The Immortal Story

Watch The Immortal Story

  • NR
  • 1968
  • 58 min
  • 7.0  (3,413)

The Immortal Story from 1968 is a film directed by Orson Welles and starring Welles himself alongside Jeanne Moreau and Roger Coggio. Welles adapted the screenplay from a novella by Danish writer Karen Blixen, also known as Isak Dinesen, and the film was produced for French television. The story is set in an unnamed port city in 19th-century Macao, where a wealthy merchant named Mr. Clay (played by Welles) is slowly losing his grip on reality. Clay is obsessed with the concept of immortality and, after hearing a local legend about a man who paid a woman to bear his child in the hopes of achieving eternal life, he sets out to make the legend a reality for himself.

Clay enlists the help of a young, garishly dressed clerk named Levinsky (played by Coggio) and a washed-up prostitute named Virginie (played by Moreau) to carry out his plan. Levinsky is tasked with finding a young woman who Clay can impregnate, while Virginie is hired to play the role of the woman who will give birth to Clay's child.

As the plan begins to come together, the line between fact and fiction becomes increasingly blurred. Clay's obsession with immortality drives him to push the boundaries of what is considered acceptable behavior, and the relationships between the characters become increasingly complicated.

Welles' direction is as distinctive and unconventional as ever, with the film featuring a number of signature techniques that he had become known for. The use of deep focus cinematography, long takes, and dramatic lighting all contribute to the film's dark, atmospheric tone.

The performances are equally impressive, with Moreau in particular delivering a standout performance as Virginie. Her character is arguably the emotional center of the film, and Moreau imbues her with a sense of weariness and melancholy that is both captivating and heartbreaking.

While the film is certainly a departure from the epic scope of some of Welles' earlier works, it remains a powerful and compelling piece of cinema. At its core, The Immortal Story is a meditation on mortality and the human desire for immortality, and Welles' singular vision brings these themes to life in a way that is both haunting and unforgettable.

Overall, The Immortal Story is a fascinating character study that showcases the talents of all involved. Welles' direction and screenplay, combined with the excellent performances from the cast, make for an engrossing and thought-provoking viewing experience.

The Immortal Story is a 1968 drama with a runtime of 58 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.0.

The Immortal Story
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    58 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (3,413)