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Gustav Fokin
Gustav Fokin

The Lost Moment(1947)



There is something very poisonous about her, even though Tina initially comes across as the hostile one. Almost as though Juliana was inadvertently possessing Tina (Plot Spoiler: Tina occasionally goes into fits where she imagines that SHE is Juliana and steals the letters from Juliana). Juliana even complains at one point about feeling as though she had lost Jeffrey to Tina. She resents her, but sort of inhabits her, as well.




The Lost Moment(1947)



In a long flashback, a New York publisher is in Venice pursuing the lost love letters of an early-19th-century poet, Jeffrey Ashton, who disappeared mysteriously. Using a false name, Lewis Venable rents a room from Juliana Bordereau, once Jeffrey Ashton's lover, now an aged recluse. Running the household is Juliana's severe niece, Tina, who mistrusts Venable from the first moment. He realizes all is not right when late one night he finds Tina, her hair unpinned and wild, at the piano. She calls him Jeffrey and throws herself at him. The family priest warns Venable to tread carefully around her fantasies, but he wants the letters at any cost, even Tina's sanity.


The B&W show creates a credible Old Venice atmosphere on lavish studio sets. Unscrupulous publisher Lewis Venable (Robert Cummings) travels to Italy in hopes of getting his hands on a legendary "lost" collection of letters written by the famed poet Jeffrey Ashton to his lover Juliana Bordereau. Ashton died mysteriously in 1847 and Juliana (Agnes Moorehead) is still alive at the age of 104. Lewis's ploy is to pose as an author renting a room, so as to get close to the Bordereau staff, and most particularly Tina Bordereau (Susan Hayward). Tina is said to be Juliana's niece but her youth suggests that she's separated from the old woman by at least one more generation. Lewis finds Tina hard and suspicious of his motives, and for the first couple of weeks he's denied access to any part of the palazzo beyond his one room. But he learns more from the maid Amelia (Joan Lorring of Stranger on the Prowl), and Tina is impressed by his hiring of a gardener to fix up the entrance to the old house. Then one night Lewis hears piano music echoing through the maze-like corridors. He follows it to its source deep within the house... and finds that the pianist is Tina, dressed like a young Juliana. In a serene trance, she awaits the arrival of her lover Jeffrey Ashton -- and then behaves as if Lewis is the famed long-lost poet.


The Lost Moment fulfills at least 99% of its mission before concluding in an all-too ordinary manner. Henry James' suspenseful original story ends in a far more believable note, with the Lewis Venable character failing to fully exploit a momentary opportunity, and losing his quest once it has passed. Martin Gabel and screenwriter Leonardo Bercovici (Portrait of Jennie) perform wonders setting up a delicate situation. Lewis Venable is a pretender-thief but also a devoted lover of Ashton's poetry. He wants to profit by publishing the lost love letters yet is sincere in his claim that great artists' work should belong to the world and is too important to be allowed to perish. That's the first conflict in the story. Any biographer-journalist can tell stories about subjects keeping fantastic stories to themselves, and refusing to share them. The show begins with a slow tracking shot to a library shelf where several books appear to be missing; perhaps only bibliophiles and librarians can really appreciate The Lost Moment.


At this point the romantic story kicks in, and it's a real balancing act. The authentic, 104-year-old Juliana is only concerned about keeping her house, for she believes that she'll not die as long as she stays there. Young Tina has apparently been raised on a mental diet of adoration for the lost Jeffrey, so much so that she's adopted a second identity as 'Young Juliana'. Lewis finds himself confronted with a binary Juliana situation, with two versions of the same person in one haunted house. Rather than humor one and seduce the other, he inadvertently falls in love with Tina/Young Juliana. So we end up with three romantic loonies for the price of one. The kicker is that the situation isn't at all silly. The script, direction and particularly the performers keep most of it in line.


Gotický snímek o americkém vydavateli, který se ubytuje v jednom starém benátském domě, aby si odtud odnesl milostné dopisy jednoho dávno zemřelého amerického básnika. Film má sice výbornou atmosféru i závěr, ale jinak to na mě působilo příliš roztahaným a nezáživným dojmem.(12.03.2017)


Váhala jsem s hodnocením, jelikož tvůrci sice použili jako literární předlohu novelu Henryho Jamese Listiny Aspernovy, avšak totálně změnili žánr i poselství díla. Původní Listiny Aspernovy jsou ironickým příběhem o posedlosti literárního vydavatele, jenž chce za každou (!) cenu získat milostné dopisy dávno mrtvého básníka od jeho někdejší stařičké milenky Juliany Bordereauové, dožívající ve zpustlém paláci v Benátkách ve společnosti neteře Tiny. Českému čtenáři by se patrně v této souvislosti vybavil nejspíše Karel Čapek a jeho povídka Čintamani a ptáci. Film The Lost Moment (Ztracený okamžik) přesunul příběh do žánru romantického psychodramatu s atmosférou místy až hororovou a totálně změnil jak charaktery dvou ze tří hlavních postav - vydavatele a Tiny, tak závěr. V tomto smyslu se asi Henry James musí obracet v hrobě - a já musím skřípat zuby. Na druhou stranu je třeba uznat, že tato filmová verze kupodivu drží v rámci žánru výborně pohromadě, má dobře vybudovanou přízračnou atmosféru a také herecké výkony působí věrohodně. Takže jsem se nakonec (i s tím skřípěním zubů) přiklonila ke čtyřem hvězdičkám.(01.02.2012)


The final contention advanced is that the court erred in denying defendants the right to trial by jury of the question of damages for the withholding from plaintiff of the Orchard Ranch and the furniture and furnishings reasonably necessary to the use of such property. It is stated in connection with the contention that the question of damages for the wrongful withholding of such property from plaintiff was not litigated during the trial; that after the conclusion of the trial, and after plaintiff had lost her case for rescission and cancellation, the court took up for the first time the question of damages; that defendants objected; and that they demanded a trial by jury. The record before us consists of the pleadings, the requested findings of fact and conclusions of law, the findings of fact and conclusions of law made by the court, the judgment, and the notice of appeal. A transcript of the proceedings occurring on the trial is not included in the record. The record fails completely to show or suggest that there were any unusual continuances or adjournments of the trial or that the issues were heard and determined in piecemeal manner. On the contrary, the findings, conclusions, and judgment indicate in conventional form that all of the questions presented and determined, including the question of damages, were submitted in the regular manner during the trial. And there is nothing in the record indicating that the defendants objected to the consideration of the question of damages, objected to the taking of evidence bearing upon it, or demanded trial by jury of the issue. Conceding, without deciding, that defendants were entitled to trial by jury of the issue, the right could be waived; and in the absence of any showing that demand was made at any time or in any manner for the submission of the issue to a jury, it must be held that the right was effectively waived. Gulbenkian v. Gulbenkian, 2 Cir., 147 F.2d 173, 158 A.L.R. 990.


However, I would rather have a few warm days now than have them burst upon us temporarily in March. For the last two years, we have had prolonged warm spells in March which brought out our fruit trees, and then when cold weather came again in April, the buds were nipped and we lost a good part of our crop. I hope we will not have this same trend for a third year. As far as I know, we have not been told by scientists how to save our crops from freak weather of this kind. I have often seen, in the orange-growing States, a lot of smudges burning among the trees to keep them from suffering from the frost, but I doubt if that would help much in colder climates.


So too was his generosity: When my wife Sarah and I each lost parents to cancer this past year, Barrie's was one of the first and strongest voices of support to be offered, even as he struggled to fight his own battle with the disease. His last column here at the site was turned in just a week before he died, written with every bit of his usual care and detail while on what would become his final trip to visit family. "Well, I was able to catch up on the MOD news enough to be able to put this week's Classic MOD column together after all!" he wrote cheerfully in an e-mail with the doc file attached. The e-mail was time stamped 6:30 am.


Finally, some of you have asked if Barrie's family has selected a charity for those who wish to make donations. After consulting with Sue and Terry, we've agreed that the best way for Barrie's Bits readers to honor him would be to support a cause that was dear to him - classic film preservation and restoration. As such, we'd like to suggest that you make donations in Barrie's name to assist the work of the National Film Preservation Foundation. You can do so here at this page on their website. You can even pick a specific "lost" film to help save.


Francisco Lindor tripled home three runs off rookie Myles Jaye (0-1) in the second inning, and the Indians, who haven't lost since Aug. 23, added another blowout to their growing list of lopsided conquests.


But the recent Independence Day celebrated was shy by just two weeks and two days of a major milestone in U.S. and world history. Like a dud firecracker gone "spfffft," it was a lost opportunity to co-celebrate the golden anniversary of brave men and talented engineers landing man on the moon. 041b061a72


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