Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Orson Welles - The Fountain of Youth (1958)

From IMDB: This minor, virtually unseen entry in Orson Welles' filmography really deserves more exposure. It's a sly little morality play very reminiscent of an episode of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents", but done with far more flair & skill.

Mixing a standard 1950's style of TV play with still imagery, blending voice-over with the spoken dialogue & Welles himself addressing the audience, 'The Fountain Of Youth' is years ahead of its time.

The tale itself is the sort of clever short story with a dark twist ending that might have been written by Roald Dahl & published by Playboy, then adapted for TV. It involves a jilted lover taking his revenge on a beautiful couple with a promise of eternal youth that tears them apart.

While it's often interesting to look at early television productions with an objective eye, very few remain anything but vaguely amusing & ultimately dated curiosities. Welles' lyrical, fluid style of direction & editing elevates what might easily have been a clever, but unremarkable, 1950's TV play to something that remains impressive & watchable nearly half a century later
no pass