Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Black Magic (1949) Orson Welles



Gregory Ratoff, Orson Welles (uncredited)


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


Orson Welles, Nancy Guild, Akim Tamiroff

In 18th century France Joseph Balsamo's mother is put on trial for witchcraft, both his mother and father are sentenced to hang. The Viscount de Montagne passes the sentence which angers Joseph who bits Montagne on the hand. Montagne orders the boy to be whipped and that if he survives, to put out his eyes. Joseph is whipped and sees his mother and father hung, lucky for him he is rescued before his eyes are put out. The next time we see Joseph is as a man in a gypsy sideshow. He is thrilling his audience with his magic and selling a potion that will heal the sick. After a woman is accidentally poisoned Joseph steps in and hypnotizes her into believing she is well. His powers to hypnotize set him on a journey that will lead him back to the Viscount de Montagne. Black Magic was both intriguing and entertaining. Orson Welles plays the part of a gypsy that can easily hypnotize people to do his bidding. As far as I know this can't be done, but the film was believable in every other aspect. Welles looks handsome in this film and is convincing as a gypsy. This movie is not so much about black magic as it is a man who uses his power for his own selfish reasons. ★★★

Orson Welles & Charles Goldner

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