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The Immortal Story (1968)

Histoire immortelle (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | TV Movie 18 September 1968
In the Portuguese town of Macao, a wealthy trader named Charles Clay hires two people to recreate a story of a sailor who is paid to impregnate a man's wife.

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(novel) (as Isak Dinesen), | 1 more credit »
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Cast

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

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 September 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Guinea Piece  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print) | (alternate)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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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 Originally made for French TV, it was later released in theaters.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 »

Goofs

Some of the Chinese signs are upside down or backwards. See more »

Quotes

Elishama Levinsky: [holding shell to ear] I have heard it before... long ago... but where?
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Connections

Featured in Arena: The Orson Welles Story (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Gnossienne No. 3
Written by Erik Satie
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User Reviews

 
A lonely old man wants to bring a story he has heard to life.
8 August 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I just saw The Immortal story for the first time today thanks to TCM. I was impressed by the otherworldly quality of the film. Reading through the IMDb reviews I was surprised that no one speculated as to why Wells chose this story. To me the answer seems obvious. The film is about a lonely old man who wants to bring a story he has heard to life. He knows that he cannot accomplish the task alone so he turns to a minion in his employ to arrange the set piece and hire the players. Ironically even when he succeeds, it becomes clear that no one will ever hear the recounting of the story.

This is how Wells probably viewed his own life. ​Throughout his film career he struggled unhappily with his dependence on the help of producers and his need to control actors in order to bring his artistic visions to life. Sadly, even on the few occasions when he successfully got films completed, to him it seemed as if he never really had an audience.


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