In 1955, Orson Welles directed and hosted a mini series for British television. He leads us through a few famous places of Europe with his inimitable touch. In Paris he introduces us to ... See full summary »
"Il vero cineasta è colui che sa dominare le catastrofi !". Partendo da questa affermazione, Orson Welles spiega le ragioni, i tempi ed i modi della realizzazione di uno dei suoi capolavori... See full summary »
A colonial scene in the U.S. An old lady sits astride a bell while a man in blackface, wig, and livery pulls the bell rope. From an upper door emerges an old man, dressed as a dandy, who ... See full summary »
Novelist Alexander Dumas tells his writer-son of Joseph Balsamo, a gypsy boy in southern France who was embittered because his parents were wrongfully hanged and he himself was tortured by the order of Viscount de Montagne. Years later, the man, a carnival charlatan, attracts the attention of Dr. Mesmer, a pioneer in the study of hypnotism. Balsamo rejects Mesmer's plea that he use his power for healing and, instead, decides to use it to seek wealth and fame. He changes his name to Count Cagliostro, and achieves fame throughout Europe by mixing hypnotism with mysticism and showmanship. He is called to cure a girl, Lorenza, held by De Montagne, because she resembles Marie Antoinette, wife of the heir to the throne of France. Cagliostro decides to join De Montagne and Madame du Barry in a plot to seize the power by discrediting the future Queen. Cagliostro achieves his revenge on De Montagne by persuading him to hang himself. He make Lorenza marry him but can never make her love him. ... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Masonic compass that Cagliostro sported on his hat and other "secret-fraternal" symbols on his coat when being presented at court are eloquent. He was anti-monarch (although he coveted the power for himself), and could easily have been a member of one of those secret societies. They were the actual force behind the French Revolution and the stirring up of the masses by tracts secretly produced and other such methods. 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 »
The trite dialogue, Ed Wood style special effects and ridiculous plot of this film creates a beautiful "cult" charm. Orson Welles plays a highly entertaining Gypsy and even directed a few of his scenes. Matching, and sometimes even topping Welles's fiendish performance is Akim Tamiroff, the sideman actor that played in many of Welles's films from Don Quixote to The Trial. This film is a bit tragic but most certainly charming. There are so many close up shots of Welles's black eyes mesmerizing the audience against a spine tingling score whispering lines like, "you will submit" that it makes me wonder why this film hasn't been re-released and put in the "cult classic" section of video stores. Good luck finding it.
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