Ana, the Princess of Eboli, wears a black patch over her right eye, where she was blinded as a youth when fighting a duel in defense of her king, the despotic Philip. Thereafter she and the... See full summary »
Ana, the Princess of Eboli, wears a black patch over her right eye, where she was blinded as a youth when fighting a duel in defense of her king, the despotic Philip. Thereafter she and the monarch were close friends, although his passion for her was never consummated. She marries one of Philip's ministers, bore him a son, and soon became a widow. Now Philip calls upon her to assist in coaching a commoner, Antonio Perez, for the office of first secretary to the crown.The result is more than Philip bargained for as Ana and Antonio become lovers and create a scandal in court, always the scene of perpetual intrigue. Philip has Antonio arrested on a drummed-up charge of murder, and when Ana refuses to leave Madrid, she too is arrested. After spending time in jail, she is transferred to her home and held in check. Antonio escapes and makes his way to Ana, who persuades him to leave the country and take her son. Written by
A lot of talent worked on this movie. Terence Young directed, Robert Krasker photographed, and John Addison supplied most of the music. Costumes are lavish and sets make good use of actual locations in Spain. The cast shines with names such as Olivia de Havilland, Paul Scofield, Gilbert Roland, and Christopher Lee. It has the look of an "A" production, in CinemaScope at that.
Alas, neither the story nor the characters have much interest with the result that the movie doesn't work either as a romance or a historical epic. Just as MGM was finding out with Lana Turner's "Diana," these heavy costume dramas had gone out of style by the mid-1950s and audiences stayed away from them in droves. Certainly the marketing department must have had a problem selling a movie with such a bland and pointless title as "That Lady."
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