IMDb > The Cat and the Canary (1939)
The Cat and the Canary
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The Cat and the Canary (1939) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.4/10   1,031 votes »
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Up 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Walter DeLeon (writer)
Lynn Starling (writer)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Cat and the Canary on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 November 1939 (USA) See more »
Tagline:
A CHILL-AND-CHUCKLE CHASE!...A FORTUNE AT STAKE AND A MONSTER AT LARGE! (original ad - all caps) See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
NewsDesk:
(3 articles)
When Comedy Meets Horror (part one)
 (From SoundOnSight. 25 October 2012, 10:45 AM, PDT)

Paulette Goddard on TCM: Modern Times, Reap The Wild Wind
 (From Alt Film Guide. 2 August 2011, 3:50 PM, PDT)

Bob Hope Thanks for the Memories Collection DVD Review
 (From Collider.com. 25 June 2010, 6:12 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
"Some Fun!" See more (42 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Bob Hope ... Wally Campbell

Paulette Goddard ... Joyce Norman
John Beal ... Fred Blythe
Douglass Montgomery ... Charles Wilder

Gale Sondergaard ... Miss Lu
Elizabeth Patterson ... Aunt Susan
George Zucco ... Mr. Crosby, lawyer
Nydia Westman ... Cicily
John Wray ... Hendricks, guard
George Regas ... Indian guide
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
William Abbey ... 'The Cat' (uncredited)
Milton Kibbee ... Photographer (uncredited)

Charles Lane ... Reporter (uncredited)
Frank Melton ... Reporter (uncredited)
Nick Thompson ... Indian Guide (uncredited)
Chief Thundercloud ... Indian guide (uncredited)
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Directed by
Elliott Nugent 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Walter DeLeon  writer
Lynn Starling  writer
John Willard  play

Produced by
Arthur Hornblow Jr. .... producer
 
Original Music by
Ernst Toch  (as Dr. Ernst Toch)
 
Cinematography by
Charles Lang 
 
Film Editing by
Archie Marshek 
 
Art Direction by
Hans Dreier 
Robert Usher 
 
Set Decoration by
A.E. Freudeman 
 
Costume Design by
Edith Head 
 
Sound Department
Richard Olson .... sound recordist
Philip Wisdom .... sound recordist
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Andrea Setaro .... musical advisor
 

Production CompaniesDistributors
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
72 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
One of over 700 Paramount productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, that were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. Because of legal complications, this particular title was not included in the original television package and was not televised until several years later.See more »
Quotes:
Mr. Crosby, lawyer:[Referring to Miss Lu's talk about spiritualism] Wait, wait! Stop all this, Miss Lu. Do you want to frighten these ladies out of their wits?
Fred Blythe:[Sarcastically referring to Aunt Susan and Cicily] Oh, there's not much danger in that.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Murder by Invitation (1941)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
5 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
"Some Fun!", 13 August 2006
Author: Gary170459 from Derby, UK

This has always been one of my top10 favourite films, since I first saw it in 1972, at least 14 times since. Bob Hope was still a little green at this stage, but you can almost see (and hear) him coming of age in CATC, his comic delivery technique and timing noticeably improved by the end. The spooky atmosphere generated onto the b&w nitrate stock by the Paramount cast and crew was palpable, compare it - if you can stomach it - to the 1979 remake!

8 people are summoned to a will-reading at a rather eerie old house; the one that wins the fortune seems to be going insane as one of her relatives sweetly puts it, whilst another just says she's going out of her mind. There's only 2 nice people here, Hope and Goddard, the rest are more or less on the make. She's the visual jewel in here - as Hope says, "Terrific". The scene with Goddard and the Cat in the library is my all-time Spooky Moment on Film - nowadays all the "artists" involved in the making of "horror" films don't trouble about niceties like Spookiness, but just get on with the Gore. That of course is the problem for most people coming to this, they've probably inured themselves over the years to see disgusting and vile-ent things - so much so that they would laugh at the most savage scene in this where someone gets knifed in the back. The 1927 Laura LaPlante version is good and nicely atmospheric too, but it's difficult comparing chalk and cheese to silent and talking pictures - they're both great comedy films on their own merits.

A wonderful piece of art, topped the next year with an even better follow up, Ghost Breakers.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Cat and the Canary (1939)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Why didn't the housekeeper...[Spoile rs] mel2000
What a hoot ! (SPOILER) viaggio1
Strange plot hole viaggio1
Something I'd love to know *SPOILERS* luciefilm
FINALLY ON DVD!!!! wagnerfan
Movie 'Cliche' or classic plot point? eschetic
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