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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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Writers:

(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 Originally made for French TV, it was later released in theaters.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: Behold, your God shall come with a recompense. Then the eyes of the blind shall be open and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then, shall the lame man leap like a deer and in the wilderness, shall the waters break out.
Mr. Charles Clay: What was all that? Has it happened?
Elishama Levinsky: No.
Mr. Charles Clay: Is is happening now?
Elishama Levinsky: No.
Mr. Charles Clay: Who put that thing together?
Elishama Levinsky: The prophet Isaiah.
Mr. Charles Clay: The prophet. Bah. I don't like prophecies. People should only record things that already happened.
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Soundtracks

Gnossienne No. 3
Written by Erik Satie
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User Reviews

 
Art on film-- truly unequal to any made today
11 March 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Welles' film is a great comment on greed and the love of riches, and how futile it is when you can't take it with you after life ends. Wealthy Mr. Clay demands his assistant make the story he heard on ships from sailors come true. He pays the daughter (Jean Moreau) of a business partner he ruined and a poor young sailer (Norman Eishley) to sleep together one night so Clay can be the godfather of the child they conceive since Clay couldn't father children with his own wife. There is an ironic surprise for this plan when it completes, Welles using a brilliant color scheme and expert camera angles through every shot and scene. Clay's character is especially good with Welles filling the stuffy, wicked sturdiness of his portrayal almost like greed and evil personified.


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