Prince of Foxes actually is a fictional incident in the history of the Italian Renaissance general Cesare Borgia, but too often it is slow and plodding in its exposition and execution.
Prince tells of Borgia’s lust for power and desire to expand his empire. This he does with all the intrigue and knife-in-the-back knavery at his command.
The Borgiastic episode, despite its 16th-century background, has been conceived and executed in true Capone and Chicago tradition. As the murderous Cesare, Orson Welles is alternately glowering, reposing and diabolical.
Tyrone Power plays Orsini, who assumes the mantle of nobility to achieve social stature and ultimately bests Borgia when he deserts him to join the invaded duchy of the elderly Varano. Wanda Hendrix, as Varano’s young wife, gives the weakest of the performances.
1949: Nominations: Best B&W Cinematography, B&W Costume Design