Prince of Foxes
Filmed entirely on location in Italy, Prince of Foxes is an adaptation of Samuel Shellabarger's popular novel. Set during the Renaissance, the film stars Tyrone Power as Orsini, a good-will ambassador for scheming, covetous Cesare Borgia (Orson Welles). Orsini is aware that he is being used to expand Borgia's political influence, but he does his best to serve his master. But when he visits a mountain province ruled by the kindly Duke Varano (Felix Aylmer), Orsini comes to realize that there is more to life than power and possessions. Turning against the Borgias, Orsini is subjected to torture and humiliation, but he escapes to spearhead a revolt against the despotic family. Power is quite good, but he can't help but be overshadowed by such scenery-chewers as Orson Welles, Katina Paxinou (as Orsini's mother) and Everett Sloane (as the toadying Belli). Wanda Hendrix is pretty but forgettable as Varano's young bride, who of course falls in love with the dashing Orsini. Because of contractual and budgetary restrictions, Prince of Foxes had to be filmed in black-and-white, which is a shame; if ever a film cried out for Technicolor, it is this one (20th Century-Fox soon rectified this artistic gaffe with its full-color, location-filmed The Black Rose , which also starred Tyrone Power and Orson Welles).