The Visit (1964 film)

The Visit is a 1964 international co-production film 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 Visit
The Visit (1964 film).jpg
Original film poster
Directed byBernhard Wicki
Produced byDarryl F. Zanuck
Julien Derode
Ingrid Bergman
Anthony Quinn
Screenplay byBen Barzman
Maurice Valency (adaptation)
Based onThe Visit
by Friedrich Durrenmatt
StarringIngrid Bergman
Anthony Quinn
Irina Demick
Paolo Stoppa
Music byRichard Arnell
Hans-Martin Majewski
CinematographyArmando Nannuzzi
Edited bySamuel E. Beetley
Françoise Diot
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
May 6, 1964 (1964-05-06) (France)
October 4, 1964 (1964-10-04) (United States)
Running time
100 minutes
CountryUnited States
West Germany
Box office$1.1 million (US/ Canada)[1]

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 their murderous choice for the rest of their lives.


Main themesEdit

Dürrenmatt stresses that The Visit is a tragicomedy.[citation needed] 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, even murder and to the collapse of ordinary morality.


  • In the stage play, the character of Serge Miller (called Alfred Ill in the original text of the drama) is killed at the end. In the film, the execution is halted.
  • Bergman and Quinn co-starred again six years later in the romantic melodrama A Walk in the Spring Rain (1970).


According to Fox records, the film needed to earn $6,100,000 in film rentals to break even and made $2,635,000, meaning it lost money.[2]


See alsoEdit


  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. ^ Silverman, Stephen M (1988). The Fox that got away : the last days of the Zanuck dynasty at Twentieth Century-Fox. L. Stuart. p. 323.
  3. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Visit". Retrieved 2009-03-01.
  4. ^ "The 37th Academy Awards (1965) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved September 21, 2014.

External linksEdit