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The Cat and the Canary (1927)

Unrated | | Horror, Mystery | 9 September 1927 (USA)
Relatives of an eccentric millionaire gather in his spooky mansion on the 20th anniversary of his death for the reading of his will.

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(from the stage play by), (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Creighton Hale ...
Forrest Stanley ...
...
Gertrude Astor ...
Flora Finch ...
Arthur Edmund Carewe ...
Harry (as Arthur Edmund Carew)
Martha Mattox ...
...
Lucien Littlefield ...
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Storyline

Rich old Cyrus West's relatives are waiting for him to die so they can inherit. But he stipulates that his will be read 20 years after his death. On the appointed day his expectant heirs arrive at his brooding mansion. The will is read and it turns out that Annabelle West, the only heir with his name left, inherits, if she is deemed sane. If she isn't, the money and some diamonds go to someone else, whose name is in a sealed envelope. Before he can reveal the identity of her successor to Annabelle, Mr. Crosby, the lawyer, disappears. The first in a series of mysterious events, some of which point to Annabelle in fact being unstable. Written by Ron Kerrigan

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE MYSTERY THRILLER OF THE STAGE FILMED WITH NEW EFFECTS (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 September 1927 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A macska és a kanári  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD) (2004 restoration) |

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer/director Robert F. Hill not only wrote the adaptation for this film but also served as a sort of assistant/associate director for Paul Leni. Leni, a German, didn't speak much English, and Hill spoke German, so he acted as a liaison between Leni and the cast and crew. See more »

Goofs

As Tully Marshall's dead body falls to the floor, the actor can be clearly seen extending his hands to break the fall. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: On a lonely pine-clad hill overlooking the Hudson, stood the grotesque mansion of an eccentric millionaire...
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Connections

Edited into Histoire(s) du cinéma: Seul le cinéma (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphonie no. 3 avec orgue
  • 1st movement



Written by Camille Saint-Saëns
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User Reviews

 
Amazing "Old Dark House" film
15 April 2000 | by (Houston, Texas) – See all my reviews

"The Cat and the Canary" has been considered a masterpiece, and that the film is still known today is a feat in itself. It is easily my favorite silent film. Paul Leni (the director) has a great deal of prowess on films like these, and it has been admitted by others.

First, the sets are realistic, making this film a believable "journey back in time" (it was made over 70 yrs. ago). I am shocked to hear one reviewer say this film as broadly acted and visually stunted. The sets are marvelous, especially the drawing room (it looks very nice to be part of a "haunted house"). The camera work (ex. the skeleton double-exposure, the subtitles occasionally moving like a ghost) is very enjoyable, too.

About the acting, first get this straight: Much of the acting is quite normal. But in the fright scenes (especially by Laura La Plante), the acting has nothing wrong with it. Much of it is very funny (contrary to common belief). Flora Finch (Aunt Susan) is funny as the gossiper, and Creighton Hale as Paul is cute. Why do most of you find the broad acting painful to watch? If you can't find silent films enjoyable, all I can tell you is, tough luck. Classic films are as a general rule better than the new ones, but even new films can be very good.


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