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The Cat and the Canary (1939)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,385 users  
Reviews: 46 user | 18 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)

The Cat and the Canary (1939) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Cast

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

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

 »
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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

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.
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Connections

Referenced in Murder by Invitation (1941) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Some frights but plenty of laughs!
31 July 2005 | by (Adelaide Australia) – See all my reviews

This has to be classed as one of Bob Hope's better films, even though it was one of his first in a starring role. He uses the script to perfection with his one-liners while playing the role of a pretty scared coward, and he is admirably supported by Paulette Goddard as the future heiress. In a very good supporting cast there are a number of stalwarts like George Zucco, Elizabeth Patterson and Gale Sondergaard who add so much to the atmosphere of the film. Take it for what it is - a fun scary romp, and you will be spending a most pleasurable 75 minutes, Oh, and by the way it has the required sliding panels, mists, falling bodies, etc that go such a long way in providing Hope with suitable cracks. Enjoy.


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