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 »
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 »
[Describing a man who would fit his requirements as an agent]
... be as quick at deceit as a fox. He must have the grace of a dancer; the wrist of an assassin. He must have little regard for good faith, yet by his astuteness, be able to confuse men's minds. He must have confidence in himself, yet not let that confidence render him incautious. He must charm as a snake charms a bird, yet he must make no friends, except those who can be of use to him and, for the same reason, although he may make ...
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This is a highly unusual movie simply because of the subject matter--the Borgias and the consolidation of power in the Italian states during the 15th and 16th centuries. I've gotta admit that this earns an extra point or two just for originality. Power plays a soldier of fortune--a role he is well suited for, as in many ways, it's almost like his pirate movies or Zorro! So, the transition is smooth. Also, the story and supporting actors are excellent. I recommend this film especially to lovers of old films and adventure movies. I think some teens and kids would also enjoy it, but considering the short attention-spans of most kids these days, you might think twice before having them watch this movie (or just force them to watch because it's good entertainment by gum!).
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