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Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Black Moon (1934)

Starring Jack Holt, Fay Wray, Dorothy Burgess, Cora Sue Collins, Arnold Korff
Directed by Roy William Neill
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

A businessman allows his wife to return to the island she grew up on for a visit, but unbeknownst to him, she is not planning to return, taking her place as a priestess of the voodoo-practicing natives.

This is a memorable horror film of quality that doesn't delve into any supernatural content, but still has the capacity to thrill, well-directed by Roy William Neill, and featuring some striking photography and music.  Unfortunately, it paints its strokes too broadly, casting the entire black population of the island as the villains, and ignoring the oppression they apparently suffer at the hands of the white plantation owner of the island.  That makes it difficult to praise this picture, although its composition and direction place it among the better horror films of the 1930s.  It's not blatantly offensive in the way A Birth Of A Nation can be, but is definitely a product of less enlightened times.

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