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Lucrezia Borgia (1935)

Cast: Edwige Feuillère, Edwige Feuillère, Gabriel Gabrio, more...
Director: Abel Gance, Abel Gance
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Image Entertainment
Genre: Costume Drama/Period Piece, Biopics
Running Time: 92 min.
Languages: French
Subtitles: English
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Recently Rented By Ptaines

With director Abel Gance at the helm, the title character in Lucrezia Borgia exudes more sex appeal and wears fewer clothes than any previous screen incarnation of the infamous Florentine poisoner. Edwige Feuillere stars as Lucrezia, who learns her ruthless political cunning at the knee of Machiavelli (Aime Clariond) himself. Sold into a marriage of convenience by her craven brother Cesare (Gabriel Gabrio), Lucrezia soon holds all of 15th-century Florence in thrall. Her despotic rule is energetically challenged by tireless reformer Savonarola, who more or less functions as Abel Gance's alter ego (though Gance would certainly not have wished to meet Savonarola's grisly fate!) Filmed in 1935, Lucrezia Borgia ran into censorship problems in England (thanks to its implicit anti-Papal stance), Italy and Germany, holding up its international release for nearly two years. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Lucrezia Borgia by DaMess July 28, 2005 - 12:20 AM PDT
2 out of 4 members found this review helpful
After watching the film I went back and read the synopsis at GreeCine. I wonder if I saw the same film as described. While the synopsis is in line with what I previously knew about Lucrezia and her family I fouind the film to be much different. In the film it's Cesare Borgia who is the main villain. While Lucrezia seems to go along with his schemes after some initial (and possibly insincere) protest she doesn't seem to be an instigator. She does show herself to be flighty and breezily alduterous but there is little sense of her being a power broker. Also the character of the Borgia patriarch, who becomes Pope Alexander VI, seems pretty whitewashed. That may be to show some dramatic contrast between him and his son Cesare but as far as I know he was no prize either.
Still, the film is wonderfully sophistacted and slyly witty. It seems quite daring for its time but a little research into the films, foreign and American, of the times shows it to be right on the cutting edge of where films (especially American ones) were heading had they not been under the small-minded and hypocritical constraints of the Hays code fanatics and the fact that American film producers willfully and cowardly submitted to the dictates of villains and anti-semites like the Hays commission's Joe Breen.
I may have to watch this again. It may prove, on a second viewing, to be closer to its description in the GreenCine synopsis. Wheteher that proves true or not and I highly recommend it,especially to people who have the notion that sophistication, wit and sensuality are recent inventions in life OR film.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.53)
15 Votes
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