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. ...
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Joseph L. Mankiewicz
After yet another smash-and-grab goes wrong, a bungling trio of small-time crooks flash an idea of using a fire engine as a getaway vehicle. But they keep being mistaken for genuine firemen and it starts to become a flaming nuisance.
The only son of wealthy widow Violet Venable dies while on vacation with his cousin Catherine. What the girl saw was so horrible that she went insane; now Mrs. Venable wants Catherine lobotomized to cover up the truth.
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
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
The film opened first in London, some two months before its American opening. At its premiere, it ran to 150 minutes, and almost all British reviews commented on its being overlong. By the time it went on general release in Britain, it had been cut by 18 minutes, and this version is the one shown on television and released on DVD. Herschel Bernardi, prominently billed in the original advertising, had had his role deleted entirely, whilst Massimo Serato appears only for a second or two in Capucine's first scene. (There is a brief and now-inexplicable reference to the Bernardi character late in the film.) Both actors are, however, featured in the cast-list at the end of the film, although Serato's surname is mis-spelled as "Serrato". See more »
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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