Lost Daughter (1949) Poster

(1949)

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A snapshot of the time.
Big Vern24 January 1999
What drew me to this film was its focus on the lives of some inmates of the Displaced People's Camps in Post WW2 Europe. Its depiction, though considerably cleaned up for the consumption of the movie-going public, illustrates some of the key elements in DP camp life. The plot focusses on the attempts of a British Officer in Occupied Germany to help an amnesiac Concentration Camp inmate regain her memory. Unknown to all, a wanted Nazi war criminal is using her amnesia and the names of an exterminated Jewish family to escape Justice.

Typical for British dramas of the period, though not as excruciating as some, there is plenty of "British reserve" in Guy Rolfe's role. The consistently understated (or absent) emotion is a bit difficult for today's audiences. Also "Hildegaard", the amnesiac, seems to fall in love at the drop of a hat which, given her circumstances, I found to be quite neurotic. I'm not sure that this would have been the intention of the director.

The film's street scenes also give some fleeting insights into London's appearance in the late '40's.

On the whole I'd say it would be a worthwhile film to catch if you had a particular interest in the period.
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7/10
Full Credit to the Gainsborough Sound Department
howardmorley30 November 2014
Unlike many 1940s movies, this film came from over with crisp dialogue so I did not have to turn the volume control up to listen to the screenplay.Even my wife noticed it had good sound production standards.Guy Rolfe an army officer in 1946, to kill time sees a portrait in a forces art gallery and makes the acquaintance there of the Jewish father of the girl posing for it, (Mai Zetterling).As he has just been jilted, he has time on his hands as the army has given him temporary leave from his army job in Hannover, Germany.

Fascinated by the portrait, he sets out to find the girl from the masses of "DPs" (displaced persons) in Europe who were stateless at the end of WW11 and placed in special camps by the allies.I also liked hearing authentic German spoken by the cast which included Herbert Lom at the beginning of his film career.As there is a surprise ending I will draw a veil over my comments so as not to provide a spoiler.A good production which held my interest to the end.7/10
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8/10
A tragic tale from a displaced persons camp in Germany after the War
robert-temple-14 August 2016
This is a very moving and effective film starring the young Mai Zetterling, then aged 23 but looking 18 and acting even younger than that. She has amnesia because of terrible events which she has experienced during the War, including time spent in Auschwitz because she was a Jew. She is the lost daughter of a German Jewish professor who is living as a refugee in London, and who has not seen any members of his family for nine years and does not even know if they are alive. In the camp, she is disguised as the daughter of a man who calls himself Fritz Handelmann, played by Herbert Lom at his most sinister and threatening. Zetterling does not know she is not his daughter and believes him when he tells her she is. But meanwhile, Lom is really 'the fourth in command of the SS' with a secret bunker near the camp, who is attempting to revive the Nazi cause while remaining in disguise as a refugee. Guy Rolfe plays an English officer posted to the British Army of Occupation in Germany. He is home on 21 day leave in London and meets the old professor, who tells him of his missing daughter. This is because a war artist has painted a haunting portrait of her which is on show at the Royal Academy, Rolfe visits it and hears the professor exclaim upon seeing it: 'But that's my daughter!' Rolfe is taken by the girl in the portrait and decides to help investigate. And so a considerable saga ensues, leading to dramatic events and the finding of the utterly charming young Zetterling, who at that age was enough to set any number of hearts aflutter. It's quite a story and superbly directed by Terence Fisher, who had only directed his very first film the year before. Later, in 1962, he would direct the version of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA which has Herbert Lom play the Phantom and Heather Sears as Christine.
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9/10
Brilliant Post War Drama
bnwfilmbuff12 March 2017
Great movie with expert direction from Terence Fisher. I appreciated how the narration was interjected by Guy Rolfe at the appropriate times in the film giving the viewer deeper understanding. Rolfe, Albert Marle (the Professor), and Herbert Lom are standouts and Mai Zetterling was radiant. Excellent suspense with a very moving ending. The storyline itself is rote - the search for a missing child after WW2 - but the telling of the story itself is wonderful. Not to be missed.
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My partner was an extra!
STEPHENLHOUSE20 April 2002
My partner and her mother were extras in this film , although she seems to think it was originally called "portrait of Hildgaard".It was filmed near to us at a place between Lepe Beach and Langly near Southampton England. The scene was filmed at a disused army camp.

If anyone has a copy of this film on VHS video we would be interested to hear from you.
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9/10
Hildegarde's Portrait.
morrison-dylan-fan19 April 2018
Warning: Spoilers
For the last day of the Easter holidays,I started planning what the last title could be to watch with family on Monday. With seeing the likeable Hammer Noir The House Across the Lake on Sunday,I felt that seeing a Noir the next day by future Hammer Horror director Terence Fisher would be the perfect fit,which led to me painting the portrait from life.

View on the film:

Creating an atmosphere with a skill that would colour Hammer Horror, director Terence Fisher and regular collaborator cinematographer Jack Asher portray a frosty post-WWII Film Noir outlook,lit by dissolves layered over the passage of time in Lawrence's tries to find the mysterious girl in the painting. Cutting into horror territory with a killing in the woods shot in first person, Fisher seeps the ghostly memories of WWII into the movie,as Lawrence searches the cramped, dirty refugee camp,and stylish flashbacks reveal the sunny woodlands surrounding the refugee camps to contain thorns of murky family secrets keeping the truth hidden from Lawrence.

Proving that British Film Noir was in the family blood, (with Betty E. Box producing 1950's thrilling The Clouded Yellow) Muriel and Sydney Box are joined by co-writers David Evans and Frank Harvey in conjuring up a disturbing psychological Film Noir. Revealing the full frame of Hildegarde at a gradual pace, the writers give the exchanges betwen Hildegarde and her family a sharp,clipped atmosphere, which keeps the unsettling, aggressive family bond barely hidden below the surface. Unable to wipe the painting of Hildegarde from his memory, the writers superbly use Lawrence's dedication to find the mysterious woman to pull open the raw nerves of WWII,with every attempt Lawrence makes to gain info being met by silence over fears of being seen as "naming naming",and an excellent use of flashback, lifting the curtain on the population in the refugee camps intentionally keeping to themselves/not speaking out on misdeeds they see.

Proving that British Film Noir was in the family blood, (with Betty E. Box producing 1950's thrilling The Clouded Yellow) Muriel and Sydney Box are joined by co-writers David Evans and Frank Harvey in conjuring up a disturbing psychological Film Noir. Revealing the full frame of Hildegarde at a gradual pace, the writers give the exchanges between Hildegarde and her family a sharp,clipped atmosphere, which keeps the unsettling, aggressive family bond barely hidden below the surface. Unable to wipe the painting of Hildegarde from his memory, the writers superbly use Lawrence's dedication to find the mysterious woman to pull open the raw nerves of WWII,with every attempt Lawrence makes to gain info being met by silence over fears of being seen as "naming naming",and an excellent use of flashback, lifting the curtain on the population in the refugee camps intentionally keeping to themselves/not speaking out on misdeeds they see.
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6/10
Zetterling stars
malcolmgsw4 February 2019
Main Zetterling despite being 24 convinces as an 18 year old girl in a displaced persons camp.Also very prominent at the beginning of a long are errors.He is Herbert Lom.Lots of other familiar faces at the beginning of their new post war careers.This film is of historical interest now,showing how people were trying to sort themselves out after the war.
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