The Cardinal (1936 film)

The Cardinal is a 1936 British historical drama film directed by Sinclair Hill and starring Matheson Lang, Eric Portman and June Duprez.[1] The film depicts a power battle in sixteenth century Rome between the leading church-statesman Giuliano de' Medici and one of his rivals. Other themes in the film are the Italian Wars against France and the construction of the new St. Peter's Basilica to a design by Michelangelo.

The Cardinal
Directed bySinclair Hill
Written byD.B. Wyndham-Lewis
StarringMatheson Lang
Eric Portman
June Duprez
Music byLeighton Lucas
CinematographyCyril Bristow
Edited byMax Brenner
Grosvenor Films
Distributed byPathé Pictures
Release date
27 July 1936
Running time
70 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

It was made at Welwyn Studios as an independent production, but released by a leading distributor Associated British.[2]


Variety considered the film to be weak apart from the performance of Matheson Lang in the title role.[3] Questions have been raised about the historical accuracy of the film, which appears to borrow people and events from different time periods.[4]



  1. BFI Database entry
  2. Wood p.85
  3. Klossner p.61
  4. Klossner p.61


  • Klossner, Michael. The Europe of 1500-1815 on Film and Television: A Worldwide Filmography of Over 2550 Works, 1895 Through 2000. McFarland & Company, 2002.
  • Low, Rachael. Filmmaking in 1930s Britain. George Allen & Unwin, 1985.
  • Wood, Linda. British Films, 1927-1939. British Film Institute, 1986.

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