This film has got to be one of the most hauntingly beautiful films ever made. Starting with the line 'By the time you read this Letter I'll be dead', it relates the tale of a young woman (Joan Fontaine)'s love for a brooding pianist (Louis Jordan). This heart-breaking tale spans several decades from the time of their first meeting while she is still a child, to the night they spend together, and finally to the time of this letter's arrival. Joan Fontaine is stunning as the teenager who grows to maturity, always loving the man whose music used to delight her as she sat beneath his window, pretending he was playing only for her; while Louis Jordan is superb as the initially brilliant, temperamental pianist who becomes jaded and despised, apparently the victim of his own talent. The brief time they are together creates a warmth that pervades the whole film: one gets the sense that these people are truly meant to be together, and yet, even then, one knows that it will be her reticence and his fecklessness that are their downfall. She is the woman who could save him from himself, but is unable to speak of how she really feels, and he senses that there is more to her than to those women to whom he is generally drawn, but never values her sufficiently to find out the love of which she is really capable. The delight of the time they are together contrasts sharply with the pain of their separations: she acknowledges and knows the cause of this pain, while his life simply becomes increasingly problematic, his behaviour more erratic, while he searches for the meaning he can only find in her love. It is only through this letter that he realises what he could have had, and that it is too late to attain happiness. However, it is as a result of this letter that he is able to recognise who she was, and, to some extent, to requite her love.