The Fountain of Youth (1958)

Movie Info

Movie Notes

While researching “Orson Welles” I came across this gem on YouTube. VP’s Jan. issue, with its review of MANK,  could be called “The Orson Welles Issue,” with its various reviews of Welles-related materials and a short review that will be only in the magazine of The Battle Over Citizen Kane. VP has also reviewed in the past Welles’ masterful film noir, Touch of Evil. This is a wonderful time for fans of Orson Welles and of the genre “The making of…”

Movie Info

Orson Welles
Run Time
27 minutes
Not Rated
Welles is more than just the host in this episode of what was supposed to be the first of a series. (c) DesiLu

This little gem about human love and vanity was aired in 1958, Welles’ adapting John Collier’s short story “Youth From Vienna” that has a touch of science fiction. Scientist Humphrey Baxter falls in love with showgirl Carolyn Coates but has to go away to work on a serum that promises eternal youth. When he returns after three years, he discovers that Carolyn has fallen in love with tennis champion Alan Brody. The clever Humphrey gives them the last vial he has of the serum, saying that it contains just enough for one person. You can watch to see what this does to the lovers’ relationship—plus there’s a surprise ending.

Welles made the most of what must have been a very limited budget by his appearing on camera as narrator throughout the drama, intercutting with live actor scenes and then stills of the actors as he describes the action or their thoughts. It works well and should have led to more episodes— Welles ends by announcing the title of next week’s story. This was produced actually in 1956 as a pilot, but no further episodes were filmed. It was a

Desilu Production with Desi Arnaz himself the producer. He and his wife Lucy were friends of Welles but attempts to get him to commit to a 30 or 40 episode series did work out. It has two distinctions, one being what Welles has said, “the only comedy I ever did on film, and the other that it won a special Peabody Award. Arnaz wrote, “”It was the only unsold pilot ever to win the then most coveted award in television.” For more on this see the Wikipedia article “The Fountain of Youth (Film).”

What a treasure someone has given us by posting it on YouTube.

Desilu Production

No questions. Some of those with the other Kane films could be used.

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