Treachery, treachery, and then more treachery......
If you think the Norse blood feuds were extreme, as this film shows they were equaled if not exceeded by the family feuds of the Italian Rennaisance period. "Sword in the Shadow" opens with the triumphant della Rocca family completely annihilating the Altavila family. But unbeknownst to the over-ripe dragon of a Countess (Tamara Lees) the doomed Duke and Duchess had sent a faithful retainer into hiding with their youngest tot and heir Fabrizio. In a belated show of remorse the Contessa takes in the orphaned young bastard son of the murdered duke who will later play a fateful role in her ambitions. After this boy, Braccio, and Fabrizio grow up (played by Longo and Valdemarin) the reckoning is set in motion when Fabrizio, who's been raised as a gypsy, steals a horse herd from della Rocca lands. The action moves along briskly and holds the interest, impeded only by a visit from a foppish (and boring) uncle and cousin who bring the Contessa's lovely daughter Lavinia home from her years at a convent school to be betrothed. Things get dicy when she falls for the gypsy lad. Livio Lorenzon has one of his best roles as the ever faithful but scorned minion of the Contessa. Stick around for the many betrayals, murders, and treachery after treachery.
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