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Diane de Poitiers is in a childless marriage with count de Breze. When he is charged with treason, Diane visits king Francis I to successfully plead for her husband's life, something that start a rumor that she has offered her own services in return. Her husband reject her, leading Francis to ask her to come to the royal court to teach prince Henry how to be a gentleman. The prince and Diane fall in love and she becomes the prince's mistress, something that makes his wife Catherine de Medici her enemy. When the prince becomes the king of France, Diane is wielding considerable influence over him.Written by
In the film, after pleading the king for mercy on behalf of her husband count Louis de Breze, Diane is watching the adult prince Henry outside the palace wrestling with his groom. In fact, it was her father, not the count who was charged with treason in 1523 when the prince was only 4 years old, born 1519. See more »
An American historical drama set in 16th century France. The story is based loosely on the historical story about King Francis I of France who asks Diane de Poitiers, a French noblewoman and a prominent courtier, to tutor his son, Prince Henri. He becomes the future King Henri II and she becomes his mistress after his arranged marriage to the Italian royal, Catherine de' Medici.
The film plays out as a procession of people in elaborate, colourful costumes in grande sets and against impressive vistas. It has a stately feel, driven mainly by plot rather than excitement and moving scenes. But, at its core is an interesting tale about true love and the political maneouvering when two royal families collide. Unfortunately, it is let down by a poor script and dialogue which doesn't have enough fire bursts from its slow magma flow. The jousting scenes in the climactic royal tournament were impressive and the film is photographed well, but it feels a bit flat, even from the beginning.
Lana Turner produces a good performance, if a little stiff, in what is largely a sympathetic role. Marisa Pavan is impressive as the de Medici Queen. Roger Moore is handsome and easily copes with his character's progress from youth to Kingship. The Italian noble Gondi, a villainous de Medici intermediary, is played by Henry Daniell, and is probably the most impressive performance.
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