During a dinner, given by a wealthy baron and his wive, attended by four of her suitors in a 19th century German manor, a shadow-player rescues the marriage by giving all the guests a ... See full summary »
Allan has a hard time finding the Usher's house, which is known to be cursed... But he is a personal friend of Roderick Usher, who lives with his sick wife Madeline and a doctor. Roderick ... See full summary »
A producer decides to reopen a theater, that had been closed five years previously when one of the actors was murdered during a performance, by staging a production of the same play with ... See full summary »
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
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 »
In the credits a character named "Ira Lazar" is listed. No such person is ever named in the film. However, external information indicates that "Ira Lazar" is the character who identifies himself as "the doctor" sent to check on Annabelle's sanity. See more »
On a lonely pine-clad hill overlooking the Hudson, stood the grotesque mansion of an eccentric millionaire...
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Whether you take it as a good-natured send-up of the 'old dark house' genre, or simply as a semi-serious horror/comedy, either way "The Cat and the Canary" is good entertainment. The atmosphere in the dusty old mansion is done very well, with plenty of creativity, and the story moves at a good pace and is told well. These are more than enough to make up for a few plot holes and a couple of characters that are left undeveloped.
The cat/canary image, which was deliberately exaggerated somewhat, is simple but it ties the story and characters together rather well. Most of the characters are interesting, although a couple of them never really take shape. Most of the performers seemed to enjoy their roles, and they worked well together, with most of them making good use of their moments in the spotlight.
If you enjoy silent movies, you should find this a pleasant way to spend an hour and a half or so.
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