In 19th Century France, a young man of humble origins, Julien Sorel, dreams of attaining power, like his idol Napolean Bonaparte. Believing the best route is not through the army (the red), but through the church (the black), he sets out on a future in the seminary but finds himself having an affair with a married woman, Madame de Renal, along the way. He eventually lands in Paris as the secretary of a powerful Marquis, and procedes to seduce the daughter, getting her pregnant and assuring his future. But Madame De Renal, feeling guilty about her unholy alliance, writes to the Marquis denouncing Sorel. Sorel returns in a rage and attempts to murder Madame De Renal, is sentenced to death, and dies realizing that his true love was De Renal who, shortly after his death by guillotine, dies of a broken heart.


Ben Bolt