Love Is Forever (film)

Love Is Forever

Original film poster
Directed by Hall Bartlett
Produced by Hall Bartlett
Michael Landon
Screenplay by Hall Bartlett
Story by John Everingham
Starring Michael Landon
Laura Gemser
Jürgen Prochnow
Edward Woodward
Priscilla Presley
Music by Klaus Doldinger
Lee Holdridge
Laura Branigan (singer)
Carol Connors (song)
Cinematography Andrew Laszlo
Release dates
  • 1982 (1982)
  • 1983 (1983) (U.S. television)
Running time
96 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Love Is Forever (also known as Comeback) is a 1982 adventure drama film based on the experiences of Australian journalist John Everingham in Laos and Thailand. It was written, directed and co-produced by Hall Bartlett and co-produced by Michael Landon who played the lead role in the film. Filmed in Thailand, it was released outside the United States in cinemas under the title of Comeback or Passion and Valor and shown first in America on television.


Following the Pathet Lao takeover of Laos, Australian journalist John Everingham is originally sympathetic but then feels the nation is turning into a police state. General Siegfried Kaplan an East German advisor to the Pathet Lao secret police has noticed that Western newsagencies are receiving revealing news stories that could only have been provided by insiders in the Government. Kaplan vows to plug the security leaks and identify and eliminate the sources of the stories.

According to the film, Everingham is the last Western journalist remaining in Laos. To gather information the General assigns the attractive Keo Sirisomphone to befriend and spy on Everingham. The two fall in love. Everingham is arrested but rather than executed or imprisoned he is exiled to Thailand.

Evernigham vows to return to Laos to rescue Keo by learning how to scuba dive in the Mekong River and bring her to Thailand.



John Everingham's account of his exploits[1] was originally published in Reader's Digest. Producer Hall Bartlett purchased the rights and upon the recommendation of his daughters who enjoyed Little House on the Prairie cast Michael Landon as Everingham.[2] For the role of Everingham's Laotian girlfriend and later wife, Bartlett cast Eurasian actress Laura Gemser. As she had previously been known to appear in erotic films, Bartlett insisted she be credited under the name of Moira Chen.

Hall Bartlett cast Priscilla Presley after being struck by her unusual wariness at their first meeting. Says Bartlett of his discovery, "She and Moira have the same kind of extreme vulnerability I was looking for. That's their defense mechanism. Both would crumble at the slightest criticism, and they don't speak unless they feel safe. They need protection and love."[3]

Bartlett cast Jürgen Prochnow in his American film debut after the international success of Das Boot. Playing an East German general wearing a variety of uniforms and carrying a riding crop, the screenplay had Prochnow and Landon square off in a kickboxing bout.

Landon and Bartlett clashed often during the production over a variety of issues [4] with Bartlett eventually editing the film in secret to avoid Landon's interference.[5]


  1. pp. 164-166 Hopkins, Jerry Bangkok Babylon Tuttle Publishing, 2006
  2. p.134 Joyce, Aileen Michael Landon: His Triumph and Tragedy Kensington Publishing Corporation, 1991
  3. Armstrong, Lois Priscilla Presley Finds a Vocation—and Michael Landon Some Frustration—on Location People November 08, 1982 Vol. 18 No. 19
  4. Armstrong
  5. p.26 Wheeler, Jill C. Michael Landon Abdo & Daughters, 01/09/1992
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