Giuseppe Balsamo detto Cagliostro, zingaro e mago, vuole vendicarsi del visconte di Montagne, che ha torturato, in passato, lui e la sua famiglia. Usando i suoi poteri ipnotici, Cagliostro spinge il visconte al suicidio. Dopo un matrimonio fallito (sua moglie ama Gilbert, un ufficiale della guardia della Regina) e dopo essere stato smascherato in pubblico dal dottor Mesmer, famoso ipnotista, viene ucciso in duello sui tetti dal capitano delle guardie. Written by
Italian censorship visa # 5644 dated 20 April 1949. See more »
In Balsamo's climactic escape attempt, Gitano passes him a pistol, seen very clearly as a small flintlock typical of the period. Balsamo then fires at least four shots from it without any time to reload. Repeating pistols not invented until the nineteenth century, and looked nothing like the gun used by Balsamo. See more »
I saw this movie as a boy and it lingers after nearly fifty years as a haunting memory. It may be what we now call noir, but the twinkle in Welles' eye also lingers, suggesting a gris texture. That twinkle is the same that Harry Lime (cine verde?) flashed to Holly Martin in the alley scene of The Third Man (which was also made in Europe in 1949).
Cagliostro was a brilliant montebank, alchemist,poseur and rascal of the first order. Welles gave him credibility, perhaps recognizing a kindred spirit down the centuries. I still remember the dark, cobbled streets and slick rainy roof tops of eighteenth century European cities -- scenes also not unlike the ones in The Third Man. The ending, I remember, was also bitter sweet.
I wish that those who produce lesser know classics for DVD restoration might see this "foreign" movie; it is obviously available somewhere since there have been other reviewers. If they chose it I could have my childhood Madeleine experience, and others would have another Welles film to compare with the finite now available.
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