Cagliostro (1929)

aka Cagliostro – Liebe und Leben eines grosssen Abenteurers

Article 3649 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-27-2011
Posting Date: 8-11-2011
Directed by Richard Oswald
Featuring Hans Stuwe, Renee Heribel, Alfred Abel
Country: Germany / France / Sweden
What it is: Historical intrigue

An adventurer who dabbles in alchemy and the black arts becomes embroiled in the intrigues of the court of France just before the revolution, and has a brush with the Inquisition.

Here’s another movie that was rescued from my “ones that got away” list, and I was quite delighted to find that my print had English title cards. It only runs 53 minutes so it may not be complete, but the story is clear enough. It’s supposed to be based on a novel, but Cagliostro is a historical personage, albeit one shrouded in mystery. The movie deals mostly with his disgrace when he makes an unfortunate prediction about Marie Antoinette’s fate, and his plans for revenge which involve a diamond necklace. Afterwards, he is arrested by the Inquisition, but the movie seems to have an ending that doesn’t coincide with what happened in real life. The movie is actually quite entertaining, but the fantastic content only plays a partial role in the proceedings, though he does dabble in alchemy, black magic, faith healing, mind reading, and predicting the future. At heart, it’s a love story as well, as it covers the journey he must take to finally fully win the heart of his wife. It’s nice to finally have seen this one.

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