The Visit

Overview

Friedrich Durrenmatt's misanthropic theatrical piece The Visit has never been totally successful in any production, not even in the original Broadway presentation starring Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne. The film version keeps this failure record consistent. Ingrid Bergman plays a fabulously wealthy woman who returns to her impoverished home town. Years earlier, she had been driven from town in disgrace after sleeping with solid citizen Anthony Quinn. She now offers a deal to the city elders: Bergman will ...
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Overview

Friedrich Durrenmatt's misanthropic theatrical piece The Visit has never been totally successful in any production, not even in the original Broadway presentation starring Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne. The film version keeps this failure record consistent. Ingrid Bergman plays a fabulously wealthy woman who returns to her impoverished home town. Years earlier, she had been driven from town in disgrace after sleeping with solid citizen Anthony Quinn. She now offers a deal to the city elders: Bergman will alleviate the city's financial difficulties--in exchange for Quinn's life. The original play ended with the lynching of the seducer; the film ends with Bergman halting the execution, proclaiming that by allowing Quinn to live, the townsfolk will be forced to feel the pangs of guilt over what they might have done for the rest of their lives.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Tragicomedy is difficult to pull off. The tone of the piece has to be carefully and minutely calibrated every step of the way; even slight imbalances -- whether in writing, directing or acting - can derail a film from this genre. The Visit avoids derailing (until the trumped-up "happy" ending), but its balance is so precarious that it is never as powerful as it needs to be. This is largely due to Bernhard Wicki's direction, although it must be admitted that the material, brilliant though it is, would be an enormous challenge to any director. Fortunately, Wicki's leading lady understands both the script and her character; Ingrid Bergman's powerful performance is probably the finest "unknown" performance of her career. Full of passion and controlled rage and spitting out sarcastic remarks at every turn, she provides the film with many highlights. Anthony Quinn plays very well off of her, and is surprisingly endearing. Ben Barzman's adaptation misses some of Durenmatt's careful shadings, but is a respectable job, and Rene Hubert's costumes (especially Bergman's gowns) are an eyeful. Although not the harrowing but amusing film it should have been, Visit is still a unique experience.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/16/2012
  • UPC: 024543848721
  • Original Release: 1964
  • Rating:

  • Source: Fox Mod
  • Presentation: B&W
  • Time: 1:40:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 10,321

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ingrid Bergman Karla Zachanassian
Anthony Quinn Serge Miller
Irina Demick Anya
Claude Dauphin Bardick
Paolo Stoppa Doctor
Romolo Valli Town Painter
Valentina Cortese Mathilda Miller
Eduardo Ciannelli Innkeeper
Jacques Dufilho Fisch
Hans-Christian Blech Capt. Dobrik
Marco Guglielmi Chesco
Lelio Luttazzi First Idler
Dante Maggio Cadek
Richard Münch Teacher
Renzo Palmer Conductor
Ernst Schroeder Mayor
Leonard Steckel Priest
Fausto Tozzi Darvis
Technical Credits
Bernhard Wicki Director
Richard Arnell Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Léon Barsacq Art Director
Ben Barzman Screenwriter
Samuel E. Beetley Editor
Robert Christides Set Decoration/Design
Julien Derode Producer
Francoise Diot Editor
Rene Hubert Costumes/Costume Designer
Hans-Martin Majewski Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Armando Nannuzzi Cinematographer
John O'Gorman Makeup
Anthony Quinn Producer
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