Tuesday, April 07, 1998

Reign of Terror

031110 / 16 / US / 1949 / Mann, Anthony / / historical thriller
Reign of Terror / The Black Book / Yllämme giljotiini. © Pathé Industries, Inc. Presented by Walter Wanger Pictures. P: William Cameron Menzies. D: Anthony Mann. SC: Philip Yordan, Aeneas MacKenzie - based on the story by MacKenzie. DP: John Alton. PD: Edward Ilou. M: Sol Kaplan. CAST: Robert Cummings (Charles D’Aubigny), Arlene Dahl (Madelon), Richard Basehart (Robespierre), Arnold Moss (Fouché), Jess Barker (Saint Just). 89’. B&w Academy. MPAA 13481. British 16mm print carrying the title The Black Book and the Eagle Lion distributor’s logo. Viewed in Helsinki, SEA, Cinema Orion, Tuesday 7 April 1998. **** A Dumasian adventure plot is mixed with a film noir ambience. It is about a race against time - the quest for Robespierre’s black book. The whole film is based on a chase, often on horseback. The dialogue is sharp and the production design effective. Most memorably, the cinematography is masterful and can be appreciated even in this 16mm print.

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