Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Though he died in 1943 at the hands of his Gestapo persecutors, the great French stage and screen actor Harry Baur was represented onscreen in 1947 by the first American release of his 1940 vehicle Volpone. Adapted from the Ben Jonson play of the same name, the story concerns a cynical, unscrupulous merchant named Volpone (Baur)-aka "the fox" -- who intends to get even with his enemies by pretending to be dead and watching them fight amongst themselves for his estate. He appoints his servant Mosca (Louis Jouvet), outwardly as dishonest as Volpone, as the executor of his will, then sits back to enjoy the fireworks. Volpone's plan inevitably backfires, setting the stage for an ironic denoument. Director Maurice Tourneur completed Volpone in 1939, but political upheavals in wartime France delayed its original release by a full year.
death-fake, disease, greed, inheritance, merchant, servant