7.3/10
1,557
46 user 22 critic

The Cat and the Canary (1939)

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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Cast

Cast overview:
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Joyce Norman
John Beal ...
Fred Blythe
Douglass Montgomery ...
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Miss Lu
Elizabeth Patterson ...
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George Zucco ...
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George Regas ...
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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:

Stalked by a wild, crawling thing...balked by a blind passage! Groping, desperately hoping for a way out! See more »


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Details

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Release Date:

10 November 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El gato y el canario  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the original Broadway play and the 1927 film, the dead man was named Cyrus West. In this version the dead man is named Cyrus Norman, possibly because Mae West was still making films at this time. See more »

Quotes

Miss Lu: There are spirits all around you.
Wally Campbell: Well, could you put some in a glass with a little ice? I need it badly.
See more »

Connections

Version of La voluntad del muerto (1930) 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.


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