7.0/10
1,404
42 user 27 critic

Reign of Terror (1949)

Approved | | History, Romance, Thriller | 15 October 1949 (USA)
Robespierrre, a powerful figure in the French revolution, is desperately looking for his black book, a death list of those marked for the guillotine.

Director:

Anthony Mann

Writers:

Philip Yordan (story by), Æneas MacKenzie (story by) (as Aeneas MacKenzie) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

Photos

Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Cummings ... Charles D'Aubigny
Richard Basehart ... Maximilian Robespierre
Richard Hart ... François Barras
Arlene Dahl ... Madelon
Arnold Moss ... Fouché
Norman Lloyd ... Tallien
Charles McGraw ... Sergeant
Beulah Bondi ... Grandma Blanchard
Jess Barker ... Saint Just
Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An obsessively bitter war widow and one of the men her husband saved in WW2 meet. He tries to convince her the sacrifice was necessary, but her problem isn't that simple. And can she help ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Levin
Stars: Rosalind Russell, Melvyn Douglas, Sid Caesar
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Treasury Department officials recruit a florist (Raft) to lead them to a wanted criminal (Macready); but once he gets too close, he finds he's the hunted.

Director: Ted Tetzlaff
Stars: George Raft, Nina Foch, George Macready
Certificate: Passed Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An electronics expert creates a huge bookie broadcast system for his crime boss, and takes over operations when his boss is murdered. His greed leads him on a deadly destructive path.

Director: Joseph M. Newman
Stars: Edmond O'Brien, Joanne Dru, Otto Kruger
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Cold war intrigue in France and Hungary.

Directors: Robert Parrish, Phil Karlson
Stars: Dana Andrews, Märta Torén, George Sanders
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

During WW2, an army nurse on R&R in San Francisco has a premonition about witnessing a murder attempt against a G-man by Nazi agents.

Director: Budd Boetticher
Stars: Otto Kruger, Nina Foch, William Wright
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Fed up with the raising crime in Miami, the police chief and the leading members of the city council hire a former Miami gangster, gone straight, to help eliminate the biggest crime syndicate in the city.

Director: Fred F. Sears
Stars: Barry Sullivan, Luther Adler, John Baer
Certificate: Passed Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Police seek a smuggler while doctors, unaware she's the same person, desperately comb unprotected New York for a smallpox carrier.

Director: Earl McEvoy
Stars: Evelyn Keyes, Charles Korvin, William Bishop
Raw Deal (1948)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Joe Sullivan has taken the rap for Rick who double-crosses him with a flawed escape plan and other means intended to get rid of him.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Dennis O'Keefe, Claire Trevor, Marsha Hunt
Railroaded! (1947)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A beautician and her crooked boyfriend attempt to rob the bookie operation located in the back room, but when the plan goes wrong, they frame an innocent man.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: John Ireland, Sheila Ryan, Hugh Beaumont
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

US art dealer returns to his native Germany for a visit and is attracted by Nazi propaganda.

Director: William Cameron Menzies
Stars: Paul Lukas, Mady Christians, Morris Carnovsky
T-Men (1947)
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Two US Treasury agents hunt a successful counterfeiting ring.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Dennis O'Keefe, Wallace Ford, Alfred Ryder
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A research scientist conducting experiments on a new anesthetic finds herself being blackmailed by a woman she accidentally knocked down with her car; the woman wasn't hurt, but a scheming ... See full summary »

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Brenda Marshall, William Gargan, Hillary Brooke
Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot on sets left over from Joan of Arc (1948). See more »

Goofs

In a conversation with D'Aubigny, Robespierre states that he turned 36 years old in the month of May. However, during their Reign of Terror, the French revolutionaries changed many things, including the calendar. They discarded the traditional Gregorian calendar (January, February, etc.) in favor of a new, decimal-based system, and called it the French Republican Calendar . There were still 12 months, but now each month had 3 10-day weeks (for 30 days) and all of the months were re-named. What would have been the month of "May" in the Gregorian calendar was changed to "Prairial" in the new calendar. ("Prairial" translates to prairie or meadow.) So being a good revolutionary, Robespierre would have used this new calendar and not the old one when referring to dates. He should have said he "turned 36 years old in Prairial" and not "May." See more »

Quotes

François Barras: This would make you dictator of France.
Maximilian Robespierre: Yes.
François Barras: We didn't storm the Bastille to make any man dictator.
Maximilian Robespierre: I'm not "any man".
See more »

Connections

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

User Reviews

Exciting & Very Interesting Period Drama
30 January 2006 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

This exciting and very interesting period drama makes very good use of its setting in the French Revolution, blending history and fiction together in a believable fashion. The atmosphere is particularly effective, with the dark photography and claustrophobic settings helping to establish the rampant fear, uncertainty, and paranoia that characterized the era.

At one time, the French Revolution (and the subsequent Napoleonic era) captivated numerous novelists and film-makers alike, and they could comfortably assume that their readers and audiences were familiar with historical figures like Robespierre, Danton, Barras, and the others of the period. In more recent decades, all this seems to have been replaced in the public's imagination by Hitler, the Nazis, and the other figures and events of the Second World War, but in many respects the history of France in the late 18th century and early 19th century is even more fascinating and compelling. And beyond a doubt, its impact still affects the world.

The scenario here has Robert Cummings impersonating a notorious public prosecutor, in order to get close to the bloodthirsty Robespierre, as part of an underground's desperate plans to replace Robespierre's tyranny with the more moderate influence of Barras and his party. The story is well-written, combining action, intrigue, and some Hitchcock-like touches with Robespierre's "Black Book", on which the fate of so many lives depends. Only the lack of a first-rate cast keeps it from being one of the best movies of its time and genre.

The best performances come from Arnold Moss, who is excellent as the slippery, conscience- free Fouché, and Arlene Dahl, who is appealing as the ex-lover of Cummings's character, with whom he has to work closely. The rest of the performances are all at least solid, but often miss the extra depth that could have raised the movie another notch.

Nevertheless, it all works quite well, and it's well worth seeing for its story, atmosphere, and for the intriguing period setting. It represents fine craftsmanship from director Anthony Mann and his cast and crew.


40 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 42 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 October 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Black Book See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed