Germany, 1912. A graduate of humble origins takes up a clerical post in a steel factory. Impressed by his work the elderly owner takes him on as his private secretary. His health declining, the owner is confined to his home, where the young man moves to continue his work. There he meets the owner’s wife, a much younger woman, beautiful and reserved.
As time passes the young man falls passionately in love but does not dare reveal his feelings. A romantic intrigue develops in this stifling bourgeois home, all looks and silences, without a single word or gesture of love.
When the owner announces he is sending his secretary to oversee his mines in Mexico, the wife’s stricken reaction reveals to the young man that she too has fallen secretly in love – a love she cannot express in the presence of her sick husband. She makes him a promise – when he returns in two years time, she will be his.
Separated by an ocean, they exchange passionate letters while awaiting the day that will reunite them. Then, on the verge of his return to Germany, World War 1 erupts. All maritime travel between South America and Europe is suspended. His beloved pines, awaiting his return.
Eight years later, with millions dead and Europe in ruins, the exile returns, to his homeland and to the woman he hopes has been waiting for him. But has their love survived the brutal passage of time?
Alan Rickman, the best thing in the original Die Hard movie (the villain) plays the lead in A Promise.