6.4/10
944
25 user 13 critic

Black Magic (1949)

Passed | | Drama, Mystery, Romance | 19 August 1949 (USA)
Hypnotist uses his powers for revenge against King Louis XV's court.

Directors:

Gregory Ratoff, Orson Welles (uncredited)

Writers:

Alexandre Dumas (novel) (as Alexandre Dumas père), Charles Bennett (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Orson Welles ... Joseph Balsamo aka Count Cagliostro
Nancy Guild ... Marie Antoinette / Lorenza
Akim Tamiroff ... Gitano
Frank Latimore ... Gilbert de Rezel
Valentina Cortese ... Zoraida
Margot Grahame ... Mme. du Barry
Stephen Bekassy Stephen Bekassy ... Viscount de Montagne
Berry Kroeger ... Alexandre Dumas, Sr.
Gregory Gaye ... Chambord / Monk (as Gregory Gay)
Raymond Burr ... Alexandre Dumas, Jr.
Charles Goldner Charles Goldner ... Dr. Franz Anton Mesmer
Lee Kresel Lee Kresel ... King Louis XVI / Innkeeper
Robert Atkins Robert Atkins ... King Louis XV
Nicholas Bruce Nicholas Bruce ... De Remy
Franco Corsaro ... Chico
Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An American ballistics expert in Turkey finds himself targeted by Nazi agents. Safe passage home by ship is arranged for him, but he soon discovers that his pursuers are also on board.

Directors: Norman Foster, Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dolores del Rio
It's All True (1943)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

It's All True is an unfinished Orson Welles feature film comprising three stories about Latin America. "My Friend Bonito" was supervised by Welles and directed by Norman Foster in Mexico in... See full summary »

Directors: Orson Welles, Norman Foster
Stars: Anselmo Duarte
Crime | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A trilogy of fantastic stories involving murder and the supernatural.

Directors: David Eady, George More O'Ferrall, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Orson Welles, John Gregson, Elizabeth Sellars
No Exit (1962)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A valet enters a hotel room with a man in tow. The windowless room has a single entrance and no mirrors. Two women are then led in; afterwards, the Valet leaves and locks the door. ... See full summary »

Directors: Tad Danielewski, Orson Welles
Stars: Viveca Lindfors, Rita Gam, Morgan Sterne
The Deep (1970)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A couple's honeymoon trip aboard a yacht leads to a claustrophobic drama when another vessel runs into their voyage, apparently drifting.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Michael Bryant, Oja Kodar, Laurence Harvey
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An American adventurer investigates the past of the mysterious tycoon Gregory Arkadin (Orson Welles), placing himself in grave danger.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Peter van Eyck, Michael Redgrave
Don Quixote (1972)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Don Quixote is an unfinished film project produced, written and directed by Orson Welles. Principal photography took place between 1957 and 1969. Test footage was filmed as early as 1955, ... See full summary »

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Oja Kodar, Patty McCormack, Paola Mori
Othello (1951)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The Moorish General Othello is manipulated into thinking that his new wife Desdemona has been carrying on an affair with his Lieutenant Michael Cassio when in reality, it is all part of the scheme of a bitter Ensign named Iago.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Micheál MacLiammóir, Robert Coote
Macbeth (1948)
Certificate: Passed Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Macbeth, the Thane of Glamis, receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders his king and takes the throne for himself.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Jeanette Nolan, Dan O'Herlihy
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A woman has two lovers. When one man finds out about the other, he acts as a villain and chases after the protagonist.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Joseph Cotten, Virginia Nicolson, Edgar Barrier
Certificate: M/PG Adventure | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

In 1912 West Africa, diamond tycoon Kramer hires penniless American fortune hunter Dan Rockland, who's posing as a geologist, but when a huge diamond is found, everyone wants to steal it.

Directors: Sidney Hayers, Orson Welles
Stars: George Segal, Ursula Andress, Orson Welles
The Heroine (1967)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

The film was due to be a one-hour adaptation of an Isak Dinesen story of the same name, from her collection Winter's Tales (1942). It would have starred Oja Kodar as a young French aristocratic widow during the 1870 Franco-Prussian War.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Oja Kodar
Edit

Storyline

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 makes Lorenza marry him but can never make her love him. ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

...It Will Hold You in its Spell! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Mystery | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Initially, the film was to be directed in the USA by Douglas Sirk and was to star George Sanders. See more »

Goofs

Cagliostro as a child was scrawny with dark brown eyes and hair, yet he grew up big-boned, with lighter hair and eyes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fade to Black (2006) See more »

User Reviews

Under-rated gem!
28 March 2004 | by thrillerclubSee all my reviews

Orson Welles is mesmerizing and perfectly suited to the roll of Count Cagliostro. The Count has waited silently for over 20 years secretly planning revenge on the ruling class he holds responsible for the drunken public execution of his mother he witnessed as a boy.

Is Cagliostro an ambitious Gypsy charlatan or a demonic master of the black arts? Is he really a Count?

There are several entertaining scenes where Cagliostro gains the upper hand over odds stacked against him such as the "choking rope" switcheroo in the jail, and the "your legs are like wax" turnabout. Yet similarly to SVENGALI (John Barrymore) he will not be able to exert this will power forever over everyone.Welles seems to be thoroughly enjoying himself throughout.

BLACK MAGIC has threads in common with "The Prisoner in the Mirror" Boris Karloff presents THRILLER teleplay, an updating of the evil magician known as Cagliostro. The real mystery is why such an enjoyable movie starring Orson Welles was so long overlooked, not released on DVD until 2016 (unfortunately the source print used by Hen's Teeth is not nearly as clear as the sharp print TCM aired in January 2017).

Though considered by some as a costume melodrama with little more than Welles and the art direction going for it, ever since I watched a primitively colorized print of BLACK MAGIC (aired on a local San Francisco station KOFY-TV20 around 1990) it's been my favorite off- beat Welles movie, always a fun find to share with friends who hadn't seen it!


26 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 25 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

Italy | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 August 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Black Magic See more »

Filming Locations:

Italy

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Your Next Binge Watch Awaits

Looking for something to watch? Check out IMDb's "What to Watch" series to find out what's really worth watching.



Recently Viewed