What made Welles such a pivotal figure in the pantheon of the all time great filmmakers was not his pioneering of new techniques but combining different techniques still in their infancy in a pioneering way. That's what made CITIZEN KANE such an instant classic ahead of its time and that's what makes this 30 minute made-for-TV short endlessly watchable. The plot remains entertaining and has a twist that is not wholly unpredictable 50 years later but its the Wellesian bravura that makes the short so remarkable.
Welles, one year after the box office failure but stylistic tour-de-force of TOUCH OF EVIL, combines stills, back projection, on-camera narration provided by himself and some very expressionistic lighting that hides and reveals characters as if they're summoned on stage, and nothing seems forced, silly, or primitive. Welles once more treads new, personal, ground at the same time he perfects it. While, due to the nature of the project, it will never be regarded highly among his other works, The Fountain of Youth is still a must-see for the Welles aficionado.
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