Bride of Vengeance (1949)

92 mins | Drama | 6 May 1949

Full page view
HISTORY

The working title of this film was A Mask for Lucretia . According to a HR news item, Ray Milland was originally slated to appear as "Alfonso D'Este," but refused the role, and was placed on suspension by Paramount. Modern sources add that John Lund, originally slated to play "Cesare Borgia," was then cast as "Alfonso," and also contributed to the screenplay. The historical reputation of the infamous sixteenth-century Borgias is that of a brutal and possibly incestuous family. Cesare Borgia took political and military control of Rome after his father was elected pope, and engineered his sister Lucrezia's three marriages as a way of annexing more territory. After her first marriage was annulled, Lucrezia's second husband, Alfonso, Duke of Bisceglie, was murdered by agents of Cesare, who then engineered her third marriage to Alfonso ... More Less

The working title of this film was A Mask for Lucretia . According to a HR news item, Ray Milland was originally slated to appear as "Alfonso D'Este," but refused the role, and was placed on suspension by Paramount. Modern sources add that John Lund, originally slated to play "Cesare Borgia," was then cast as "Alfonso," and also contributed to the screenplay. The historical reputation of the infamous sixteenth-century Borgias is that of a brutal and possibly incestuous family. Cesare Borgia took political and military control of Rome after his father was elected pope, and engineered his sister Lucrezia's three marriages as a way of annexing more territory. After her first marriage was annulled, Lucrezia's second husband, Alfonso, Duke of Bisceglie, was murdered by agents of Cesare, who then engineered her third marriage to Alfonso d'Este. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
2 Apr 1949.
---
Daily Variety
29 Mar 49
p. 3.
Film Daily
7 Apr 49
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Jul 48
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Sep 48
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Mar 49
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
2 Apr 49
pp. 4557-58.
New York Times
7 Apr 49
p. 38.
Variety
30 Mar 49
p. 13.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Mitchell Leisen Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dial dir
Asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Addl dial
Contr wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d cam
Asst cam
Gaffer
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
Art dir
Fill-in art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
MUSIC
Mus score
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Asst prod mgr
Casting
Tech adv
Portraits painted by
Scr clerk
Stage eng
SOURCES
SONGS
"Give My Love" and "The Wine of Old Giuseppe," music and lyrics by Jay Livingston, Ray Evans and Troy Sanders
"The Nightingale and the Rose," music and lyrics by Victor Young and Clemence Dane.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
A Mask for Lucretia
Release Date:
6 May 1949
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 7 April 1949
Production Date:
1 September--22 October 1948
added scenes and retakes: 4 November and 12 November 1948, 21 January 1949
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
6 May 1949
Copyright Number:
LP2292
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
92
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

In the early sixteenth century, Duke Alfonso D'Este of Ferrara, Italy, purposely builds his reputation as an indolent fool who is interested only in entertainment and the construction of a statue dedicated to the god, Jupiter. Alfonso's advisor, Peruzzi, reprimands him for ignoring ambitious Roman Cesare Borgia, whose regime threatens all of Italy. When Peruzzi is killed by an assassin, Alfonso confides in his court physician, Filippo, his intention to go to Rome and his hope that his newfound reputation as a fool will protect him. Alfonso takes Filippo with him, as he is working on a cure for "Roman fever," which is caused by a poison Borgia uses to kill his enemies. In Rome, Borgia orders his general, Don Michelotto, to kill Alfonso if he refuses to allow Michelotto's troops into Ferrara, as a route for Borgia to invade Venice. Alfonso, still playing the fool, insists that he has already made a military alliance with Venice and flirts with Borgia's beloved sister Lucretia, brazenly kissing her on the mouth. Not long after, Lucretia's husband, Prince Bisceglie, is attacked by assassins in front of the court, and Michelotto purposely holds off shooting the assassin until he has succeeded in stabbing Bisceglie. Borgia and Michelotto, who ordered the assassination, are disappointed when Bisceglie does not die, and Alfonso ingratiates himself with Lucretia by sending Filippo to treat her husband. Borgia takes Filippo hostage, however, and replaces him with an impostor who murders Bisceglie and leaves Filippo's signet ring as evidence of Alfonso's treachery. Borgia then pledges that Lucretia can avenge her husband's death against Alfonso. Not long after, Alfonso is shocked when Michelotto arrives ... +


In the early sixteenth century, Duke Alfonso D'Este of Ferrara, Italy, purposely builds his reputation as an indolent fool who is interested only in entertainment and the construction of a statue dedicated to the god, Jupiter. Alfonso's advisor, Peruzzi, reprimands him for ignoring ambitious Roman Cesare Borgia, whose regime threatens all of Italy. When Peruzzi is killed by an assassin, Alfonso confides in his court physician, Filippo, his intention to go to Rome and his hope that his newfound reputation as a fool will protect him. Alfonso takes Filippo with him, as he is working on a cure for "Roman fever," which is caused by a poison Borgia uses to kill his enemies. In Rome, Borgia orders his general, Don Michelotto, to kill Alfonso if he refuses to allow Michelotto's troops into Ferrara, as a route for Borgia to invade Venice. Alfonso, still playing the fool, insists that he has already made a military alliance with Venice and flirts with Borgia's beloved sister Lucretia, brazenly kissing her on the mouth. Not long after, Lucretia's husband, Prince Bisceglie, is attacked by assassins in front of the court, and Michelotto purposely holds off shooting the assassin until he has succeeded in stabbing Bisceglie. Borgia and Michelotto, who ordered the assassination, are disappointed when Bisceglie does not die, and Alfonso ingratiates himself with Lucretia by sending Filippo to treat her husband. Borgia takes Filippo hostage, however, and replaces him with an impostor who murders Bisceglie and leaves Filippo's signet ring as evidence of Alfonso's treachery. Borgia then pledges that Lucretia can avenge her husband's death against Alfonso. Not long after, Alfonso is shocked when Michelotto arrives in Ferrara and tells him that Borgia is offering him Lucretia's hand in marriage. Aware that he cannot refuse this offer, Alfonso marries Lucretia the next day, and sends his painter, Tiziano, to Rome as a thank you. However, Alfonso abandons Lucretia on their wedding night because of a fire at the foundry where his monument is being built. Unknown to anyone but Alfonso, his foundryman, Vanetti, and his foundry guards, his "Jupiter" is really a giant cannon that he has been constructing to defend the city from Borgia. Because the hot metal fills the mold too rapidly to create a solid cannon, Alfonso is forced to hide the defective weapon in the moat. Lucretia then rejects Alfonso, insisting that he prove that their marriage is not just a "state" marriage, but when she urges him to respond to Borgia's entreaties of an alliance, Alfonso states that Ferrara belongs to the people, not to him. Later, when a poet named Bastino is brought for judgment for writing slanderous poetry about Lucretia, Alfonso gives Lucretia the opportunity to endear herself to the populace, and she frees Bastino. Bastino then becomes her spy, and after she learns about the foundry, she warns her brother about the monumental cannon. Alfonso, meanwhile, continues to work for Filippo's freedom, and orders the execution of a foundry guard who abandoned his post, unaware that the guard left to admit Lucretia. Lucretia has fallen in love with Alfonso despite herself, but her brother reminds her of Alfonso's supposed treachery, and gives her poison with which to kill him. That night, Lucretia pledges herself to her husband after poisoning his wine. When Alfonso, who sincerely loves Lucretia, confides in her about his secret cannon, she realizes that she has misjudged him. Alfonso likewise realizes he has misjudged Lucretia when the foundry guard identifies her. Alfonso belays the execution order and banishes the guard, then collapses from the poison. As Lucretia rides out of the city to join Borgia and his advancing troops, Filippo returns in time to administer an antidote to Alfonso. As part of the cure, Filippo plunges Alfonso into a fountain of cold water, which he says will temper his body as cold water tempers metal. Inspired, Alfonso dredges up the old cannon from the moat, believing that it has also been "cured." At Borgia's camp, a distraught Lucretia encounters Tiziano, who shows her one of his paintings of Filippo. Lucretia now understands that the man who treated her husband was an impostor, and that her brother has manipulated her for his own aims. Borgia urges Ferrara to surrender so that he will not have to destroy the city, and Lucretia agrees to return there. She actually intends to help the city defend itself against her brother and is shocked and grateful to find Alfonso alive. He, however, refuses to believe she is on his side until Borgia's army marches at the gate. Alfonso then fills the cannon with scrap metal and chains and fires it, slaughtering most of Borgia's troops. The surviving soldiers withdraw, but when Michelotto calls Lucretia a devil, Borgia resignedly says that he cannot fight what is in the stars, and stabs Michelotto to death. The people of Ferrara celebrate their victory, and Alfonso's faith in Lucretia is restored. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.