Letters to an Unknown Lover (1985)

Rating: B

Dir: Peter Duffell
Star: Yves Beneyton, Cherie Lunghi, Mathilda May, Ralph Bates
a.k.a. Les louves

Lyon, 1943: escaped POW Beneyton hides out with sisters Lunghi and May, using the identity of a friend killed in the escape bid. This simple (if never fully explained) deception leads into highly-murky waters, since everyone seems to have ulterior motives and hidden agendas. Most of the action takes place in one house, and there’s only three major parts; it feels almost like a stage-play, yet is none the less effective for it, with Lunghi and May very effective as strait-laced piano teacher and sensual psychic (in a performance of huge restraint, May only gets her kit off once).

Despite looking like Jeremy Irons, Beneyton is also good as a man fumbling for clues about the man he’s impersonating – the titular letters mean the sisters know more about “him” than he does. Although the scripting leaves a bit to be desired, with some extremely loose ends left dangling, there’s enough solid acting on view to make this crunchily satisfying, with a chewy centre.