IMDb > The Cat and the Canary (1927)
The Cat and the Canary
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The Cat and the Canary (1927) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 18% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
John Willard (from the stage play by)
Robert F. Hill (adaptation) ...
View company contact information for The Cat and the Canary on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
9 September 1927 (USA) See more »
THE MYSTERY THRILLER OF THE STAGE FILMED WITH NEW EFFECTS (original print ad - all caps) See more »
Relatives of an eccentric millionaire gather in his spooky mansion on the 20th anniversary of his death for the reading of his will. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
This Silent Is Golden See more (50 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Laura La Plante ... Annabelle West

Creighton Hale ... Paul Jones

Forrest Stanley ... Charles Wilder

Tully Marshall ... Roger Crosby

Gertrude Astor ... Cecily

Flora Finch ... Susan
Arthur Edmund Carewe ... Harry (as Arthur Edmund Carew)

Martha Mattox ... Mammy Pleasant

George Siegmann ... The Guard

Lucien Littlefield ... Ira Lazar
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hal Craig ... Policeman (uncredited)

Billy Engle ... Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Joe Murphy ... Milkman (uncredited)

Directed by
Paul Leni 
Writing credits
John Willard (from the stage play by)

Robert F. Hill (adaptation) &
Alfred A. Cohn (adaptation)

Alfred A. Cohn (scenario)

Walter Anthony (titles)

Produced by
Paul Kohner .... supervising producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Hugo Riesenfeld (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Gilbert Warrenton (photography)
Film Editing by
Martin G. Cohn (film editor)
Art Direction by
Charles D. Hall 
Editorial Department
Lloyd Nosler .... supervising film editor
Music Department
Neil Brand .... Restoration score
The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra .... orchestral performance (as The City of Prague Philharmonic)
Other crew
Carl Laemmle .... presenter
Carl Laemmle .... president: Universal Pictures Corporation
Edward J. Montagne .... story supervision
Robert F. Hill .... assistant to Paul Leni (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
80 min (DVD) (2004 restoration) | 108 min (16 fps)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Netherlands:14 (original rating) (1927) | Portugal:17 (director's cut) | Spain:7 (2011) | USA:Unrated

Did You Know?

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 »
Plot holes: New York State requires civil attorneys to halt disbursement of a legacy, pending the decision of a probate court, if they discover evidence of tampering with the will pertaining thereto. After Crosby found that the safe had been opened recently, he should have canceled the reading of the Cyrus West will.See more »
[first lines]
Narrator:On a lonely pine-clad hill overlooking the Hudson, stood the grotesque mansion of an eccentric millionaire...
See more »
Symphonie no. 3 avec orgueSee more »


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26 out of 27 people found the following review useful.
This Silent Is Golden, 1 January 2003
Author: telegonus from brighton, ma

This late silent movie shows off the considerable talents of its director, Paul Leni, as the camera prowls the environs of an old dark house with the gracefulness of a cat, while the actors bob around like canaries, forming uneasy alliances and plotting against one another. The cast is well chosen. Laura La Plante makes a lovely heroine, while bespectacled Creighton Hale makes an agreeable, somewhat Harold Lloyd-like hero. Tully Marshall and Martha Mattox represent, none too flatteringly, the older generation; the former has the face of a drawn, white prune, while the latter makes a perfect battle-axe as the ironically named Mammy Pleasant. By today's standards the movie isn't too scary, though its mood of foreboding is still effective. Its qualities are pictorial more than dramatic, and the print I saw was badly in need of restoration.

The Cat and the Canary is a key film of the silent era, and was hugely influential in kicking off the old dark house genre that continued into the early talkie period. When sound came in the wisecracks proliferated, which tended to lighten the mood and detract from the suspense. In this one the humor is visual, and the tone is more consistent. There have been dozens remakes and imitations over the years, but the dark, Gothic beauty of the original has never been surpassed.

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