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Prince of Foxes (1949)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama, History | 23 December 1949 (USA)
An unscrupulous agent for the Borgias suffers a change of heart when asked to betray a noble count and his much younger, very beautiful wife.

Director:

Henry King

Writers:

Milton Krims (screenplay), Samuel Shellabarger (novel)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Tyrone Power ... Andrea Orsini
Orson Welles ... Cesare Borgia
Wanda Hendrix ... Camilla Verano
Marina Berti ... Angela Borgia
Everett Sloane ... Mario Belli
Katina Paxinou ... Mona Constanza Zoppo
Felix Aylmer ... Count Marc Antonio Verano
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Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

King of romantic epics ! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

23 December 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Samuel Shellabarger's Prince of Foxes See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,550,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Citta del Monte is a fictional place. See more »

Goofs

During the battle sequence the exact same ground level shot of hot oil being poured on soldiers scaling a siege ladder is repeated only seconds later. See more »

Quotes

Mario Belli: I've discovered the dead don't always pay best.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dancing in the Dark (1949) See more »

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User Reviews

Everything but glorious Technicolor!
11 June 2003 | by Greg CoutureSee all my reviews

I seem to recall reading somewhere that one of Darryl F. Zanuck's reasons for not bestowing three-strip Technicolor on this otherwise all-the-amenities production was that he was peeved at Tyrone Power, still under contract to 20th-Century Fox at the time, for turning down numerous scripts. That's probably an apocryphal bit of trivia since it wasn't very easy for contractees to turn down very many scripts without a dreaded (and costly) suspension, and also one might guess that the amount of frozen lira available for the extensive location shooting of this stunning swashbuckler wasn't as munificent as would have been needed to ship those cumbersome three-strip Technicolor cameras to Italy and to complete the expensive process of photography and the preparation of final release prints. But there's no doubt that color cinematography would have enhanced the final result.

Nevertheless, as other comments on this title attest, the completed film is one that repays repeated viewings. When I first saw it on a TV broadcast I was especially impressed with Henry King's direction, somehow more flexible and attuned to his actors' capabilities than many of the productions which he helmed on U.S. soundstages. I'll certainly add my praise to other IMDbers' encomiums for the male members of the cast, but there should also be a word of thanks for the lovely Wanda Hendrix's portrayal, convincing as a devoted wife of a much older husband, and the brief appearance as the treacherous Angela Borgia by Marina Berti, whose beauty was soon to grace the Technicolored screen as Eunice in M-G-M's "Quo Vadis?" two years later.

And this film also boasts one of my favorite scores by Alfred Newman. From the main title's opening bars, one knows that this is one of his best achievements, with an exciting sweep and, as the film unfolds, a masterful enhancement of the script's many nuances. This one truly deserves a video release. How about it, Fox Studio Classics?


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