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The Affairs of Cellini (1934)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, History | 24 August 1934 (USA)
The 16th-century sculptor woos the Duchess of Florence despite the duke.

Director:

Gregory La Cava

Writers:

Bess Meredyth (screen play), Edwin Justus Mayer (from the play by)
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Constance Bennett ... Duchess of Florence
Fredric March ... Benvenuto Cellini
Frank Morgan ... Alessandro - Duke of Florence
Fay Wray ... Angela
Vince Barnett ... Ascanio
Jessie Ralph ... Beatrice
Louis Calhern ... Ottaviano
Jay Eaton ... Polverino
Paul Harvey ... Emissary
Jack Rutherford ... Captain of the Guards (as John Rutherford)
Irene Ware ... Daughter of the Royal House of Bocci
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Storyline

The 16th-century sculptor woos the Duchess of Florence despite the duke.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | History

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

24 August 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Firebrand See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$549,370 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$88,890
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

20th Century Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on May 27, 1946 with Frank Morgan reprising his film role. See more »

Quotes

Duchess of Florence: Jelly - how like the men of our times.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
THE AFFAIRS OF CELLINI (Gregory LaCava, 1934) ***
11 March 2014 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

I had intended checking this out in conjunction with Riccardo Freda's THE MAGNIFICENT ADVENTURER (1963), involving the same historical figure, as part of a previous Easter marathon (it being the very first entry for the current year); actually, I now watched it on the birthday of director LaCava, but also as a supplement to my Oscar season viewing (the film was up for four Academy Awards)!

I had been wary of getting to it during a period when I tend to watch large-scale movies due to its being labeled a bedroom romp, albeit in costume; as such, this factor was more than proved right – but, at least, a full-on sword-wielding brawl (apart from other swashbuckling feats that are mentioned but left to the viewer's imagination) does come into play in the first act! Anyway, the picture is stylish, witty and starrily cast: Fredric March (in one of his few efforts in this vein, but to which his intrinsically stagy acting is well suited) incarnates the philandering goldsmith Benvenuto Cellini, Constance Bennett (who has her eyes on the hero!) and Frank Morgan are the Duchess and (henpecked) Duke of Florence, Fay Wray the protagonist's latest conquest (whom Morgan also romantically pursues!) and Louis Calhern appears as the court's inevitably scheming adviser. Morgan, typically the befuddled supplier of comedy relief but giving an undeniably splendid performance, was one of the Oscar nominees here: however, since the Supporting Actor category had not yet been incorporated into the ceremony, his was considered a leading role…which ties in somewhat with the fact that, despite the title, it is Bennett who receives top billing here! The other nods were for Charles Rosher's cinematography, Richard Day's art direction and the sound recording.

It was certainly interesting to watch a period rendition of a Lubitsch- type sophisticated comedy; yet, in this way, the end result falls rather between two stools: the pace is decidedly slow (despite its trim 79- minute duration) for what ordinarily would be played as breakneck farce, whereas it gives little insight into what ultimately made Cellini's name (choosing instead to depict him as a wily roguish sort in the Don Juan mould – pardon the pun)! The finale, though, is pure "Pre-Code" – with the Florentine rulers installing their respective lovers in different palaces they officially use for a particular time of year!


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