When the lion invites the mouse to a disputation, your majesty, the mouse, however fond he may be of arguing, would do well to avoid the disputation if he can; for the poor mouse does not know which to fear most: losing the argument or winning it.
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Christopher Lee's performance as the King of Aragon, whose fairness and basic decency overcome his piety, is the standout here. At the request of the Catholic establishment, he sets up a "disputation" (public debate) between the leader of the local Jewish community and a Jewish convert now esteemed as a brilliant clergyman. The Jewish leader sees all too well that even (or especially) if he wins, he'll lose, but the King pushes him with well-meant promises to do the right thing. The King finds to his sorrow that the consequences are not entirely within his control. It's unfortunate that the veteran Lee has rarely had such occasion to demonstrate his very real talent.
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