The Immortal Story (French: Une histoire immortelle) is a 1968 French film directed by Orson Welles and starring Jeanne Moreau. The film was originally broadcast on French television and was later released in theaters. It was based on a short story by the Danish writer Isak Dinesen. With a running time of 58 minutes, it is the shortest feature film directed by Welles.
In 19th century Macao, Mr. Clay (Orson Welles) is a wealthy merchant at the end of his life. His only constant companion is his bookkeeper, a Polish-Jewish emigrant named Levinsky (Roger Coggio). One evening, Levinsky mentions an apocryphal story of a rich old man who offers a sailor five guineas to impregnate his wife. Clay becomes obsessed in making that legendary tale come true, and Levinsky is dispatched to find a sailor and a young woman who will play the part of Clay’s wife. Levinsky approaches Virginie (Jeanne Moreau), the daughter of Clay’s one-time business partner. Clay’s ruthless dealings drove Virginie’s father to bankruptcy and suicide, and she is eager to participate in this action to get her revenge. The destitute sailor, a young Englishman named Paul (Norman Eshley), is discovered on the street and recruited. Virginie and Paul find an emotional bond in their brief union, but go their separate ways – Virginie is exorcised of her bitterness against Clay while Paul disappears into Macao’s teeming streets. Levinsky goes to inform Clay about what took place, but discovers the old merchant has died.
Much of the film was shot in Welles’ home, located outside of Madrid, Spain. Exterior scenes depicting Macao were shot in Chinchón, a town near Madrid. Welles used Chinese restaurant waiters from Madrid as extras to recreate the setting for Macao.
"The Immortal Story" (1968), feito para a televisão a partir de um conto de Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen), é um filme onde Orson Welles retoma as suas personagens manipuladoras.
Welles interpreta ele próprio o misterioso e rico Charles Clay que, em Macau, "recria" uma lenda de marinheiros, sobre um homem que paga cinco guinéus a um marujo para passar uma noite com a sua jovem esposa para lhe dar um herdeiro.
A história passa-se no século 19 em Macau. A cidade foi recriada em Madrid onde se deram as filmagens.