This week’s mystery movie was the 1949 film Black Magic, with Orson Welles, Nancy Guild, Akim Tamiroff, Frank Latimore, Valentina Cortese, Margot Grahame, Stephen Bekassy, Berry Kroeger, Gregory Gay (later Gaye) and Raymond Burr.
Musical score by Paul Sawtell.
Photography by Ubaldo Arata and Anchise Brizzi.
Art direction by Jean d’Eaubonne and Ottavio Scotti. Set decoration by Gino Brosio.
Costumes by Georges Annenkoff and Nino Novarese.
Associate producer Dario Sabatello. Production assistant Jerome Cappi.
Edited by James McKay and Fred Feitshans.
Sound by Rolf Epstein and Peter Handford.
Sound effects by Frank Cleverly.
Director of production Dr. Giorgio Papi.
Assistant director Arrigo Colombo. Makeup by Don Cash.
Produced and directed by Gregory Ratoff.
Black Magic is available on Blu-ray from Critics’ Choice Videos.
More on the history of the film is available from the AFI catalog.
I picked Black Magic out of curiosity. I’d never heard of the film and it looked interesting. It’s a wild plot and it’s easy to see why it appealed to Welles. He loved to do magic tricks and there’s a lot of hypnotism and hocus-pocus throughout the film. It’s quite interesting visually and the print is nice and sharp.
I’m going to guess Bosley Crowther hated it for no other reason that he was Bosley Crowther….
Sorry, it was fobbed off on one of the alphabet soup critics: T.M.P. (probably Thomas M. Pryor) Nov. 9, 1949:
Black Magic is quite a bundle of intrigue with plus, sprawling and lavishly appointed sets reflecting the splendor of the court of Louis XV. Gregory Ratoff took a company of people to Rome to make the historical adventure for producer Edward Small, but although Mr. Ratoff has directed the story in a way to exploit its pictorial color and excitement he is pretty much hamstrung by a wandering and cliche-ridden script.
For Monday, we have a mystery lad and a mysterious companion.
Update: This is Annielo Mele and Tamara Shayne.
For Tuesday, we have a mystery couple plus rather bored attendants.
Update: This is Robert Atkins and Margot Grahame.
Brain trust roll call: Anne Papineau (mystery movie and Monday’s mystery guests).
For “Hm Wednesday,” we have this mysterious gent.
Update: This is Stephen Bekassy.
Brain Trust roll call: Anne Papineau (Tuesday’s mystery guests).
For “Aha Thursday,” Wednesday’s mystery fellow has some mysterious companions.
Update: This is Akim Tamiroff, left, Gregory Gay (late Gaye), center, and Stephen Bekassy.
We also have this mystery fellow.
Update: This is Raymond Burr.
Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (mystery movie, Monday’s mystery lad, Tuesday’s mystery king of France and Wednesday’s cruel viscount), Anne Papineau (Wednesday’s cruel viscount), Mike Hawks (mystery movie, Tuesday’s mystery woman and Wednesday’s mysterious cruel viscount) and Robert Morrissey (mystery movie and mysterious lead).
For Friday, we have our mystery leading man and a mysterious companion.
Update: This is Valentina Cortese and Orson Welles.
We also have our mysterious leading man and another mysterious companion.
Update: This is Nancy Guild and Orson Welles.
Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Tuesday’s mystery woman and Thursday’s mystery gents), Jenny M. (mystery movie and Thursday’s mystery gents Nos. 1 and 4), Beach Gal (mystery movie and all mystery guests), Anne Papineau (Thursday’s mystery guests), B.J. Merholz (mystery movie), Mike Hawks (Thursday’s mystery guests and in absentia due to Cinecon, Friday’s mystery guests), Sheila (mystery movie, Monday’s mystery woman, Thursday’s mystery gents Nos. 1, 2 and 4), Tucson Barbara (mystery movie, Monday’s mystery guests, Tuesday’s mystery woman, Wednesday’s evil mystery viscount, Thursday’s evil mystery viscount and monster movie co-star), Roget-L.A. (mystery movie and Thursday’s monster movie co-star), L.C. (mystery movie and mystery cast), Sylvia E. (mystery movie and all mystery guests), Gary (mystery movie and Thursday’s mystery fellow No. 1), McDee (mystery movie, Thursday’s mystery guests Nos. 1 and 4), Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie and all mystery guests) and Benito (mystery movie, Thursday’s mystery guests Nos. 1 and 4, Friday’s mysterious leading man).