This movie from Fascist-era Italy is not a musical version of Giacomo Puccini's operatic masterpiece but a straight dramatic narrative of the same story that had originated in Sardou's play. Puccini's music does figure...展开in, however, with strategically placed arias on the sound track. Argentina-born Spanish actress Imperio Argentina plays the title role with diva-esque aplomb. Rossano Brazzi is perfectly cast as the strikingly handsome painter and revolutionary collaborator Mario Cavaradosssi. Michel Simon steals the show whenever he is on screen, as nefarious police chief Baron Scarpia, who is out to apprehend all opponents to Papal rule in this story set in early 19th-century Rome...and who has his eyes on Tosca for his own sexual gratification. He pays with his life, victim of Tosca's loathing and a well-placed knife.