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The Cat and the Canary (1939)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 1,108 users  
Reviews: 42 user | 12 critic

When an eccentric family meets in their uncle's remote, decaying mansion on the tenth anniversary of his death for the reading of his will, murder and madness follow.

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Title: The Cat and the Canary (1939)

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Wally Campbell
...
Joyce Norman
John Beal ...
Fred Blythe
Douglass Montgomery ...
...
Miss Lu
Elizabeth Patterson ...
Aunt Susan
George Zucco ...
Nydia Westman ...
Cicily
...
Hendricks, guard
George Regas ...
Indian guide
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Storyline

Ten years have passed since the death of millionaire, Cyrus Norman. Cosby, Cyrus' attorney, has gathered Cyrus' 6 remaining relatives to his New Orleans' mansion for Cyrus' "reading of the will". To the others disappointment, Joyce is the sole heir, but, due to a streak of insanity running in the family, a second will has been made in case Joyce falls victim to it. This puts Joyce in danger. Suddenly, Miss Lu, Cyrus' maid, appears and warns them that the spirits have told her that one of them will die that night. Following this, Hendrick, a prison guard, warns them that, "The Cat", a homicidal maniac has escaped. This sets up Cyrus' relatives with a night filled with murders, mysteries and intrigue. Written by Kelly

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A CHILL-AND-CHUCKLE CHASE!...A FORTUNE AT STAKE AND A MONSTER AT LARGE! (original ad - all caps) See more »


Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 November 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El gato y el canario  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paulette Goddard did not actually come on board this project until more than three months after Paramount had announced their intention to remake the 1927 film. Successively preceding Goddard as the film's prospective leading lady had been two of Bob Hope's recent co-stars, Martha Raye and Shirley Ross, respectively. Though the reasoning behind Raye's replacement by Ross was never made public, the rationale for Paramount's final choice is no great mystery. A bigger star than either Ross or Raye, Goddard was snapped up by Paramount once she became available, owing to preproduction snafus with Charles Chaplin's The Great Dictator (1940). See more »

Quotes

Wally Campbell: [Wiscracking to his stoic Indian guide] You seem like the jolly type, Clarence. D'yuh like jokes? You don't mind if I ramble on, do you? Keeps my mind off the malaria germs.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Murder by Invitation (1941) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Probably the best version of the story
5 July 2004 | by (Glen Cove, New York) – See all my reviews

This tale of greedy relatives out to get a fortune had been filmed at least two times before Bob Hope took a crack at it, and the world is a better place for it.

Though not the perfect haunted house film, this is a very funny movie. One of the reason that this isn't perfect is that the wisecracks get in the way of the mystery, or if not the mystery, the suspense. Such is the danger of comedy thrillers, either its too funny so its not scary, or too suspenseful and the comedy destroys the tension at the wrong time, here its simply too much humor before it turns serious.

Fortunately here funny is good, so even if the suspense gets the short end of the stick, its still an enjoyable time at the movies. What more could you want, especially since it gives Bob Hope ample chance to do what he does best.

See this movie. Its a lot of fun. 8 out of 10.


12 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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FINALLY ON DVD!!!! wagnerfan
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