In 1500, Duke Cesare Borgia hopes to marry his sister (widowed by poison) to the heir apparent of Ferrara, which impedes his conquest of central Italy. On this delicate mission he sends Andrea Orsini, his cousin Angela's lover and nearly as unscrupulous as himself. En route, Orsini meets Camilla Verano, wife of the count of Citta' del Monte (Borgia's next intended conquest); and sentiment threatens to turn him against his deadly master, whom no one betrays twice... Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Orson Welles made this film during some of the several breaks in the filming of his own movie of "Othello" (which he began in 1949 and which was not finished until 1952). Everett Sloane, whom he had cast as Iago in his own film, came with him into this one, with his role built up by extensive script rewrites by the uncredited Welles. This may have been partially an attempt by Welles to ensure that Sloane remained with him to complete "Othello" - but, in fact, Sloane walked off the "Othello" film, creating an extra difficulty for Welles, who never forgave him. See more »
This story takes place during the time of Cesare Borgia, who died in 1507; however, the first scene of the movie--which shows Borgia with other characters--takes place in a room decorated with a fresco of Saint Michael by Federico Zuccari, who was born around 1540, and who started to work in Rome during the reign of HH Pius IV (1559-1565). See more »
You have to understand that Samuel Shellabarger who wrote Prince of Foxes and Captain from Castile, along with several other sabre-rattling novels of the renaissance, was a very popular writer in the 40s and this movie captures much of the romantic mood of his novels. Tyrone Power had appeared earlier in Captain from Castile which had been a hit and this effort including the great Orson Welles as Cesare Borgia, and two great character actors, Katrina Paxinou and Everett Sloane, was a fantastic production. Wanda Hendrix, who was never any great shakes beyond presenting a pretty Hollywood face, did not distract from the film but the scene chewing between Power, Sloane and, of course, Welles (before he became so obese), is classic. Power with his dark handsome Irish face was always delightful in these heroic roles tinged with darkness. Recall that this film was of the same time period as his classic Nightmare Alley. It is an entertaining yarn but, alas, no video or DVD at this writing, so you'll just have to look for it on the late show. Do so because if you like the romantic golden oldies with a bit of swash and buckle, you'll dang sure like this one.
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