7.1/10
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39 user 22 critic

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:

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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: If you've come to plea for your husband's life, you're late.
Danton's wife: Maximilian, what has come over you? Danton is your friend - your very *good* friend! Together you saved France! Without Danton, where would you be today?
Maximilian Robespierre: I can't let personal feelings interfere. The people have found him guilty.
Danton's wife: "The people"? But *you* are the people. They do what *you* say!
Maximilian Robespierre: [brushes past her] Take out an appeal!
Danton's wife: [sobbing] Who can I appeal to? Only you! Look at me. Answer me! Stop playing God!
Maximilian Robespierre: [impassively] "God"? The ...
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Connections

Edited into Amérique, notre histoire (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Brilliant film noir disguised as French Revolution Epic
10 March 1999 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

True film noir, that densely urban, disillusioned body of work characterized by the deep shadows that separate the characters from each other and isolate them from society, was almost always set in contemporary cities... in France before WWII and in America after it. ALMOST... Anthony Mann's THE BLACK BOOK (aka REIGN OF TERROR) is one of its finest examples, a costume thriller set in the French Revolution, and somehow managing to create the visual style and emotional mood of true film noir in a completely atypical setting.

This is a film to watch for its cinematic, visual brilliance... The story is serviceable, but the experience it services is a thrilling piece of movie art. Photographed by the great John Alton (a man who, it is said, could re-light Times Square at high noon, if necessary) the frame consistently dazzles and intrigues. Anthony Mann's taut and claustrophobic work (rather at odds with the usual French Revolution epic, and with Mann's later work in other genuinely epic-scale costume dramas) draws a compelling parallel between the atmosphere of fear in post-revolutionary France and in mid-20th century McCarthyite America.


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