tina's fantasy
world. But when Lewis discovers where the letters
are hid, he's
determined to get them no matter the cost in lives.
pursuit leads to a suspenseful conclusion.
REVIEWED ON 8/9/2010 GRADE: B+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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