Black Moon (1934)

68-69 mins | Horror | 15 June 1934

Director:

Roy William Neill

Writer:

Wells Root

Cinematographer:

Joseph August

Editor:

Richard Cahoon

Production Company:

Columbia Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

Contemporary sources indicate that Clements Ripley's novel first appeared in Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan. The MPH review commented: "In that the colored natives involved in the film are rather harshly pictured as blood-thirsty worshippers of black gods who indulge in sacrificial orgies, the film may meet with objection in those situations where colored people make up a portion of the patronage." ...

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Contemporary sources indicate that Clements Ripley's novel first appeared in Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan. The MPH review commented: "In that the colored natives involved in the film are rather harshly pictured as blood-thirsty worshippers of black gods who indulge in sacrificial orgies, the film may meet with objection in those situations where colored people make up a portion of the patronage."

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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
7-Jul-34
---
Film Daily
28 Jun 1934
p. 6
International Photographer
1 May 1934
p. 16
Motion Picture Daily
28 Jun 1934
p. 14
Motion Picture Herald
7 Jul 1934
p. 48
New York Times
28 Jun 1934
p. 26
Variety
3 Jul 1934
p. 26
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
Cam op
Asst cam
Asst cam
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SOUND
Sd eng
DANCE
Dance dir
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
Props
Still photog
STAND INS
Double for Dorothy Burgess
Stand-in for Dorothy Burgess
Stand-in for Fay Wray
William Lally
Stand-in for Jack Holt
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Black Moon by Clements Ripley (New York, 1933)
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
15 June 1934
Production Date:
10 Apr--3 May 1934
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Columbia Pictures Corp.
24 June 1934
LP4784
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
68-69
Length(in feet):
6,336
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

Stephen Lane is mystified by his wife Juanita's coldness toward himself and their daughter Nancy. Juanita, who was born and reared on the island of St. Christopher, located near Haiti, is obsessed with the drum beats of her native land, and so Stephen sends her to a psychiatrist. Juanita is diagnosed as having a neurosis, and when she demands to return to her home, Stephen acquiesces, although he insists that she take along her secretary Gail to care for Nancy. Macklin, the overseer of Juanita's uncle's estate, visits her and begs her not to return to the island, for he knows that as a child she was initiated into voodoo rituals and was elevated to a prominent position within the cult. Juanita refuses to listen, and when Macklin threatens to go to Stephen and expose her, he is killed by the native who accompanied him. Juanita is happy to be back in St. Christopher, but gradually becomes more cruel toward Nancy. Juanita's uncle, Dr. Perez, warns her to avoid becoming involved with voodoo again, but she arrogantly ignores him. Worried about Nancy, Gail sends for Stephen, and after her message is sent, the radio operator is murdered. By the time Stephen arrives, Nancy's nurse has been killed and Juanita has begun behaving even more strangely. While the drums beat one night, Juanita disappears, and Lunch, a kindly black, leads Stephen to a voodoo amphitheater in the jungle. There Stephen is horrified to see that Juanita is high priestess in a cult of human sacrifice, and he shoots a priest in order to prevent the murder of a girl. He also learns that all ...

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Stephen Lane is mystified by his wife Juanita's coldness toward himself and their daughter Nancy. Juanita, who was born and reared on the island of St. Christopher, located near Haiti, is obsessed with the drum beats of her native land, and so Stephen sends her to a psychiatrist. Juanita is diagnosed as having a neurosis, and when she demands to return to her home, Stephen acquiesces, although he insists that she take along her secretary Gail to care for Nancy. Macklin, the overseer of Juanita's uncle's estate, visits her and begs her not to return to the island, for he knows that as a child she was initiated into voodoo rituals and was elevated to a prominent position within the cult. Juanita refuses to listen, and when Macklin threatens to go to Stephen and expose her, he is killed by the native who accompanied him. Juanita is happy to be back in St. Christopher, but gradually becomes more cruel toward Nancy. Juanita's uncle, Dr. Perez, warns her to avoid becoming involved with voodoo again, but she arrogantly ignores him. Worried about Nancy, Gail sends for Stephen, and after her message is sent, the radio operator is murdered. By the time Stephen arrives, Nancy's nurse has been killed and Juanita has begun behaving even more strangely. While the drums beat one night, Juanita disappears, and Lunch, a kindly black, leads Stephen to a voodoo amphitheater in the jungle. There Stephen is horrified to see that Juanita is high priestess in a cult of human sacrifice, and he shoots a priest in order to prevent the murder of a girl. He also learns that all of the whites on the island are to be murdered except Juanita. Perez, Nancy and Lunch flee to Perez's home, a portion of which is fortified. Juanita leads an attack, but Perez, Gail and Stephen escape to Perez's yacht. Nancy, however, is taken to be sacrificed by her mother. Stephen follows her into the jungle and kills Juanita, then flees the island, engulfed in slaughter, with his daughter. As she follows on another sailboat, Gail realizes that Stephen loves her and that she will be able to take the place of Juanita in his heart.

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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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