Inspired by a performance of his favorite play, "Volpone," 20th-century millionaire Cecil Fox devises an intricate plan to trick three of his former mistresses into believing he is dying. ... See full summary »
Inspired by a performance of his favorite play, "Volpone," 20th-century millionaire Cecil Fox devises an intricate plan to trick three of his former mistresses into believing he is dying. Although the women are wealthy in their own right, all have good reason to covet his fortune. To assist him in his scheme, Fox hires William McFly, a gigolo and sometime actor, to act as his secretary/servant. Fox is soon visited at his "deathbed" by the three former mistresses: Merle McGill, a fading Hollywood sex symbol; Princess Dominique, who once took a cruise on Fox's yacht; and Lone Star Crockett, a Texas hypochondriac who travels with an enigmatic nurse/companion. As Fox and McFly act out the charade, things take an unexpected turn from comical farce to full-blown murder mystery. Written by
Joseph L. Mankiewicz first script contained several novelties that never made it to the screen. Among them was a series of memos from a theater-chain owner (made to look as though they had been slipped in front of the projector) that commented on the action taking place. Also, there was to have been a running argument (resembling backstage squabbling) between a theater manager and the actor playing Cecil over such things as lines and cues. See more »
Nothing like gold to pass the time. It is even the color of time... Gold. How little most people value time, little people. Like everything else, they will choose what's more, not what's better. Even time, they will pray to live 100, long, miserable years and feel cheated if they had say 50 of the best. Quantity yes, quality no. Venice is tiny and precious. Los Angeles is gigantic and terrifying. Who wants it? Most people, that's who. There's good time and bad time, you know, the clocks don't ...
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In Venice, the millionaire benefactor Cecil Fox (Rex Harrison) watches the Seventeenth Century play Volpone and plots a practical joke to his three former greedy mistresses. He hires the unemployed actor William McFly (Cliff Robertson) to act as his butler and stage manager and sends letters telling that he is terminal to the decadent Hollywood star Merle McGill (Edie Adams); to the broken Princess Dominique (Capucine); and to the sick Lone Star Crockett (Susan Hayward), who was married with him and arrives in his palace bringing the nurse Sarah Watkins (Maggie Smith) as her companion. The prime intention of Rex is to see the reaction of the women after the reading of his will declaring McFly as the only heir of his fortune and then laugh up them. However, when Mrs. Sheridan is found dead in her room, the snoop Sarah decides to investigate and realizes that the prank is indeed an intricate scheme to get the fortune of Rex.
"The Money Pot" is a delightfully witty film of the great director Joseph L. Mankiewicz. The sophisticated and theatrical screenplay has wonderful lines and many plot points that surprises many times and a mystery that recalls the novels of Agatha Christie. The direction and the performances are superb, highlighting Rex Harrison, Cliff Robertson, Maggie Smith and Adolfo Celi, the Venetian inspector that watches Perry Mason at home. My vote is nine.
Title (Brazil): "Charada em Veneza" ("Charade in Venice")
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