The Magnificent Adventurer

The Magnificent Adventurer (Italian: Il magnifico avventuriero) is a 1963 adventure film directed by Riccardo Freda. It is loosely based on real life events of Benvenuto Cellini.[2][3]

The Magnificent Adventurer
Directed byRiccardo Freda
Produced by
Screenplay byFilippo Sanjust[1]
Story by
  • Filippo Sanjust
  • Riccardo Freda[1]
Music byFrancesco De Masi[1]
Edited byOrnella Micheli[1]
  • Panda Cinematografica
  • Les Films du Centaure
  • Hispamer Films[1]
Distributed byRegional
Release date
  • 3 August 1963 (1963-08-03) (Italy)
  • Italy
  • France
  • Spain[1]
Box office₤121 million




The Magnificent Adventurer was director Riccardo Freda's last film for Panda Cinematografica.[4] It was based on the real-life character of Benvenuto Cellini, a sculptor, goldsmith, draftsman, soldier and musician.[4] A memoir of his life gained huge popularity during the 19th century which became the inspiration for other famous writers such as Alexandre Dumas.[4] Freda was fascinated by Cellini, declaring him Cellini has "always been a model of independence for me. However, he was more of a great brigand than a great artist."[5] The script does follow Cellini's memoirs, and places him in an imaginary scenario.[5]

The Magnificent Adventurer was shot under the title Le avventure di Benvenuto Cellini between March and April 1963 in Rome at Castle Sant'Angelo, Castle d'Ostia, and at the De Paolis Studios.[6]


The Magnificent Adventurer was released in Italy on August 3, 1963 where it was distributed by Regional.[1] It grossed 121 million lire in Italy which film historian and critic Roberto Curti described as "nondescript".[1][7] The film was released as Laventurier magnifigue (L'Aigle de Florence) and was purchased by American International Pictures for distribution to television as The Magnificent Adventurer.[6] It was also released under the title The Burning of Rome.[6]


A contemporary review in the Monthly Film Bulletin described the film as "more serious and sober than much of Freda's other recent work, and his admirers may be a little disappointed at the often lethargic and lackluster result, which is quite inferior to the very similar Seventh Sword for instance."[8]

Richard Roud referred to the film as "a constant pleasure to the eye" and "a glittering riot of delicate colour shadings in both sets and costumes".[9]



  1. Curti 2017, p. 320.
  2. Roberto Poppi, Mario Pecorari. Dizionario del cinema italiano. I film. Gremese Editore, 2007. ISBN 8884405033.
  3. Paolo Mereghetti. Il Mereghetti - Dizionario dei film. B.C. Dalai Editore, 2010. ISBN 8860736269.
  4. Curti 2017, p. 201.
  5. Curti 2017, p. 202.
  6. Curti 2017, p. 203.
  7. Curti 2017, p. 204.
  8. "Magnifico Avventuriero, Il". Monthly Film Bulletin. Vol. 31 no. 360. British Film Institute. 1964. p. 135. ISSN 0027-0407.
  9. Richard Roud. Cinema: a critical dictionary : the major film-makers, Volume 1. Viking Press, 1980. ISBN 0670222577.


  • Curti, Roberto (2017). Riccardo Freda: The Life and Works of a Born Filmmaker. McFarland. ISBN 1476628386.

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