The four man cast members- Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone, and Claude Rains- deserve so much credit they were flawless in their roles. This was Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland’s second film together. What always made them work and what made them work especially well in the film was that they were such good actors and they were so beautiful that you could believe Robin Hood and Maid Marian could love each other like they did. As I watched this film the other night I just gushed like an idiot over how adorable de Havilland was and I could not get over the fact that she was twenty-two when she made this film. Errol Flynn was his usual devilishly handsome self and was the personification of Robin Hood. The moment I saw him I thought he was handsome even though he was wearing tights and an awful wig. The guy really did light up the screen and had such a magnetic and charming screen personality. The first time I saw Claude Rains I died laughing he looked so awful and so silly with his wig, fake beard and colorful costumes. I kept thinking of the guy inCasablanca and just laughed so hard. Basil Rathbone was incredible he was such a perfect bad guy. He had the best evil stares and just carried that air of meanness so well.
I still cannot get over the flamboyant costumes designed by Milo Anderson. The first time sitting through this I laughed so hard over the clothing but now watching it they pop out so well and make the film that much more amazing and colorful. Olivia de Havilland worked with Anderson on her costumes she did a lot of research and would then bring her ideas back to him. Anderson liked working with her because she was very nice and helpful. The costumes have a bit of a contemporary feel to them not only with the coloring but the way they were made you can see the little bit of Art Deco influence in them. Also de Havilland’s eyebrows and makeup are contemporary in style.
If you read any reviews of Black Moon you will most likely read that it falls between White Zombie and I Walked With a Zombie. At the time of this writing I have yet to see White Zombie but I have seen I Walked With a Zombie and certainly is a later take of Black Moon. This film has a very interesting concept and idea but it falls short in many areas and the pacing is a little too fast.
Juanita Perez Lane (Dorothy Burgess) witnessed her parents being killed as a sacrifice on the island of San Christopher when she was very young. She was taken away from the island to the United States for her own protection. Several years later she is married to a man named Stephan (Jack Holt) and has a young daughter Nancy. Although Juanita left the island a long time ago that life is still in her, she still thinks about it and constantly beats on an old island drum in her room. Juanita is cold and distant towards her husband and daughter so Stephan sends her to a psychiatrist. The doctor tells him she has a neurosis that stems back to her childhood.
Juanita wants to visit her childhood home where her uncle still lives. Stephan is not thrilled but he sends along his secretary Gail (Fay Wray) to keep an eye his wife and daughter since he will not be going. He and Gail are having some sort of an affair. She wants to work at another place but he will not let her go (this is one step in some major foreshadowing).
Everything is too late for now Juanita has joined the natives in their voodoo ritual. She and the natives over take the house and look for Nancy to sacrifice.
Black Moon is not a bad early zombie film. It does have its weak points but give it some slack since it was made in the 1930s. It may be labeled as a zombie film but there are no zombies like in I Walked With a Zombie. I am guessing because it has to do with voodoo that it is labeled as being one. With constant drumming and danger Black Moon is a very good and entertaining film to sit through
Ruby returns home and there we see she is friends with an old German general named Kurt von Kolb (Conrad Veidt). He is not in the army but he is privy to much information. She asks him if he ever knew what happened to Emmy Ritter, innocently enough as if she just so happened to be curious about her at the moment. The general says that she is now in a concentration camp and will be put to death for treason that weekend.
Manuela and her aunt return home but on her wedding day she gets a bit of a surprise. Serafin and his troupe have arrived to perform not knowing that Manuela lives in the town. Serafin is every bit excited and immediately begins to chase his heart’s desire. Manuela’s aunt manages to trap the actor in Manuela’s room and call for the mayor. The mayor is a big man and Serafin is a little intimidated by him at first but then he realizes the mayor is the real Macoco! The mayor becomes nervous begging the actor not to tell anyone. Serafin seizes the opportunity and runs downstairs proclaiming to be Mac the Black to win Manuela’s heart.
Of course things do not go smoothly with this plan in many aspects but Manuela begins to fall for Serafin.
Although their home was damaged during a raid the Miniver’s life is going as well as it could. Vin has married Carol and the rose named after Mrs. Miniver won first prize at a flower show. On the way home from the flower show tragedy unfortunately strikes the family but it is not what you would expect.
The only person keeping Dodge City from being truly safe and sound is Surrett and his gang. Abbie’s life becomes threatened when she and the local newspaper man get dirt on Surrett that can send him away for life.
Parnell meets an English woman named Katie O’Shea (Loy). Katie believes in Parnell and what he is fighting for. When he is in trouble and needs a place to stay she lets him stay at her English country home. The two start to fall in love but unfortunately Katie is married to a political man and he will not divorce her until after he is elected and mostly because it would not look good having Parnell in the house at the time people would know Katie was cheating.
Thanks to the hard work of Parnell and his followers Parliament is willing to consider the Home Rule. But everything can come crashing down when Katie’s husband wants to divorce and names Parnell in the separation. Parnell starts to lose followers and respect because he will not defend himself believing that his and Katie’s private lives are nobody’s business. The people feel that if he cannot defend himself how will he ever defend his country.