Alternative Title: The Black Book
Starring: Robert Cummings, Richard Basehart, Jess Barker
Directed by: Anthony Mann
Cat Out of the Bag Alert! This review contains some spoilers for this film!
Synopsis: During the French Revolution Maximilian Robespierre (Richard Basehart) is astutely setting himself up as the future dictator of France through systematic executions of even his closest political friends. A spy named Charles D’Aubigny (Robert Cummnings) seeks the notorious black book in which Robespierre lists his intended victims, hoping to use it against the man to stop his rise to power.
Cat Burglar (Scene Stealer): After escaping from France with the black book, D’Aubigny hides out in a farmhouse with his accomplice, Madelon (Arlene Dahl). Soldiers descend upon the farm to search for the pair, led by Saint Just (Jess Barker). There is a tense moment when Saint Just questions a little boy while the boy’s grandmother watches. Saint Just tells the boy that he, too, can be a soldier and even promises the boy his own horse if he will just say whether or not he has seen any strangers come to the house. Just as the boy is about the answer, Saint Just looks confused and glances underneath the table. A tiny tabby kitten is licking at his boot!
Kitty Carnage Warning! Unfortunately the adorable moment is short-lived as Saint Just very deliberately kicks the kitten across the room! In all fairness the actor more or less tosses the cat aside with his foot, since the cat is leaning against his boot to begin with. But it’s still flinging a kitten into the air across the room! Fortunately the kitten appears to be okay after the stunt.
The boy quickly gathers the kitten into his arms and comforts the tiny animal. When Saint Just presses again for an answer the boy answers firmly, “I didn’t see anybody!” and storms off to his room with the kitten.
Final Mewsings: Even a child knows that any man who would kick a kitten is bad!