Classic Film Noir, Vol. 3 [DVD]

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Overview

Special Features

  • Photo gallery
  • The Amazing Mr. X commentary by Jay Fenton
  • Reign of Terror commentary by Alan Rode and Arlene Dahl
  • Extensive liner notes by Jay Fenton

Synopsis

The Black Book
Also known as Reign of Terror, The Black Book is a bold effort by director Anthony Mann to film a French Revolution epic on a "B" detective picture budget. Robert Cummings stars as Charles D'Aubigny, who has been engaged by a group of political moderates to retrieve a little black book from Revolutionary leader Robespierre (Richard Basehart). The book allegedly contains evidence that Robespierre has been acting in his own interest rather than on behalf of the new government. D'Aubigny is compelled to deal with the tangible threat of Robespierre's chief henchman (Charles McGraw) as well as his uncertainty concerning the loyalties of those working with him. The Black Book is retrieved, but not before Robespierre has self-destructed on his own. The cheapness of The Black Book works in its favor, especially its overuse of shadows; while this photographic device was intended to disguise the seediness of the sets, it accurately conveys a "dark" period in French history that here is literally as well as figuratively dark. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Amazing Mr. X
Also known as The Amazing Mr. X, The Spiritualist stars Turhan Bey as the title character, a mysterious mystic named Alexis. Making a comfortable living by fleecing the gullible wealthy, Alexis' latest target is grieving young widow Christine Faber (Lynn Bari). Hoping to communicate with her husband, who supposedly died in a car crash two years earlier, Christine submits to Alexis' crystal-ball act. Our hero finds out more than he bargained for when the "deceased" Mr. Faber (Donald Curtis) turns up very much alive as the central figure in an elaborate fraud scheme. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Arlene Dahl
    Arlene Dahl - Madelon
  • Richard Hart
    Richard Hart - Francois Barras
  • Arnold Moss
    Arnold Moss - Fouche
  • Richard Basehart
    Richard Basehart - Maximilien Robespierre
  • Jess Barker
    Jess Barker - Saint Just
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