MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,728 this week

The Immortal Story (1968)
"Histoire immortelle" (original title)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama  |  18 September 1968 (USA)
7.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 1,448 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 12 critic

The Portuguese colony of Macao in the 19th century. Mr. Clay is a very rich merchant and the subject of town gossip. He has spent many years in China and is now quite old. He likes his ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(novel) (as Isak Dinesen) , , 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

Family Entertainment Guide

Check out IMDb's comprehensive Family Entertainment Guide for recommendations for movies and TV series for every age and every viewing platform.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 35 titles
created 21 Jul 2013
 
a list of 1758 titles
created 6 months ago
 
a list of 250 titles
created 5 months ago
 
a list of 40 titles
created 4 months ago
 
a list of 22 titles
created 3 weeks ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Immortal Story (TV Movie 1968)

The Immortal Story (TV Movie 1968) on IMDb 7.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Immortal Story.
1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An American adventurer investigates the past of mysterious tycoon Arkadin...placing himself in grave danger.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Peter van Eyck, Michael Redgrave
The Trial (1962)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An unassuming office worker is arrested and stands trial, but he is never made aware of his charges.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Anthony Perkins, Arnoldo Foà, Jess Hahn
Macbeth (1948)
Certificate: Passed Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In fog-dripping, barren and sometimes macabre settings, 11th-century Scottish nobleman Macbeth is led by an evil prophecy and his ruthless yet desirable wife to the treasonous act that ... See full summary »

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Jeanette Nolan, Dan O'Herlihy
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A Navy engineer, returning to the U.S. with his wife from a conference, finds himself pursued by Nazi agents, who are out to kill him. Without a word to his wife, he flees the hotel the ... See full summary »

Directors: Norman Foster, Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dolores del Rio
The Stranger (1946)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An investigator from the War Crimes Commission travels to Connecticut to find an infamous Nazi.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young
F for Fake (1973)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A documentary about fraud and fakery.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Oja Kodar, François Reichenbach
Moby Dick Rehearsed (TV Movie 1955)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A play-within-play of Moby Dick by Orson Welles.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Gordon Jackson, Christopher Lee, Patrick McGoohan
The Deep (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A couple's honeymoon trip aboard a yacht leads to a claustrophobic drama when another vessel runs into their voyage, apparently drifting.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Michael Bryant, Oja Kodar, Laurence Harvey
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Director: Yonfan
Stars: Sylvia Chang, Paul Chun, Siu-Wong Fan
The Orson Welles Show (TV Movie 1979)
Talk-Show
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Directors: Orson Welles, Stanley Sheff
Stars: Orson Welles, Angie Dickinson, Dave Goelz
Orson Welles and People (TV Movie 1956)
Talk-Show
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Keith Baxter, McIntosh Fergusin
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Virginie Ducrot
...
Mr. Charles Clay
Roger Coggio ...
Elishama Levinsky
Norman Eshley ...
Paul, the sailor
Edit

Storyline

The Portuguese colony of Macao in the 19th century. Mr. Clay is a very rich merchant and the subject of town gossip. He has spent many years in China and is now quite old. He likes his clerk Levinsky to read the company's accounts to him at night for relaxation. Tonight Mr. Clay recounts a true story he heard years before about a rich man who paid a poor sailor 5 guineas to father a child with his beautiful young wife. Levinsky says that's a popular old sailor's legend and not true. Mr. Clay has no heir for his fortune and no wife either. He resolves to make the story true... Levinsky approaches Virginie, another clerk's mistress, and strikes a bargain for 300 guineas. Now to find the sailor... Written by David Woodfield

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 September 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Guinea Piece  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print) | (alternate)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Orson Welles originally planned for this film to be made as part of an anthology of adaptations of stories by Karen Blixen. Originally made for French TV, it was later released in theaters. This movie is available on DVD from The Criterion Collection. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Charles Clay: I don't like pretense. I don't like prophecies. I like facts.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in One Hundred and One Nights (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Gymnopedie No. 1
Written by Erik Satie
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Fiction into Fact
19 March 2006 | by (Spain) – See all my reviews

If you looking for action here or, if aware of the plot outline, expect a bit of soft porn, you will be disappointed. "The Immortal Story" is more of a visual and acoustic painting than a narrative. Especially since, according to another commentator, this was actor-director Welles' first venture into colour, he has used the unaccustomed medium masterfully both in his interiors and exteriors, and with the addition of the strident and insistent cicadas and refreshing dawn chorus has rendered the subtropical oriental night and its golden dawn beautifully realistic.

The Orson Welles' character, Charles Clay, a powerful expatriate merchant established in Macao, approaching seventy and dying from gout, is like a motionless fat spider in the centre of his web who controls everything and everybody within his range. As a control -freak he even wishes to make factual a much told sailors' yarn about a couple manipulated through bribes and some coercion to go to bed together. He is obsessed with this story but cannot stand fiction, (he rails at his personal assistant, the Jew Lewinsky, against the biblical prophecies he reads to his master). Facts he already controls, fiction must also come under his sway.

The enforced but, from the point of view of both the bully Clay and his victims, successful liaison between Jeanne Moreau and the young Danish sailor (satisfactorily played by an obscure British actor), the latter losing his virginity in this encounter, is tasteful, beautiful and not in the least prurient. That is except for the D.O.M. (écouteur?)listening at the keyhole, whose nocturnal presence we, however, spontaneously forget about. The couple appear to fall in love under these strange circumstances, though future relations seem to be highly doubtful. Just a couple of points bother me here: when the sailor tells Moreau (whose character's name is significantly but inappropriately Virginie) that he is 17 and is informed by her that she also is 17, it is quite evident that both, and especially Mlle. Moreau, are much older Maybe we are to assume that she lied to the ingenuous young man in order not to spoil the idyllic illusion of love-at-first-sight. The other point worrying me is why the attentive Chinese servants, besides feeding him, neglect to give the young man a good bath as well, especially as he had refrained from entering Clay's open carriage explaining that he was covered in tar and would soil the upholstery. And so he enters the nuptial chamber in his original torn and filthy clothes. Who knows, perhaps a whiff of tar has aphrodisiac properties...

Lewinsky the down-trodden but still spunky assistant/companion to Clay is well played by Roger Coggio. A Jew - Moreau calls him "the wandering Jew" - he has lost his parents in an Eastern European pogrom, and is inured to the blows of fate, and politely imperturbable when upbraided by his imperious master or slapped in the face by an outraged Moreau.

Fernando Rey, for decades Spain's foremost actor, equally able to perform in French and English as well as his native tongue, is included in the cast in a cameo part merely to spread the gossip about Clay's/Welles' ruthless machinations. I suppose the French TV company who commissioned this film was able to afford his services too because the cast was so small: apart from those mentioned above, there are only a few Caucasian listeners in Rey's audience, and half-a-dozen silent Chinese menials who would have cost little to hire.

The location on which the film was shot I was unable to ascertain, but it could have been anywhere in the world where there are large elegant 19th Century European houses, the colonial Portuguese element being supplied by one company sign with the word for export in Portuguese and the Chinese by the garish signs and notices with which the street is cluttered. Perhaps it is the old quarter of Marseilles.

I saw this film for the first time yesterday on the local Spanish channel which runs a series of classics in the original language, so that I saw it in French. This meant that Welles' unmistakable resonant and commanding basso profundo, so appropriate to this rôle was dubbed by a relatively mild-mannered francophone with a much higher register. With his over-brimming culture and long European residence, it seems very likely that Welles could have managed the French dialogue himself, just as Jeanne Moreau can perform equally well in English. Maybe he didn't because he was a perfectionist, even though the character portrayed is not a native French speaker

There are just two further points I should like to make that nobody else has touched on thus far:

First, the story for the script is from the pen of Danish raconteuse Karen Blixen, magnificently portrayed by Meryl Streep in "Out of Africa", who, Sheherezade-like, beguiled her lover and his friend with her fluent and fascinating tales.

Secondly, at the end of the film, the departing Dane about to take ship presents the old man with a mother-of-pearl-like conch he had acquired during his year of solitude on a desert island, and said by him to be virtually unique. As the young man moves away with a backward glance through a wood whose floor is auspiciously tinged with brightness by the rising sun, the shining conch falls to the floor of the verandah from the dead fingers of the merchant. No equivalent of "Rosebud" is uttered, but the incident is obviously a reprise of the ending of "Citizen Kane", Welles' early black-and-white triumph.


12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Satie Music in THE IMMORTAL STORY avatar230
Where to watch this? lostoverthere
TCM's Brief Synopsis Is Wrong bwflorida
Discuss The Immortal Story (1968) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?