Stolen Life (1939 film)

Stolen Life is a 1939 British drama film directed by Paul Czinner and starring Michael Redgrave, Elisabeth Bergner and Wilfrid Lawson.

Stolen Life
Stolen Life (1939 film).jpg
French release poster
Directed byPaul Czinner
Written by
Produced by
CinematographyPhilip Tannura
Edited byFrederick Wilson
Music byWilliam Walton
Orion Productions
Distributed byParamount British Pictures
Release date
18 January 1939
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom


The film was made at Pinewood Studios with location filming in Cornwall, the South of France and the Dolomites in Italy. It was adapted from a novel by Karel J. Benes and was remade in 1946 as A Stolen Life.[1] The film score was composed by William Walton. The film's sets were by the art director John Bryan while the costumes were designed by Joe Strassner.

The film was re-released in 1942 during the Second World War. It premiered in France in 1946 and in 1951 in West Germany. Czinner and Bergner had been forced to leave Germany following the Nazi takeover in 1933 and their films were banned there.


After meeting and apparently falling in love with Martina, a young woman he meets in Switzerland, mountaineer Alan MacKenzie instead marries her more forceful twin sister Sylvina. Later, while he is away leading an expedition to conquer a previously unclimbable mountain in Tibet, the two sisters holiday in Brittany. After Sylvina is drowned in a sailing accident, Martina is mistaken for her after being rescued from the water clutching her sister's wedding ring. Deciding to impersonate her dead sister, she finds that Sylvina had been carrying on an affair with another man and planned to divorce Alan. After Alan arrives in Athens with his team, having successfully climbed the mountain, the couple embrace after he discovers her true identity.



  1. ^ Goble p.966


  • Goble, Alan. The Complete Index to Literary Sources in Film. Walter de Gruyter, 1999.

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