6.4/10
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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 »
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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
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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The actors who portray Cagliostro, Orson Welles and Annielo Mele, have repeatedly worked with Vittorio De Sica: Welles acted with De Sica in The Battle of Austerlitz (1960), Lafayette (1962) and 12 + 1 (1969) whereas Mele acted with De Sica in Lost in the Dark (1947) and appeared under De Sica's direction in Shoeshine (1946). See more »

Goofs

Marie Antoinette's mole switches sides and changes size between scenes. See more »

User Reviews

 
Where is the DVD?
16 September 2004 | by jsmarr4See all my reviews

I saw this movie as a boy and it lingers after nearly fifty years as a haunting memory. It may be what we now call noir, but the twinkle in Welles' eye also lingers, suggesting a gris texture. That twinkle is the same that Harry Lime (cine verde?) flashed to Holly Martin in the alley scene of The Third Man (which was also made in Europe in 1949).

Cagliostro was a brilliant montebank, alchemist,poseur and rascal of the first order. Welles gave him credibility, perhaps recognizing a kindred spirit down the centuries. I still remember the dark, cobbled streets and slick rainy roof tops of eighteenth century European cities -- scenes also not unlike the ones in The Third Man. The ending, I remember, was also bitter sweet.

I wish that those who produce lesser know classics for DVD restoration might see this "foreign" movie; it is obviously available somewhere since there have been other reviewers. If they chose it I could have my childhood Madeleine experience, and others would have another Welles film to compare with the finite now available.


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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
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