Bride of Vengeance

Bride of Vengeance is a 1949 adventure film set in the Italian Renaissance era, directed by Mitchell Leisen.

Bride of Vengeance
Directed byMitchell Leisen
Written byMichael Hogan
Cyril Hume
StarringPaulette Goddard
CinematographyDaniel L. Fapp
Edited byAlma Macrorie
Music byHugo Friedhofer
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • April 7, 1949 (1949-04-07)
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited States


Lucrezia Borgia's brother Cesare Borgia has her second husband Prince Bisceglie killed in order to marry her to Alfonso I d'Este, Duke of Ferrara, whose well-defended lands lay between the Borgia's Papal States and Venice, which Cesare wants to conquer. Cesare ensures Lucretia blames Alfonso for the murder and, encouraged by Cesare, she plots deadly revenge against her new husband. When the poison she gives him is counter-acted, and she realizes Cesare really killed her second husband, she returns to help Alfonso defend Ferrara against Cesare's army.

Cesare retreats, killing Michellotto, who wanted to continue the fight. In the final scene, the couple drink to their love.



In a review for Los Angeles Times, Philip K. Scheuer wrote that "These people [...] are not kidding the parts and they are not fooling themselves; they are too smart for that. They know they have a dud and they are stuck with it--but as a last resort they are trying to put it over to the audience for whatever that audience may read into it--satire, history, melodrama or just a chance to get off its feet for an hour and half. On that last account 'Bride of Vengeance' probably qualifies. It is better than looking at a blank wall".[1]

Bosley Crowther of New York Times wrote that "Miss Goddard plays Lucretia as a grand-dame right out of a wardrobe room, with the suavity and voluptuousness of a model in a display of lingerie" and "[a]s Alfonso, addressed as 'Magnificence,' John Lund gives a fair picture of a nice American prankster got up for a fancy-dress ball," concluding the review with "Bride of Vengeance is an obvious masquerade".[2]

John M. Coppinger's review in The Washington Post stated that it was "simple, sheer, unadorned escapist stuff. As a work of art, it makes no pretensions. It's a lavish spectacle of hokum... No attempt has been made at accuracy in the presentation of this historical romance". Coppinger wrote that director Leisen "has gotten much comedy in a film which could easily have turned out to be a flop".[3]

Costuming (by Mary Grant) was given as the film's chief strength by Mae Tinee in a review for Chicago Daily Tribune.[4]


  1. ^ Scheuer, Philip K. "'Bride of Vengeance' Odd Cinematic Venture." Los Angeles Times. 13 May 1949: 23. Via Proquest.
  2. ^ Crowther, Bosley. "The Screen in Review: Paulette Goddard, Macdonald Carey Play Borgias in 'Bride of Vengeance,' at Paramount." New York Times. 07 Apr 1949: 38. Via Proquest.
  3. ^ Coppinger, John M. "Need Escape? Try 'Bride of Vengeance'." The Washington Post. 24 June 1949: C7. Via Proquest.
  4. ^ Tinee, Mae. "The Costuming Is Chief Asset of Borgia Film: Bride of Vengeance." Chicago Daily Tribune. 06 June 1949: a7. Via Proquest.

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