Metro digs back into 16th-century France for this yarn about the countess Diane de Breze, who became the most powerful woman at the court of King Henry II. Splendidly caparisonned production-wise, the first half is such old-fashioned costume drama as to draw laughs at unintended places, but picks up in interest during the later phases.

Metro digs back into 16th-century France for this yarn about the countess Diane de Breze, who became the most powerful woman at the court of King Henry II. Splendidly caparisonned production-wise, the first half is such old-fashioned costume drama as to draw laughs at unintended places, but picks up in interest during the later phases.

Overlength footage is highlighted by a tournament sequence in which the crossing of lances provides some exciting moments. Pageantry plays a large part in the production, with such well-known historic figures as King Francis I and Catherine de Medici appearing to motivate action which revolves around Henry II and his mistress.

John Erksine source story [Diane de Poitiers] is given wordy treatment by Christopher Isherwood screenplay, which David Miller’s often deft direction finds difficult to bridge into actionful narrative despite romantic implications.

Lana Turner is sympathetic in her role, and Roger Moore delivers a good account of himself as Henry, uncertain first as the callow youth and gaining in stature after he becomes king. As Francis, Pedro Armendariz is strongly romantic and Marisa Pavan impresses as the unhappy Catherine.

Diane

Production

M-G-M. Director David Miller; Producer Edwin H. Knopf; Screenplay Christopher Isherwood; Camera Robert Planck; Editor John McSweeney Jr; Music Miklos Rozsa; Art Director Cedric Gibbons, Hans Peters

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1955. Running time: 110 MIN.

With

Lana Turner Pedro Armendariz Roger Moore Marisa Pavan Cedric Hardwicke Taina Elg
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