Reign of Terror

Dir. Anthony Mann (1949) Having already directed three highly atmospheric crime films, Anthony Mann imbued this evocation of French Revolution with a comparable mood of urban anxiety. An urgent, almost Wellesian film of endless treachery and perpetual night, Reign of Terror opens with a flaming montage and a hysterical voiceover decrying “the weapons of dictatorship.” Although Richard Basehart’s Robespierre makes a weak Stalin, Reign of Terror is a far better political gangster movie than either The Red Menace or I Married a Communist.
Wed., July 14, 1, 4:25 & 7:55 p.m., 2010
 
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