The Visit (1964 film)

The Visit

Original film poster
Directed by Bernhard Wicki
Produced by Darryl F. Zanuck
Julien Derode
Ingrid Bergman
Anthony Quinn
Written by Friedrich Dürrenmatt (play)
Screenplay by Ben Barzman
Maurice Valency (adaptation)
Based on The Visit
Starring Ingrid Bergman
Anthony Quinn
Irina Demick
Paolo Stoppa
Music by Richard Arnell
Hans-Martin Majewski
Cinematography Armando Nannuzzi
Edited by Samuel E. Beetley
Françoise Diot
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
May 6, 1964 (1964-05-06) (France)
October 4, 1964 (1964-10-04) (United States)
Running time
100 minutes
Country United States
West Germany
Language English
Box office $1.1 million (US/ Canada)[1]

The Visit is a 1964 film co-production from France, Italy, Germany, and the United States, distributed by 20th Century Fox. It was directed by Bernhard Wicki and produced by Darryl F. Zanuck and Julien Derode, with the film's stars, Ingrid Bergman and Anthony Quinn, as co-producers.

The screenplay was by Ben Barzman, adapted by Maurice Valency from Friedrich Dürrenmatt's 1956 play Der Besuch der alten Dame (literally, The Visit of the Old Lady).

Bergman and Quinn head a cast that includes Irina Demick, Paolo Stoppa, Hans Christian Blech, Romolo Valli, Valentina Cortese, Claude Dauphin, and Eduardo Ciannelli.


Karla (Claire in the play) Zachanassian (Ingrid Bergman), a fabulously wealthy woman, returns to a decaying village she had been forced to leave years earlier in disgrace. She had a child by Serge Miller (Anthony Quinn), who denied paternity. Her purpose in this "visit" is to make a deal with the inhabitants in exchange for a vast sum of money, she wants Miller killed.

At first reluctant, they 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 what they might have done for the rest of their lives.


Main themes

Dürrenmatt stresses that The Visit is a tragicomedy. However, it is a study of the darker elements of human nature. The themes of the film, as with the play, are greed, revenge and corruption and the fact that money can buy anything, even justice. Power that comes from money can lead to hate and even murder and to the collapse of ordinary morality.



See also


  1. "Big Rental Pictures of 1964", Variety, 6 January 1965 p 39. Please note this figure is rentals accruing to distributors not total gross.
  2. "Festival de Cannes: The Visit". Retrieved 2009-03-01.
  3. "The 37th Academy Awards (1965) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved September 21, 2014.
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