The Visit


1h 40m 1964

Brief Synopsis

Carla Zachanassian had a child by Serge Miller as a teenager. When Serge refused to marry her, she was driven out of town. By her own wit and cunning, she has returned as a multi-millionaire for a visit. The town lays out the red carpet expecting big things from Carla, only to learn that her sole purpose is to see Serge Miller killed...

Film Details

Also Known As
Der Besuch, La rancune, La vendetta della signora
Release Date
Jan 1964
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 23 Sep 1964
Production Company
Dear Film; Deutsche Fox Film; Les Films du Siècle; P. E. C. F.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Der Besuch der alten Dame; eine tragische Komödie by Friedrich Dürrenmatt (Zurich, 29 Jan 1956; adapted as The Visit; a Play in Three Acts by Maurice Valency; New York.

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 40m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

Karla Zachanassian, reportedly the world's richest woman, returns to her birthplace, the small European town of Guellen. The people of the economically depressed town prepare for her visit, hoping that she will give them financial aid. She arrives in her Rolls-Royce, accompanied by bodyguards and a pet leopard. During a banquet in her honor, Karla shocks the townspeople by offering them $2 million to kill Serge Miller, the owner of the general store, who was once her lover. She explains that when she was about to bear his child, Miller bribed other men to testify that she was a whore, and she was run out of town. The child died, and Karla became a prostitute before marrying her wealthy husband. The townspeople are shocked by what they hear, but they refuse her offer. Later, trucks begin bringing valuable merchandise into Guellen, and soon the affluent townspeople come to regard Karla with more sympathy. When Karla's leopard escapes, the townspeople arm themselves for the hunt, but they are really hunting for Miller, who hides until the animal is killed. He begs Karla to put an end to her vengeful scheme, but she refuses. Miller tries to leave town, but the citizens prevent him. The town councilmen ask Karla to stop her persecution of Miller and invest in Guellen, but she informs them that she already owns all the town property. Finally, Miller is forced to stand trial, and he is sentenced to death. Karla announces that Miller will be freed if one man thinks his sentence is unjust, but no one speaks out. Then Karla instructs the court to free Miller, saying that her revenge will be Miller's living among the people who have killed him for money. Announcing that the visit is over, Karla leaves Guellen, taking with her Anya, a young woman whose life Karla fears may be damaged like her own.

Film Details

Also Known As
Der Besuch, La rancune, La vendetta della signora
Release Date
Jan 1964
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 23 Sep 1964
Production Company
Dear Film; Deutsche Fox Film; Les Films du Siècle; P. E. C. F.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Der Besuch der alten Dame; eine tragische Komödie by Friedrich Dürrenmatt (Zurich, 29 Jan 1956; adapted as The Visit; a Play in Three Acts by Maurice Valency; New York.

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 40m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Award Nominations

Best Costume Design

1965

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Location scenes filmed in Italy. Opened in Paris in July 1964 as La rancune at 120 min; in West Germany in September 1964 as Der Besuch at 100 min; and in Italy in 1964 as La vendetta della signora.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1964

Released in United States 1964