IMDb > The Cat Creeps (1930)

The Cat Creeps (1930) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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Up 31% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers:
John Willard (play) and
William Hurlbut (dialogue)
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Contact:
View company contact information for The Cat Creeps on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 November 1930 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Girls! You'd Better Hang On to the Boy Friend's Arm...for here is the weirdest, most mysterious and icily thrilling picture of this year, last year, and all the years! Its drama will rip down all of your poise and and test your bravery...laughs turn into shrieks...and shrieks into laughs...it's a wow! See more »
Plot:
Disappearances and strange goings-on in a spooky old mansion. | Add synopsis »
NewsDesk:
(2 articles)
Joshua Review Rupert Julian’s The Phantom Of The Opera [Blu-ray Review]
 (From CriterionCast. 13 October 2015, 6:00 AM, PDT)

Forgotten Pre-Codes: Her Man (1930)
 (From MUBI. 24 November 2011, 7:46 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
...and it "Creeps" very slowly. See more (3 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Directed by
Rupert Julian 
John Willard 
 
Writing credits
John Willard (play "The Cat and the Canary")

William Hurlbut  dialogue
Gladys Lehman  dialogue
Gladys Lehman  scenario

Produced by
Carl Laemmle Jr. .... producer
 
Cinematography by
Jerome Ash  (as Jerry Ash)
Hal Mohr 
 
Film Editing by
Maurice Pivar 
 
Costume Design by
André-ani 
 
Sound Department
C. Roy Hunter .... sound recording engineer
Edwin Wetzel .... sound recording engineer
 
Music Department
Heinz Roemheld .... composer: title music (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Carl Laemmle .... presenter
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
75 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (MovieTone)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Universal studio boss Carl Laemmle thought the Spanish version to be superior to and spookier than the Rupert Julian-directed English language version.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Top 10 Lost Horror Films (2010) (V)See more »

FAQ

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18 out of 46 people found the following review useful.
...and it "Creeps" very slowly., 27 September 2002
Author: F Gwynplaine MacIntyre from Minffordd, North Wales

"The Cat Creeps" is the last film directed by Rupert Julian, whose single best-known credit is the silent version of "The Phantom of the Opera", starring Lon Chaney. But Chaney and Julian quarrelled bitterly during production of that film: Julian was ultimately dismissed from the set, and Chaney took over the direction himself (with an uncredited assist by Edward Sutherland). So, Julian's reputation is based on a film which he largely didn't direct. "The Cat Creeps" is probably a better indication of his talents, which weren't much.

"The Cat and the Canary" was a spooky-old-house stage play by John Willard, which was filmed several times. The two most notable versions are Paul Leni's 1927 moody silent film and the 1939 remake which played up the comedy relief and made a star of Bob Hope. "The Cat Creeps" is the first talkie version, made only three years after Leni's silent, and probably retitled so as to avoid comparisons.

It's a poor film. Many early sound-era films were much more ponderous than late silent films, due to the heavy sound-recording equipment and the bulky mufflers (called "blimps") that were needed to soundproof the cameras. Even by early talkie standards, "The Cat Creeps" is a VERY slow film, in every way inferior to the 1927 and 1939 versions.

The film sticks very close to Willard's play and the Leni version. Ten years after a miser's death, his relatives meet in his creepy old house for the reading of the will. (Isn't it actually illegal to delay the reading of a will this long?) The terms of the will are read out by Lawyer Crosby: the other characters keep calling him "Lawyer Crosby", as if that's his name. Annabelle West (Helen Twelvetrees) stands to inherit the lot, unless she conveniently goes insane (from, let's say, terror .. or maybe boredom) before she leaves the old house. If Annabelle goes bonkers, then all the lovely lolly goes to... suddenly the lights go out! When they go on again, Lawyer Crosby has vanished into thin heir.

Oh, yeah, I forgot. There's a homicidal maniac loose on the premises. (No home should be without one.) He's known only as the Cat, but evidence indicates that the Cat is also one of the disinherited relatives ... who might just inherit after all if Annabelle is driven insane. (Why doesn't he just kill her?) Meanwhile, Lawyer Crosby's corpse falls out of the cupboard. Where's the will? Stodgy Neil Hamilton, warming up (or cooling off) for his future role as Commissioner Gordon in the "Batman" TV series, flusters his way through his role here as Annabelle's handsome protector ... or could he possibly be the evil Cat?

"The Cat Creeps" was made during Universal Studios' great period of horror films, so it's disappointing that this movie delivers so little "boo!" for the buck. Helen Twelvetrees displays so little screen presence, she ought to be pruned down to Helen Threetrees. As for her acting ability ... well, she's pretty to look at, but that's all. If you've seen another version of "The Cat and the Canary", you know how this version ends. In fact, this version offers nothing that isn't done better in the '27 or '39 version, or both. Skip this unnecessary remake. It's alleged "historic" significance is negligible.

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