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Reign of Terror (1949)

Robespierrre, a powerful figure in the French revolution, is desperately looking for his black book, a death list of those marked for the guillotine.

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Writers:

(story and screenplay), (story and screenplay) (as Aeneas MacKenzie)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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François Barras
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Sergeant
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Grandma Blanchard
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Storyline

Robespierre, a powerful figure in the French Revolution and the subsequent Reign of Terror, is desperately looking for his black book, a death list of those marked by him for the guillotine and a key to help him eventually emerge as the country's dictator. He hopes his agents will recover it, but, if it falls in to the wrong hands, it would mean his political ruin and death. Written by duke1029

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 February 1950 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

The Black Book  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title was changed to "The Black Book." Which is how it was listed when shown on TCM. See more »

Quotes

Maximilian Robespierre: Get out of my chair.
Fouché: [gets up rather deliberately] Is that the way to talk to your Chief of Secret Police? I'm ashamed of you, Max.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bowser Makes a Movie (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

Unusual and Stunning Anthony Mann Film
23 August 2004 | by (New Jersey) – See all my reviews

I watched REIGN OF TERROR, aka, THE BLACK BOOK last night and I just loved it! It's one of the most unusual films I have come across and an equally strange hybrid of genres or sub-genres. The great Anthony Mann takes a film that would probably play mostly as a colorful, sweeping, epic piece dealing with the French revolution and turns it, with the help of cinematographer John Alton, into a dark, shadowy and claustrophobic film noir/adventure/spy/suspense tale period piece featuring excellent performances from a cast that includes Robert Cummings, Richard Basehart and Arlene Dahl. The plot is pretty simple actually, Cummings plays an operative of the newly formed republic who infiltrates the inner circle of dictator wannabe Basehart. You see, Basehart thinks Cummings is a regional tyrant as bad as he is called the "butcher of Strasbourg" and he wants Cummings to find his black book which contains the names of friend and foe alike who will eventually be lead to execution once Basehart becomes dictator. However, if the book falls into the hands of his enemies, Basehart is dead meat. Cummings is assisted in his quest by the lovely Dahl. Even though the plot may be thin, the suspense and action are on high as danger and one confrontation after another awaits around every dark, gloomy and shadowy Parisian corner. The look of the film is outstanding. Atmospheric, gritty and dark with shadows everywhere in the great noir tradition. Mann's camera is everywhere as we receive his trademark high angle shots, low angle moments and jarring and disjointed facial close-ups. A truly unique and highly entertaining film with a look and feel that just has to be experienced. I loved it and would recommend it highly to anyone with even the slightest interest in the work of the wonderful Anthony Mann.


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