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The Thief of Venice

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Thief of Venice
Directed byJohn Brahm
Written byJesse Lasky Jr.
John Brahm
Salvatore Cabasino
Based onstory by Michael Pertwee
Produced byRobert Haggiag
Dario Sabatello
StarringMaria Montez
Paul Christian
Massimo Serato
Faye Marlow
Aldo Silvani
CinematographyAnchise Brizzi
Edited byRenzo Lucidi
Terry Morse
Music byAlessandro Cicognini
Sparta Films
Distributed by20th Century-Fox (US)
Release dates
  • 1950 (1950) (Italy)
  • November 1952 (1952-11) (US)
Running time
91 minutes
United States
Budget$3 million[1]
Box office1,745,680 admissions (France)[2]

The Thief of Venice or Il Ladro di Venezia is a 1950 Italian film directed by John Brahm. The US title was "The Thief of Venice".

It was released in the US two years after being made.[3]

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In 1575 Venice, the Doge has just died and Scarpa the Grand Inquisitor leads a plot to seize control of Venice.

Disani, a popular admiral works to stop the Grand Inquisitor's power grab with the help of Lorenzo, one of his officers. They manage to get back to Venice in record time by promising the galley slaves their freedom. When they arrive back Disani is killed and Lorenzo goes into hiding.

Lorenzo continues the fight against Scarpa, who plans to marry Disani's daughter Francesca. Lorenzo and Francesca fall in love even though Lorenzo is also loved by tavern girl Tina.

Lorenzo's rebellion against Scarpa is successful.



The movie was an Italian-American co production. It was announced in March 1949 with Gordon Griffith to be the original producer and Jess Lasky Jnr to be associate producer. Filming was to begin June 1 and Jacques Tourneur was intended to direct.[4]

In June it was thought Edmond O'Brien and his wife Olga San Juan would star and the producers would be Monte Schaff and Lou Appleton.[5] Douglas Fairbanks Jnr was also mentioned as a possible lead and Nat Waschburger was going to be the European producer.[6] Olive Deering was mentioned as a possible female lead.[7]

Eventually in August it was announced Nathan Wachsberger would produce (in Europe) from a script by Jesse Lasky Jrn, and that former Universal contract stars Maria Montez and Paul Christian would star. Christian had just made Bagdad with Maureen O'Hara.[8]

John Brahm signed to direct and Faye Marlowe and George Sanders were to play support roles, with filming to start in Italy on 1 November 1949. (Brahm had worked with both at 20th Century Fox.)[9] Sanders eventually pulled out.[10]


Filming started November 1949 and went until February. Then it resumed in June.[11] The movie was shot on location in Italy with studio work done at Scalera Studios.[12] Filming finished by March 1950.[13]



The New York Times called it "mammoth, picturesque and infantile" which "represents the lustiest barrage of screen hokum in a blue moon. Principally because of the unabashed muscularity of the action and a stunning authenticity of background this production... remains for the most part palatable fun to watch."[14]

The Christian Science Monitor said that "a series of coups, captures and escapes take place with a great deal of running about but very little inventiveness."[15]

The Washington Post called it "a rip snorting Western" style film.[1]

Jean Pierre Aumont, Montez's husband, liked Brahm's direction so much that he wanted him to direct Aumont in a film called The Bumbler.[16]


  1. ^ a b 'Thief of Venice' Provides Lots of Action -- In 1575 By Dorothea Pattee Post Reporter. The Washington Post 14 Mar 1953: 4.
  2. ^ French box office for 1951 at Box Office Story
  3. ^ The Thief of Venice at Maria Montez Fan page
  4. ^ Revue Beckoning Webb; Lesser Planning Series; Rains 'Barricade' Star Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 17 Mar 1949: 23.
  5. ^ MOVIELAND BRIEFS Los Angeles Times 9 June 1949: B11.
  6. ^ Israel Bids for Adler, Muni and Hecht Play; Rogers Seeks Star Packet Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 30 Mar 1949: 15.
  7. ^ Eleanor Parker Will Do First Color Feature; Garland Stirs Memories Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 10 May 1949: A7.
  8. ^ Jesse Lasky Jr. Plans Production in Europe; Bromfield Gets New Deal Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 12 Aug 1949: A7.
  9. ^ Faye Marlowe Returning as George Sanders Lead; Ball-Arnaz Deal Sighted Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 26 Oct 1949: 23.
  10. ^ Corey Pursues Romantic Course in 'Furies;' Italy Expedition Launching Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 28 Oct 1949: 21.
  11. ^ "Montex-Henreid Starrer Resumes in Venice". Variety. June 6, 1950. p. 25.
  12. ^ Of Local Origin New York Times 24 Nov 1952: 19.
  13. ^ ITALIAN FILM INDUSTRY IS WARY OF AMERICA' S: Suspicions Roused by Treatment Accorded 'Stromboli' and 'Bicycle Thief'-Here Skeptical Not Enough Fog Coming Up By JANE CIANFARRA. New York Times 26 Mar 1950: 101.
  14. ^ THE SCREEN IN REVIEW H. H. T. New York Times 28 Nov 1952: 22.
  15. ^ Maria Montez Seen in Film Made in Italy R.N.. The Christian Science Monitor 29 Jan 1953: 6.
  16. ^ British Will Re-enact Big Malta Fight; Busch Story Eyed for Jennifer Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 27 Oct 1952: B9.

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This page was last edited on 14 May 2024, at 13:21
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