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
While the latter portion of the plot revolves around the diamond necklace, the real history is different. In 1772, the infatuated Louis XV requested that Parisian jewelers Boehmer & Bassenge create an elaborate and spectacular jeweled necklace for Du Barry, one that would surpass all known others in grandeur, at an estimated cost of two-million livres. The necklace, still not completed nor paid for when Louis XV died, would eventually trigger a scandal involving Jeanne de la Motte-Valois, in which Queen Marie Antoinette would be wrongly accused of bribing the Cardinal de Rohan, Archbishop of Strasbourg in the Alsace, to purchase it for her, accusations which would figure prominently in the onset of the French Revolution. See more »
In the early scene between Cagliostro and Mesmer, Mesmer says that Cagliostro had never heard of "hypnotism" but was practicing it anyway. In fact, Mesmer himself never used the term "hypnotism." He called it "animal magnetism." See more »
Watching this very entertaining film for the first time today, I was curiously reminded of the screwball comedy "Start the Revolution Without Me" made twenty years later. I didn't even remember Welles participation in the film, which starred Gene Wilder and Donald Sutherland, but rather the Queen's annoyance toward her husband's obsession with clocks.
I had always wondered why Welles appeared in this zany farce directed by Norman Lear and Bud Yorkin. Now I'm sure he had a hand in writing the script! The antics between Marie Antoinette and the King seem to be a continuation of ideas that began with "Black Magic".
This fine Alexander Dumas classic utilizes the same plot device from "The Man in the Iron Mask". In that one Louis the XIV has a twin while Marie Antoinette has one in "Black Magic". Not only does this movie deserve a DVD release, but would be a great one to see in a theater as well.
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