|Directed by||Bernhard Wicki|
|Screenplay by||Ben Barzman|
Maurice Valency (adaptation)
|Based on||The Visit|
by Friedrich Durrenmatt
|Produced by||Darryl F. Zanuck|
|Edited by||Samuel E. Beetley|
|Music by||Richard Arnell|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|May 6, 1964(France) |
October 4, 1964 (United States)
|Box office||$1.1 million (US/ Canada)|
The Visit is a 1964 French, Italian, German and American international co-production film distributed by 20th Century Fox. It was directed by Bernhard Wicki and produced by Darryl F. Zanuck and Julien Derode. The film's stars Ingrid Bergman and Anthony Quinn also served as coproducers.
The screenplay was written by Ben Barzman and adapted by Maurice Valency based on Friedrich Dürrenmatt's 1956 play Der Besuch der alten Dame (literally, The Visit of the Old Lady). At the film's end, protagonist Serge Miller's life is spared, but in the original play, the character (named Alfred Ill) is killed.
Along with Bergman and Quinn, the cast includes Irina Demick, Paolo Stoppa, Hans Christian Blech, Romolo Valli, Valentina Cortese, Claude Dauphin and Eduardo Ciannelli. Bergman and Quinn would later costar again in the 1970 romantic melodrama A Walk in the Spring Rain.
Karla Zachanassian, a fabulously wealthy woman, returns to a decaying village that she had been forced to desert years earlier in disgrace. She bore a child by Serge Miller, who denied paternity. The purpose of Karla's visit is to arrange a deal with the town's inhabitants: in exchange for a vast sum of money, she wants Miller killed.
At first reluctant, the townspeople eventually accept the arrangement and Miller is condemned to death. At the last moment, Karla stops the execution and tells the citizens that they will have to live with the guilt of their murderous choice for the rest of their lives, while Miller will have to live with the knowledge that his friends and neighbors were willing to kill him for money.
According to Fox records, the film needed to earn $6,100,000 in film rentals to break even but earned only $2,635,000, losing money for the studio.