The Immortal Story

The Immortal Story

Directed by Orson Welles • 1968 • France

Orson Welles' first color film and final completed fictional feature, The Immortal Story is a moving and wistful adaptation of a tale by Isak Dinesen. Welles stars as a wealthy merchant in nineteenth-century Macao, who becomes obsessed with bringing to life an oft-related anecdote about a rich man who gives a poor sailor a small sum of money to impregnate his wife. Also starring an ethereal Jeanne Moreau, this jewel-like film, dreamily shot by Willy Kurant and suffused with the music of Erik Satie, is a brooding, evocative distillation of Welles' artistic interests, a story about the nature of storytelling and the fine line between illusion and reality.

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The Immortal Story
  • The Immortal Story

    Directed by Orson Welles • 1968 • France

    Orson Welles' first color film and final completed fictional feature, The Immortal Story is a moving and wistful adaptation of a tale by Isak Dinesen. Welles stars as a wealthy merchant in nineteenth-century Macao, who becomes obsessed with bringing to li...

Extras

  • THE IMMORTAL STORY Commentary

    Recorded in 2009, this commentary features film scholar Adrian Martin.

  • Une histoire immortelle

    French-language version of THE IMMORTAL STORY

  • Portrait: Orson Welles

    This oblique and fascinating documentary on director Orson Welles, by François Reichenbach and Frédéric Rossif, was originally scheduled to be broadcast on French television alongside THE IMMORTAL STORY in May 1968. Due to the political upheaval in France that month, the premieres of both films w...

  • Norman Eshley on IMMORTAL STORY

    Actor Norman Eshley’s appearance in THE IMMORTAL STORY came very early in his long television career. In this new interview, shot in May 2016, he discusses playing the sailor in Orson Welles’s film.

  • Willy Kurant on THE IMMORTAL STORY

    Director of photography Willy Kurant discusses shooting THE IMMORTAL STORY for Orson Welles, in this July 2004 interview.

  • François Thomas

    In this interview, shot in April 2016, Orson Welles scholar François Thomas discusses the production of THE IMMORTAL STORY, as well as Welles’s love for author Karen Blixen, who wrote under the pen name Isak Dinesen, on whose story the film is based.