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Il magnifico avventuriero
Mit Faust und Degen (1963)
Movie
  • Director:
    Riccardo Freda
  • Category:
  • Writer:
    Antoinette Pellevant,Filippo Sanjust
  • Cast:
    Brett Halsey,Claudia Mori,Françoise Fabian
  • Time:
    1h 33min
  • Year:
    1963
Benvenuto Cellini knows no obstacles when it comes to creating a work of art or conquering the heart of a woman.
Casts
Cast overview, first billed only:
Brett Halsey Brett Halsey - Benvenuto Cellini
Claudia Mori Claudia Mori - Piera
Françoise Fabian Françoise Fabian - Lucrezia
José Nieto José Nieto - Connestabile di Borbone
Jacinto San Emeterio Jacinto San Emeterio - Francisco I
Félix Dafauce Félix Dafauce - Frangipani
Andrea Bosic Andrea Bosic - Michelangelo
Rossella Como Rossella Como - Angela (as Rosella Como)
Carla Calò Carla Calò - Zia di Angela
Bernard Blier Bernard Blier - Clemente VII
Diego Michelotti Diego Michelotti - Carlo V
Elio Pandolfi Elio Pandolfi - Un attore
Umberto D'Orsi Umberto D'Orsi - Granduca di Toscana
Giampiero Littera Giampiero Littera - Francesco
Dany París Dany París - Moglie di Francesco

Mit Faust und Degen (1963)
Shakataxe
Shakataxe
An above-average "Euro-Cult" epic which also passes for a serviceable biopic of celebrated Renaissance-era artist Benvenuto Cellini (played by American Brett Halsey in one of his better showcases). Like THE BARBARIANS (1953), this film depicts the sacking of Rome and, in fact, here we are shown how he is asked by the Pope himself (Bernard Blier) – countering a fraud charge into the bargain – to lead the resistance!

Of course, he also comes off as an unrepentant ladies' man – with jilted suitors being even ready to die for him – and whose charm affects tavern wenches (represented by spirited Claudia Mori aka Mrs. Adriano Celentano) and noblewomen (like Francoise Fabian, rather staid but undeniably lovely) equally. The latter is the neglected (and, typically, much younger) wife of a dullard engulfed in researching his eminent heredity…which our hero purports to take an earnest interest in so as to get at the lady(!), though he eventually ends up with the more down-to-earth of the two mentioned females. The narrative actually begins in his native city of Florence – where Cellini wins a prize judged and distributed during an audience before the king (while taking his first-ever bath!) for a gold-laden model. However, rivals accuse him of cheating in this case as well and this leads first to a brawl and eventually the destruction-by-fire of the sculptor's studio (and with it a large statue of Perseus triumphing over the Medusa he had intended dedicating to the Italian royal)!

The script (by regular Freda collaborator Filippo Sanjust), then, encompasses history lesson, politics, romance, comedy, tragedy, action and spectacle in its one-and-a-half-hour duration. By the way, Andrea Bosic is once again on hand – here briefly incarnating another famous figure of the era, Michelangelo! I have a number of Freda's other titles in this vein lined-up for the Easter season; as for the general consensus regarding the film under review, it is solidly entertaining fare but perhaps not quite top-drawer material when stacked against the director's more highly-regarded (and still best-known) work.
GawelleN
GawelleN
Historical adventure , being fast moving , which benefits from its Rome and Florence setting . Exciting story of love and adventure , the complete romance and the historical happenings about the Rome siege by the German Lansqeunettes .It is packed with derring-do , love stories , action , brawls , and moving swordplay . It is a fun entertainment with nice Italian settings , lots of court intrigue , and it stars one of the finest American expatriate actors in 60s Eurocinema , Brett Hasley , who here is entangled in a web of treachery , along with the always brilliant support cast . Stars Brett Hasley/Benvenuto Cellini , he was an Italian goldsmith, sculptor, draftsman, soldier, musician, and artist who also wrote a biography and poetry. He was one of the most important artists of Mannerism . He is remembered for his skill in making pieces such as the Cellini Salt Cellar and Perseus with the Head of Medusa . In the picture shows up several historical roles as Connestabile Di Borbone (José Nieto) , Francisco I (Jacinto San Emeterio) , Carlo V (Diego Michelotti) , Michelangelo (Andrea Bosic) , Grand Duke Toscana (Umberto D'Orsi) , and Pope Clemente VII (Bernard Blier).

This is an entertaining swashbuckling , plenty of action , thrills , fights , romance , fencing , and a lot of brawls . It is something quite diverse from the ordinary adventure scenery , it is set next to the classical Italian Rennaisance period . Decent production with elegant gowns , evocative sets , atmospheric cinematography by Julio Ortas and powerful score by Francesco De Massi . Lots of court intrigue , treason , twists and turns ; if you do not like low-budget , early 60s dubbed Italian costumed historical adventures, you won't like this one either . The picture contains rousing scenarios , emotion , romantic adventure , mayhem and a passable cast doing an acceptable job . The climax and ending are quite satisfying , including the known Siege of Rome . Sympathetic performances by main stars and enjoyable secondary cast , as the decent protagonists are completed by stellar support cast , full of veteran players with Spanish people : José Nieto , Felix Dafauce , Felix Fernández , and Italian ones as Andrea Bosic , Rossella Como , Carla Calò . Stars Brett Halsey who was a beefcake who emigrated to Italy and played a lot of B films , often billed as "Montgomery Ford" . Brett starred as several sword-and-sandal type heroes in including the spectacles ¨The Seventh Sword¨ and ¨The Avenger of Venice" . He also settled comfortably into the fashionable international spy , "spaghetti" western and Giallo genres with a slew of work including ¨Berlín , Spy in Your Eye¨ , ¨Espionage in Lisbon¨ , ¨The Hour of Truth¨, and ¨Kill Johnny Ringo¨ . The motion picture was professionally directed by Riccardo Freda.

Adding more biographical events , these are the followings : His first works in Rome were a silver casket, silver candlesticks, and a vase for the bishop of Salamanca, which won him the approval of Pope Clement VII. In the attack on Rome by Charles III, Duke of Bourbon, Cellini's bravery proved of signal service to the pontiff . According to his own accounts, he himself shot and injured Philibert of Châlon, prince of Orange (allegedly Cellini also killed Charles III, Duke of Bourbon during the Siege of Rome). His bravery led to a reconciliation with the Florentine magistrates . Here he devoted himself to crafting medals, the most famous of which are "Hercules and the Nemean Lion", in gold repoussé work, and "Atlas supporting the Sphere", in chased gold, the latter eventually falling into the possession of Francis I of France.From Florence he went to the court of the duke of Mantua, and then back to Florence . On returning to Rome, he was employed in the working of jewellery and in the execution of dies for private medals and for the papal mint. In 1529 his brother Cecchino killed a Corporal of the Roman Watch and in turn was wounded by an arquebusier, later dying of his wound. Soon afterward Benvenuto killed his brother's killer – an act of blood revenge but not justice as Cellini admits that his brother's killer had acted in self-defense. Cellini fled to Naples to shelter from the consequences of an affray with a notary, whom he had wounded. Through the influence of several cardinals, Cellini obtained a pardon . He found favor with the new pope, Paul III, notwithstanding a fresh homicide during the interregnum three days after the death of Pope Clement VII . The fourth victim was a rival goldsmith, Pompeo of Milan. The plots of Pier Luigi Farnese led to Cellini's retreat from Rome to Florence and Venice, where he was restored with greater honour than before. At the age of 37, upon returning from a visit to the French court, he was imprisoned on a charge of having embezzled the gems of the pope's tiara during the war. He was confined to the Castel Sant'Angelo, escaped, was recaptured, and was treated with great severity; he was in daily expectation of death on the scaffold. The intercession of Pier Luigi's wife, and especially that of the Cardinal d'Este of Ferrara, eventually secured Cellini's release, in gratitude for which he gave d'Este a splendid cup. Cellini then worked at the court of Francis I at Fontainebleau and Paris. He could no longer silence his enemies by the sword, as he had silenced those in Rome. As a result, after about five years of invested work but continual jealousy and violence, Cellini returned to Florence, where he continued as a goldsmith .During the war with Siena, Cellini was appointed to strengthen the defences , and, though rather shabbily treated by his ducal patrons, he continued to gain the admiration by the magnificent works which he produced.
Gavinranara
Gavinranara
A pay-the-bills type historical adventure flick from Riccardo Freda, the great man who made some cinematic classics during his directorial career in 1960s Italy. This one has an unusual setting - 16th century Italy - which normally isn't covered in the movies, and features an introspective artist as its lead. Heck, Michelangelo himself even appears in support. However, it's not a particularly exciting production, instead feeling overly talky and somewhat stagy. There are a couple of routine sword fights but these feel shoehorned into the production and things only really spring into life right at the climax. Brett Halsey is okay as the lead but everyone working on this has done better elsewhere, and as such it's very difficult to get excited about it.