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Directed by George Ratoff

United States 1949 105 mins.

Meteoric rise and precipitous fall—hallmarks of Welles’ work, especially in the 1940s—are given the magical treatment in Black Magic, an adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ 1848 novel Cagliostro. Welles plays the magician Cagliostro, who, following a literally torturous childhood, rises to fame after he learns the art of hypnosis and uses his new skill to exact revenge on the court of Louis XV. The film bears many of Welles’ signature cinematic flourishes, including stunning use of point-of-view camera.

Genres: Fantasy, Drama

Appears in: Orson Welles at 100



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.