Lucrezia Borgia (1480-1519) was the daughter of Pope Alexander VI, a member of the House of Borgia, and famous for her beauty, possibly incestuous relationship with her brother Cesare Borgia, and rumored to be a poisoner. In reality, she was highly educated, married a number of prominent Italian nobles for her family’s political ambitions, had more than one affair, gave birth to 10 children, and died shortly after childbirth at the age of 39.
Given the rumors surrounding Lucrezia and her family, she’s been the subject of many films and TV series — most notably, Showtime’s The Borgias, but also several hilariously softcore porn-type films. Let’s see how she’s looked on screen!
Lucrezia Borgia (1922)
A silent German film that makes Cesare evil and Lucrezia good, with Austrian actress Liane Haid in the title role.
Don Juan (1926)
A silent-dialogue, musically-soundtracked film starring John Barrymore as the famed womanizer. Lucrezia Borgia (American Estelle Taylor) has the hots for him, but he’s into Adriana (Mary Astor).
Lucrezia Borgia (1935)
A French film starring future-legend Edwige Feuillère, whose reputation was greatly enhanced by this role.
Lucrezia Borgia (1940)
An Italian film starring Isa Pola in the title role.
Bride of Vengeance (1949)
An American film starring Paulette Goddard (with Days of Our Lives star Macdonald Carey as Cesare!). Cesare is bad and leads Lucrezia astray.
Lucrèce Borgia (1953)
Another French take, with Martine Carol (1954’s Madame du Barry) as Lucrezia.
The Nights of Lucrezia Borgia (1959)
The first of many possible-softcore takes on Lucrezia, with English Belinda Lee in the title role.
Pleasant Nights (1966)
An Italian comedy film, with Maria Grazia Buccella as Lucrezia.
The Man Who Laughs (1966)
One of many adaptations of the Victor Hugo novel, this one setting the story amongst the Borgia family. Lisa Gastoni plays Lucrezia.
The film that inspired this post! Because, WHAT THE FROCK. Ahem. An Italian-Austrian production that has to be minimum softcore, with Czech actress Olga Schoberová as Lucrezia.
Immoral Tales (1973)
“Four erotic-themed stories that involve the loss of virginity, masturbation, bloodlust, and incest” per Wikipedia, guess which one is about Lucrezia (Florence Bellamy)?
Lucrezia Giovane (1974)
An Italian film in which Lucrezia (Simonetta Stefanelli) kills all of Cesare’s love interests.
The Borgias (1981)
A BBC miniseries that was something of a flop, with Australian Anne-Louise Lambert as Lucrezia.
The Secret Nights of Lucrezia Borgia (1982)
An Italian-Spanish production, with Finnish Sirpa Lane as Lucrezia.
E ridendo l’uccise (2005)
“And laughing he killed her,” an Italian film focused on the Este brothers, with Marianna De Micheli as Lucrezia.
Imperia, la Grande Cortigiana (2005)
I love that someone made a movie about Roman courtesan Imperia Cognati, because That Name! Sadly I don’t think I’ll be going out of my way to watch this, just based on these photos. Imperia crosses paths with the Borgias, including Chiara Claudi as Lucrezia.
The Borgia (2006)
A Spanish-Italian film, with Spanish María Valverde as Lucrezia.
The Borgias (2011-13)
Borgia: Faith and Fear (2011-14)
Also just known as Borgia, this was a French-German-Czech-Italian TV miniseries, with German Isolda Dychauk as Lucrezia.
What fresh horrors await poor Lucrezia Borgia?