The Florentine Dagger
Time Out saysGenuinely bizarre thriller about a young man, tormented by his heritage as 'the last of the Borgias', who tries to commit suicide to put an end to his impulse to kill. Advised by a psychiatrist to sublimate his fears, he writes a successful play about the Borgias, only to come to fear that his leading lady, who has problems of her own - a mother horribly burned in a theatrical fire, an amorous stepfather who is found stabbed with a Florentine dagger - may be being taken over by the personality of Lucretia. Over-compressed from Ben Hecht's novel, the script emerges as a bit of a ragbag, meandering from a classically stylish horror movie opening into conventional whodunit and back again to Grand Guignol. It is held together a trifle uncertainly by some Freudian analysis (the setting is Vienna), and rather more securely by Florey's consistently inventive, moodily evocative direction. Acting honours go to Barrat for his marvellously witty performance as the susceptibly gallant police chief.