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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)
Reviews
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:

Filmed amid the splendor and magnificence of its original locale ! 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)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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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

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 »

Goofs

When Andrea is painting Camilla's portrait, his sleeves are long and loose. One touches the wet canvas, yet no smudge is made upon the portrait or his sleeve. See more »

Quotes

Andrea Orsini: Heroism is a shallow thing, Madonna, if it isn't rooted in wisdom.
Camilla Verano: I don't intend to be wise; I can only be what I am.
See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
One of the Most Beautiful B/W Historicals Ever Put Onto Film; Well-Acted
26 June 2005 | by silverscreen888See all my reviews

This is the only film whose producer ever rented a country. The tiny country rented to become "Citta del Monte" in Samuel Shellabarger's well-plotted "Prince of Foxes" was actually the real country of Andorra. The historical novel on which this beautifully-paced and emotionally satisfying film was made left Milton Krims, scenarist, with an unsolvable problem--which he proceeded to solve. The plot line involved Tyrone Power as ambitious young Andrea Orsini with Cesare Borgia's scheme to unite and rule Italy; Orson Welles does well as a charismatic Borgia, whose plan it is to marry his sister played by Marina Berti to the Duke of Ferrara; poison will follow, and the key to Italy will drop from the dying Duke's hand into his own grasp. But Andrea must first perform a mission involving the betraying of the strategic Citta Del Monte into Borgia's hands. His Mother, played by Katina Paxinou, is horrified when she hears what he is becoming; and during the mission, undertaken with Everett Sloane as an assassin he takes into service-- his own death having been the one planned--he decides to serve the Lord of the city, ably played by Felix Aylmer and also his daughter, with whom he if falling in love, miscast but hard-working Wanda Hendrix. The final battle is fought, and a happy ending is achieved--for all save Cesare Borgia and those whose death his schemes have wasted. This is a beautiful B/W drama, with lovely sets by Thomas Little,, Alfred Newman's fine music, Leon Shamroy's exquisite photography and period costumes by Vittorio Nino Novarese that I found unforgettable. Kudos also go to Roy D. Webb as 2nd Unit Director for the action scenes that relieve the very competent dialogue portions expertly crafted by director Henry King. This film, which could have been badly made, glows like a ruby set in the hilt of a dagger flashing back the rays of a spring sun. It is well-remembered, and a benchmark of a production against which other historical dramas are measured still.


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