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:

The biggest picture in ten years! The greatest cavalcade of intrigue, spectacle, adventure and excitement you'll ever see on the screen See more »

Genres:

Drama | Mystery | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 August 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cagliostro 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 »
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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

In Balsamo's climactic escape attempt, Gitano passes him a pistol, seen very clearly as a small flintlock typical of the period. Balsamo then fires at least four shots from it without any time to reload. Repeating pistols not invented until the nineteenth century, and looked nothing like the gun used by Balsamo. See more »

Connections

Referenced in High School Hellcats (1958) See more »

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User Reviews

A great one to catch on the big screen
17 July 2008 | by suferiaSee all my reviews

Watching this very entertaining film for the first time today, I was curiously reminded of the screwball comedy "Start the Revolution Without Me" made twenty years later. I didn't even remember Welles participation in the film, which starred Gene Wilder and Donald Sutherland, but rather the Queen's annoyance toward her husband's obsession with clocks.

I had always wondered why Welles appeared in this zany farce directed by Norman Lear and Bud Yorkin. Now I'm sure he had a hand in writing the script! The antics between Marie Antoinette and the King seem to be a continuation of ideas that began with "Black Magic".

This fine Alexander Dumas classic utilizes the same plot device from "The Man in the Iron Mask". In that one Louis the XIV has a twin while Marie Antoinette has one in "Black Magic". Not only does this movie deserve a DVD release, but would be a great one to see in a theater as well.


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