Blu-ray, DVD Release: The Immortal Story

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Aug. 30, 2016
Price: DVD $29.95, Blu-ray $27.99
Studio: Criterion


Originally broadcast on French television and later released in theaters, the 1968 drama The Immortal Story, Orson Welles’s first color film and final completed fictional feature, is a moving and wistful adaptation of a tale by Isak Dinesen (Babette’s Feast).
Orson Welles in The Immortal Story

Orson Welles in The Immortal Story

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 (Jules and Jim), this jewel-like film, dreamily shot by Willy Kurant (Masculin féminin) and suffused with the music of Erik Satie, is a brooding, evocative distillation of Welles’s artistic interests—a story about the nature of storytelling and the fine line between illusion and reality.

Criterion’s Blu-ray and DVD editions of the film contain the following:

• New, restored 4K digital transfer of the English-language version of the film, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• Alternate French-language version of the film
• Audio commentary from 2005 featuring film scholar Adrian Martin
• Portrait: Orson Welles, a 1968 documentary directed by François Reichenbach and Frédéric Rossif
• New interview with actor Norman Eshley
• Interview from 2004 with cinematographer Willy Kurant
• New interview with Welles scholar François Thomas 
• An essay by film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum
Buy or Rent The Immortal Story
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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.