The Fountain of Youth

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One of Welles' television ventures, a try-out for a possible series. A jilted professor revenges himself on his betrayers, flim-flamming them with the old 'serum of eternal youth' fantasy. Following suit, Welles aims to flim-flam the audience, deploying his engagingly urbane narration and arresting presentation (rapid cutting, caricature sets, dynamic use of projected backgrounds) to conceal the hollowness of the raw material - a misanthropic little tale (Youth from Vienna by John Collier) with an unsurprising payoff. Bustling us along in a manner reminiscent of the later F for Fake, to which this might be regarded as a sort of foreword, Welles ends up depositing us nowhere in particular. Still, unlike the majority of his mostly trivial made-for-TV oddments, this is not entirely unworthy of inclusion in the canon.

Release details

Duration: 25 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Orson Welles
Screenwriter: Orson Welles
Cast: Dan Tobin
Joi Lansing
Rick Jason
Billy House
Nancy Kulp
Orson Welles
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