THE IMMORTAL (1969)
Article 2679 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-28-2008
Posting Date: 12-13-2008
Directed by Joseph Sargent
Featuring Christopher George, Ralph Bellamy, Don Knight
A test car driver’s blood is given in a transfusion to a dying tycoon, who makes an amazing recovery. When it is discovered that the driver’s blood is immune to all known diseases and has amazing curative properties, the tycoon decides to fake the driver’s death and kidnap him so he can rejuvenate himself whenever he wants to.
As a TV-Movie movie doing double time as a pilot for a TV series, this one is pretty good; it’s well-acted, exciting, and quite entertaining. Still, I’m not sure I would have allowed it to go on as a series; I suspect that this pilot pretty much exhausted the possibilities of what we could do with the central fantastic gimmick, which means that from here on out, the immortality theme would serve as little more than a Gizmo Maguffin for what seems to be another variation on “The Fugitive”. As it is, the show lasted about half a season before coming to an end. There are a couple of things I didn’t care for in the movie. One is Barry Sullivan’s make-up as the dying tycoon; it looks like old age makeup rather than making him look like he’s old (if you know what I mean). The other is Carol Lynley. I’m not sure why, but as I continue with this series, I’ve discovered that there’s something about her performances that I don’t like; to me, they feel artificial, and there’s a cuteness about them that feels contrived. And at heart, I would have enjoyed this movie more if it had featured a complete story arc rather than having served as a setup for a series.