Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Lost Moment

"The Lost Moment" (1947) starring: , , is a Gothic romance that takes place in the 19th century.

The film is based on Henry James' story "The Aspern Papers".  American publisher Lewis Venable wants to publish a famous poet's love letters to his love Juliana Borderau.  Juliana is now 105 years old and living in a big old mansion along the canals of Venice.  The family doesn't want to part with the letters but Lewis is on a quest to get them and tricks the Borderaus into leasing a room to him (under an assumed name) so he can write a book.  The Borderaus household is now mostly run by the niece Tina Borderau who takes care of her ailing aunt and doesn't want guests.  The Borderaus are struggling financially though and need the money to keep the house.

The house is dark and brooding.  Lewis meets the aged aunt (an unrecognizable Agnes Moorehead) who even sells him family artifacts but won't let him see the letters.  Late at night, Lewis hears piano playing in the other side of the house.  He follows it and finds the usually cold and severe looking niece Tina, in a flowing dress and set of rooms that used to belong to the aunt when she was young.  It turns out unbeknownst to Tina, she is re-living her aunt's earlier life and romance with Aspern.

Will Lewis follow through with getting the letters no matter what or will he be won over by the inhabitants of this house that is haunted by the past and can't seem to move forward? 

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