In 1572 France is being torn apart by a religious war between Catholics and Protestants, or Huguenots as they had become known.
In an attempt to broker a peace a wedding is arranged between Marguerite de Valois, the sister of King Charles IX, and the King Henri of Navarre, a leading Hugenot and member of the royal family. But days after the wedding Admiral Gaspard de Coligny, the Hugenot’s military leader was assassinated, followed by a wave of targeted assassinations and mob violence begining on the eve of St. Bartholomew’s Day in which thousands of Huguenots gathered in Paris for the wedding were killed – ‘the worst of the century‘s religious massacres’ – and the Huguenot movement was effectively beheaded.
Behind the scenes Queen Catherine de Médicis (Virna Lisi), gouvernante de France, strives to safeguard the throne for her sons by ordering assaults, poisonings, and even instigations to incest.
Thi Thanh Tu Nguyen was the chief makeup artist.
Kuno Schlegelmilch was responsible for the special makeup effects; Victor Leitenbauer was the special makeup effects wigmaker.