'Good morning to the day! And next, my gold...' Ben Jonson's avaricious con-man is altered, however, in this adaptation from a Venetian Magnifico to a 'Levantine' outsider - though as rendered by Baur (who specialised in Jewish roles: Shylock, Rothschild), Volpone seems rather a Semitic caricature, putty nose and all. The film was completed just before the Occupation: dreadful timing in the circumstances. Romains further offends by reforming the conniving servant Mosca (Jouvet), who here outwits Volpone, humiliates him and gives away his gold to the poor! The film's cinematic virtues are not negligible, but the fact that Baur died in 1943 after being tortured by the Gestapo only adds to its troubling undertones.
Cast and crew