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Black Magic (1949) DVD

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Black Magic (1949)


 Gregory Ratoff, Orson Welles (uncredited)


 Alexandre Dumas père (novel), Charles Bennett(adaptation)


 Orson Welles, Nancy Guild, Akim Tamiroff 
Gregory Ratoff is listed as sole director of the 1949 Orson Welles starrer Black Magic, but it is now common knowledge that Welles directed most of this lavish costumer himself. Told in flashback, the film recounts the life and times of notorious 18th-century hypnotist/magician/scam artist Cagliostro (played, but of course, by Welles). Learning the secrets of hypnosis from Dr. Mesmer (Charles Goldner), Cagliostro exploits this skill to gain wealth, prestige and, on occasion, romance. His downward slide begins when Cagliostro enters into an Anastasia-like scheme to substitute a young lass named Lorenza (Nancy Guild) for French queen Marie Antoinette. The charlatan's partners in crime are gypsies Gilbert (Akim Tamiroff, who manages to out-ham Welles in some scenes) and Zoraida (Valentina Cortese). Longer on style than substance,Black Magic is a wickedly delightful cinematic exercise, with Wellesat his overbaked best.

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  1. An unknown classic 5 Star Review

    Posted by on Jun 22nd 2022

    Taking place in Europe in the 18th century, the film depicts the horrible treatment that many peasants endured. Befriended by gypsies a young boy whose father was murdered schemes to get even with his father's killer. There are several interesting characters, portrayed by excellent actors and the costumes are lavish, and even though the film is in black and white, the scenes are legendary.

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