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Bride of Vengeance
Drama

1949 | 4:3 | BLACK & WHITE | Quality: Excellent

Paulette Goddard

John Lund

MacDonald Carey


$9.99

Casare Borgia sits on the throne of power in Rome, but secretly schemes to conquer the city of Venice as well which is ruled by his brother-in-law! Sitting between Rome and Venice is the tiny independent kingdom of Ferrara - which becomes a pawn in Borgia's scheme! Borgia murders his sister's husband and frames Alfonso D'Este of Ferrara for the killing, hoping this will weaken both kingdoms and he can swoop in and claim the spoils. Everything seems to be going according to plan as the enraged Lucretia Borgia vows to avenge her slain husband against Ferrara and D'Este, but as she investigates matters and gets to know Alfonso it soon becomes apparent that not all is at it appears - and things become even more complicated when the smooth-talking Alfonso begins to win her heart.

An interesting period costumer that is loosely based - and I mean LOOSELY - on a period in the life of Lucretia Borgia. The film was blasted by critics, and was unfortunately a step in the wrong direction for Goddard's career, but over the years the picture has gained a very loyal following. Paulette Goddard's makeup job for this movie became notorious in Hollywood circles and was the source of some on-set disagreements. Some love the look, some lampoon it. I think she looks absolutely amazing; she and the other leads all perform well. A tale of love, betrayal and murder, sprinkled with moments of humour that manages to avoid spoiling the story's overall tone. John Lund in particular handles the dual themes of humor and gravity very ably. Lund is, to my mind, much underrated. His comedic timing is very good, delivered in a gentle manner, and perhaps it is this that sometimes gave the mistaken impression that he was an acting lightweight. Macdonald Carey plays Lucretia Borgia's devious brother who, despite his vile actions and intentions, is not entirely unlikeable - as he explains to his sister "We live in times when acts of cruelty are sometimes necessary to survive." It is Raymond Burr who, not for the first time, plays the less sympathetic villain here.

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