According to a 1934 newspaper article, Constance Bennett wore 20 costumes in the film. Weighed together, they amounted to 1,000 pounds of wardrobe; The heaviest of Bennett's costumes was 44 pounds, while the rest averaged about 30. See more »
One of hundreds of gems waiting to be treasured....
Stumbling across a neat little 80-minute gem like 1934's The Affairs of Cellini is reason enough to lease satellite TV (or a really good cable service, a contradiction in terms if ever there was one). Viewing it almost nearly 70 years after its premiere allows even the neophyte cineaste a neat precis of the progress (or lack of same) that film has made since then, plus primers in ace character acting and deft characterization by the writers.
The film centers on 16th-century Florence, a hotbed of wealth and intrigue run by a family you might of heard of (the Medicis), and one of its leading artisans, the goldsmith Benvenuto Cellini. Cellini (about whom Hector Berlioz wrote an opera and numerous poems and stories have been penned) is sort of a hybrid of Robin Hood and the Scarlet Pimpernel, with a dash of Don Juan thrown in for fun. Played by the very young, unabashedly gorgeous and surprisingly athletic Fredric March (seen many years later in such classics as Inherit the Wind, The Bridges at Toko-Ri and The Best Years of Our Lives), Cellini's a stiffnecked anti-aristocrat that the Duke of Florence (played hilariously by The Wizard of Oz himself, Frank Morgan) and his lethal-seductress wife (Fox's big star of the mid-'30s, Constance Bennett) can't seem to do without, so skilled at goldsmithing and seduction is he.
Toss in Fay Wray (the year after making Kong go ape), Fox stalwart Louis Calhern in the Basil Rathbone role and the VERY young Lucille Ball in a supporting role, oodles of classic B&W cinematography, snappy directorial pace (by Fox veteran Gregory La Cava) and quasi-operatic sets and decoration, and you've got the kind of lunchtime matinee that 24-hour classic movie channels like Turner Classic and Fox Movies (where this can be seen at least twice a month) were meant to provide.
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