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I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Monday, July 31, 2023

The Immortal (1969)

Jordan Braddock is a very sick and very wealthy man. We know this because when we first meet him he is flying on his private jet which crashes complicating his medical issues. While in the hospital on his death bed he is given a transfusion of blood from a man named Ben. He works for Braddock’s company in some sort of car racing or testing capacity. The blood works miracles… literally. Eventually the doctors figure out that Ben’s blood has amazing properties that heal and even make people younger. The catch is that it is only temporary.

Being a good guy Ben takes the opportunity to try and help everyone by allowing them to run tests and experiment. But Braddock is worried that if he dies in his dangerous job this fountain of youth will be lost to him. So doing what rich guys do he kidnaps him and locks him up. Though a mysterious benefactor, Braddock’s young wife who wants to inherit his money, helps him break out. This leads to Ben realizing that he has to go on the run looking for his long-lost brother who may also have the same blood and could be in danger. The end… not really as this made for television movie was a pilot for a series that lasted a year.

This is a solid bit of science fiction. We have a likeable main character in Ben whose first instinct is to use his gift to help the sick and is generally a good guy. Against him, at least in the movie, is Braddock as the greedy old man who wants to keep the benefits for himself and selfishly extend his own life. Is the rich old white guy as the villain overdone, maybe but it works here so who cares. What I find amusing is that when it went to series they couldn’t get the actor from the movie they just had another rich old white guy chasing him and say Braddock died. Completely interchangeable but again I’m okay with that. Or at least I think I am as I’ve never actually found the show. It seems to be hard to find.

The cast is filled with familiar faces including Christopher George, who most of us know from either Grizzly or Pieces but was in a bunch of great genre flicks and died way too young. Here he is cast as Ben and makes a wonderful protagonist. He is an underrated actor that certainly had the charisma to carry a show or movie by himself. Though he doesn’t have to as he is surrounded by the likes of Ralph Bellamy (Trading Places), Carol Lynley (The Night Stalker), and a very young Jessica Walter (Arrested Development). You may not recognize all the names but trust me you will know the faces.

If I had one bad thing to say about The Immortal is that it very much feels like a pilot for a series and doesn’t have an ending but rather is left open for the series that followed. Like I’ve already mentioned I haven’t seen the series and it may not be good, though I’ve heard positive things about it. But as a standalone movie even without a solid resolution to the story I still think that it is interesting enough to invest seventy minutes into checking it out. You can find it on the internet in a couple different spots so get to Googling it and give this one a chance.


© Copyright 2023 John Shatzer

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