The Immortal Story

Director: Orson Welles
Year Released: 1968
Rating: 3.0

Mini Welles feature - made for French TV and based on an Isak Dinesen story - has Orson playing a wealthy American living in Macao whose final goal in life is to make 'real' a well-known (but untrue) tale about a sailor being paid to impregnate a rich man's wife so their child inherits his fortune. It's easy to see how this would appeal Welles considering his background in theater/film: the old man is the "director" and the "sailor" (Norman Eshley) and "woman" (Jeanne Moreau) are his actors; personal assistant Elishama (Roger Coggio) is the "casting agent"/"assistant director." Like other projects Orson began and never seemed to finish, it comes across as a bit slight (it was supposed to be a part of an anthology film) and a tad underdeveloped, but it's still a rewarding (and very peculiar) effort.