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Black Moon
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Black Moon (1975) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 39% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Louis Malle (written by)
Joyce Buñuel (additional dialogue)
View company contact information for Black Moon on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
24 September 1975 (France) See more »
An apocalyptic Alice in Wonderland!
To escape a war, a girl flees to a remote farmhouse and becomes part of an expansive family's unusual, perhaps even supernatural lifestyle. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
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User Reviews:
A September Allegory In Allegro See more (52 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Directed by
Louis Malle 
Writing credits
Louis Malle (written by)

Joyce Buñuel (additional dialogue) (as Joyce Bunuel)

Ghislain Uhry  collaboration (uncredited)

Produced by
Claude Nedjar .... associate producer
Claude Nedjar .... executive producer
Cinematography by
Sven Nykvist 
Film Editing by
Suzanne Baron 
Art Direction by
Ghislain Uhry 
Makeup Department
Rino Carboni .... makeup artist
Production Management
Paul Maigret .... production manager
Roland Thénot .... assistant production manager (as Roland Thenot)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Fernand Moszkowicz .... assistant director
Sound Department
Michèle Collison .... post synchronization
Nara Kollery .... sound (as Nara Kolery)
Jacques Lévy .... post synchronization (as Jacques Levy)
Jacques Maumont .... sound mixer
Luc Perini .... sound effects
Special Effects by
Pierre Roudeix .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
François Catonné .... assistant camera (as François Catonne)
Bruno de Keyzer .... assistant camera
Editorial Department
Joëlle Barjolin .... assistant editor (as Joelle Barjolin)
Music Department
Les Enfants de la Maîtrise de Radio-France .... music collaborator
Sylvia Lindenstrand .... music collaborator
Diego Masson .... music supervisor
Anthony Roden .... music collaborator
Other crew
François Nadal .... animal consultant
Robert Verbecke .... animal consultant
Therese Giehse .... in memory of (as Thérèse Giehse)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
France:100 min | France:95 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Humphrey, the animal which the old lady chats with and which she and everyone else refers to as a rat, actually appears to be a small wallaby.See more »
[first lines]
Man on Radio:Shall I describe to you the crime and vice that is being committed in the large cities of the world? I don't suppose...
Man on Radio:... I want to talk about your sin.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Waking Life (2001)See more »
Tristan und IsoldeSee more »


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47 out of 55 people found the following review useful.
A September Allegory In Allegro, 14 September 2006
Author: Richard Green ( from New Haven County, Connecticut

Working late hours sometimes can provide a movie buff with unexpected rewards: for example, getting off at 11:00 PM means getting home in time to fix a cup of hot chocolate in hopes of an early visit to Dreamland. Or it can mean being comfortably wide-awake, and stumbling across a rarely-seen film gem by Louis Malle. Or getting to view a rarely-seen cinematic conundrum also created by Louis Malle.

That would be "Black Moon," made in 1975 and featuring Joe Dallesandro and Cathryn Harrison, grand-daughter of Rex Harrison, and a gaggle of naked children running wild with a large white pig. And a talking unicorn. And a manor house where something is always cooking.

Without a doubt, Malle's "Black Moon" is one strange and beautiful movie concoction. Labelling it as futuristic is entirely inappropriate, as it is set in modern ( but pre-Internet ) times. Released in September of 1975, the film takes place in the French countryside, and begins with a young woman racing along a deserted highway while trying to find something on the car radio. Within minutes, she encounters a military roadblock where she sees soldiers ( some wearing gas masks ), executing their prisoners, who are all female. Although she's dressed like a man, it only takes a flip of her hat to reveal her long blonde hair and so she bolts the scene in her little red car. She races through a field with bullets flying past her. Eventually this young woman, Lilly, comes to a dead end on a dirt road, very near to a manor house. It is there she first sees the unicorn and then a flock of sheep.

What little dialog there is in this movie, is in English, with a few lines spoken in German or Italian by Therese Giehse, the veteran character actress from Germany. She plays an elderly invalid who talks to animals, or to people unseen, on her two-way radio. It is up to a very young Cathryn -- then only fifteen during production -- to carry this hallucinatory tale. Along with Giehse, who stars as the crazy old lady of the manor house ( surrounded by sheep, goats, pigs and the naked feral children ), Dallesandro and Alexandra Stewart as Brother and Sister Lilly round out the credited cast.

The photography for "Black Moon" is sumptuous. The plot, if there is one, is so close to being a cinematic hallucination as to make the viewer positively giddy. Harrison is so very luminous and beautiful that it brings up the guiltiest feelings, upon discovering she was only sixteen, when it was released in September of '75.

Near the end of this puzzle on film, there's a long section of Wagner's "Tristan and Isolde", which is sung in the middle of the night, by two children, as Lilly plays the piano. When it ends, the new day is breaking and shortly after that, the "reality" of the war comes crashing down with shell bursts and the rat-a-tat of submachine guns in the fields around the house. At this point, the cranky old lady has disappeared, the unicorn has reappeared for about the fourth time, and Lilly closes the window and retreats into the on-going hallucination of this manor house.

And then, the film freeze-frames on an image of her beautiful face and penetrating eyes, and then simply fades away. The viewer never gets to know what happens with Brother and Sister, nor what becomes of the rampaging feral children and their huge white pig.

In that regard, "Black Moon" ends and ends up being almost wholly unsatisfactory !!

However, the rest of the 100 minutes of this film are so well-crafted, and Cathryn Harrison is so appealing, that the final state of confusion seems to be less like a cop-out than an appropriate way to end a film which, after all, has no plot at all. And it must be said that despite the hallucinatory quality of "Black Moon," it is not a movie about taking drugs, or tripping, or going cold turkey from drugs, and there isn't so much as one cigarette in the whole film.

And, also, no, there's no clue as to what "Black Moon" really means, and the context of the film never discloses the purpose of the allegories contained within it. It's not a parable. There's no real story and therefore it has no "moral to the story."

It is only certain that there's absolutely no connection whatsoever to the Fay Wray horror-flick of the same name, from 1934.

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