Youth Without Youth

Synopsis: Christmas Eve, 1937, Piatra Neamt, Romania: Dominic Matei, a 70-year-old professor, contemplates suicide. The love of his life is dead, and he remains unable to complete his life's work on the origins of language. On April 24th 1938, Easter Sunday, he takes a train to Bucharest to kill himself, but suddenly he's struck by lightning. After a slow recovery, he miraculously grows younger and gains superhuman powers. WWII breaks out and Romania's fascist dictator Ion Antonescu cooperates with Adolf Hitler. Matei must escape to Switzerland, because Nazi scientists want to use his powers...Some years later, he meets a woman who has her own passage through a lightning storm. Not only does Dominic find love again, but her new abilities hold the key to his research...Coppola's adaptation of Mircea Eliade's surreal novella is a mysterious, romantic, melancholic and humorous journey to the outer limits of space, time and identity. Dreams become reality and reality feels like a dream...
Production: Sony Pictures Classics
  1 win & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
124 min

He wrote

some 20 characters on it,

and he asked me

to pronounce them

one by one

and then translate the passage.

In order to master Chinese,

one must have

the memory of Mandarin.

Photographic memory.

A memory of a Mandarin.

I remember hearing

about another case,

a priest hit by lightning.

Burned over his whole body

and would survive

many years afterwards.

True, he was left

blind and mute,

as our man is also probably.

Don't talk so loud.

Maybe he can hear you.

I want him to hear me.

Let's see how he'll react.

Maybe he isn't mute at all.


Not mute! Not mute!

Try to pronounce any word,


Blue envelope.


The teeth,

they're barely holding.

Call the dentist right now

and see if the x-rays are ready.

What's next?

"Romania may be forced

to negotiate with Hitler. "

France is abandoning us

to the Nazis.

He is right.

His x-rays have come in.

You really should

take a look at them.

The roots are healthy, but they

are being pushed up by new ones.

So we feel you're out

of danger.

Only now do you begin

to become an interesting case.

You understand why,

don't you?

The way the lightning

struck you,

you had to have been killed

on the spot,

or else to have died

of asphyxiation.

At best you'd

be left paralyzed,

mute or blind.

You are lucky,

I'll give you that.


We had ordered a set of dentures

to allow you to eat

and above all,

to speak normally.

But the x-rays show

that, uh,

a new set of teeth

are ready to appear.

It's impossible.

Yes. It's simply impossible.

And yet the x-rays are clear.

You are getting new teeth.

This is no longer a case

of a living dead man,

but of something else.

What, exactly,

we still don't know.

Your recovery is amazing.

I don't want to tire you out.

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Francis Ford Coppola

Francis Ford Coppola is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. He was part of the New Hollywood wave of filmmaking. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Youth Without Youth" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 27 Jan. 2021. <>.

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