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The film was released in the summer of 1949 as Reign of Terror, but when it played New York in the fall of that year it was retitled The Black Book, which was its original working title. The film opens with a brief prologue, narrated by actor Norman Lloyd, which introduces several of the main characters while describing the situation in France. In the final scene, in which "Fouch" speaks with Napolon Bonaparte, the character of Napolon is only seen from behind. Napolon's voice was supplied by actor Shepherd Strudwick, but Strudwick himself does not appear in the film. At the conclusion of the film, the words "The End" appear on screen, after which the words "Of the Reign of Terror," appear directly below.
The story is loosely based upon events and historical figures of the French Revolution of 1789. The main part of the story takes place in 1794. While many of the film's characters correspond to actual people, the central character, Charles D'Aubigny, appears to be wholly fictional. A August 25, 1948 Hollywood Reporter news item includes Isabella Ward in the cast, but her appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. The film, which was shot on location at Sherwood Forest and Chatsworth, CA, marked the feature film debut of character actor Dabbs Greer (1917-2007).