Reign of Terror, which has since been re-titled, somewhere along the way, THE BLACK BOOK, a moniker it seems to have retained, for better or worse. I remember liking this film a lot as an elementary school kid. Watching it again, some 65 years later, elementary school (at best early junior high) seems about the right age for full appreciation. This is the kind of move in which, at the start, most of the characters are placed front and center with a description that lets you know right off the bat if they're good guys or bad guys.
Arlene Dahl, above, right, with Mr. Cummings) hairbreadth escapes, and more, this 90-minute movie boasts all of those and more, as it moves fast and covers a lot of territory. As is often the case, the bad guys get the juiciest performances, with Mr. Basehart a preening and awfully "gay" Robespierre (Hollywood loved to makes villains of us, back in the day), and a fine character actor named Arnold Moss, below, right, playing the master conniver Fouché.
Film Chest: I am no expert on restorations, but it appears that the restorers either had damn little to work with, or didn't do much with what they had. This is one of the weakest of all the supposed restorations I've yet seen. I can barely imagine what low-definition might look like.