Affairs of Cellini (1934): Oscar-Nominated Biopic, Starring Fredric March

At the peak of his career, Oscar-winner Fredric March plays the title role in this biopic, the Renaissance artist Benvenuto Cellini, who romances the Dutchess (played by Constance Bennett).

Gregory La Cava was much more adept in directing melodramas (“Stage Door”) and screwball comedies (“My Man Godfrey”) than swashbuckling epics, such as “Affairs of Cellini,” based on a screenplay by Bess Meredyth.

Frank Morgan received a Best Actor nomination for playing the Duke of Florence, in what many considered to be a secondary part. But before 1936, the Academy did not distinguish between lead and supporting acting awards.

The supporting cast includes Fay Wray (“King Kong”) and Jessie Ralph, and you can spot in a cameo Lucille Ball.

Oscar Nominations: 4

Actor: Frank Morgan

Cinematography: Charles Rosher

Interior Decoration: Richard Day

Sound Recording: Thomas T. Moulton

 

Oscar Awards: None

 

Oscar Context:

The Cinematography Oscar went to Victor Milner for “Cleopatra.” Cedric Gibbons and Frederic Hope won the Art Direction for “The Merry Widow.” The Sound kudo went to “One Night of Love.”

 

Twentieth Century Fox