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 »


Overview

User Rating:
7.3/10   1,337 votes »
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Down 7% 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:
A Classic See more (46 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 ... Lawyer Crosby
Nydia Westman ... Cicily

John Wray ... Hendricks
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)

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

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:
Many people believe that the lawyer's name (Crosby) is an in-joke reference to the Bob Hope/Bing Crosby pairing. In fact, it's a coincidence; this was the character's name in the stage play as well as the two previous film versions. Moreover, Hope and Crosby did not make a film together until Road to Singapore (1940) the following year.See more »
Quotes:
Cicily:I'm psychic. I was in a trance once.
Wally Campbell:I know, I know. When are you coming out of it?
See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
24 out of 26 people found the following review useful.
A Classic, 17 July 2001
Author: bigvalbowski from Ireland

The silents brought us a number of classic comedians who were skilled at making the audience laugh without uttering a word. With the advent of sound, some of these comedians found the transition hard and most still relied on their old silent routines for their jokes. Bob Hope was the first comedian who's mouth provided the punchline. The Cat and the Canary was his first leading part and yet it's not designed purely for his advantage, this is a great picture, both funny and exciting.

Bob Hope is the star. He's hilarious. He's sympathetic. He's also a coward, which isn't such an asset when you're staying in a house filled with escaped lunatics, suspicious servants, and numerous trapdoors. Hope plays a radio personality who involuntarily becomes the bodyguard to a woman, Joyce, who recently inherited a lot of money. The house is filled with other guests that are upset at having lost out on the inheritance. To make matters worse, if Joyce dies within a month, the money goes to whoever was the substitute inheritor and that person's name lies in an envelope safely hidden in a safe. As guests start dying, the tension increases, as does Hope's one-liner's. "I've got goosepumps. In fact, my goosebumps have got goosebumps."

Today, the plot seems like one from an episode of Scooby-Doo but it's still fun and surprisingly smart. The cast is small but solid and the murderer is never guessed until the end. A few red herrings are thrown in but when the guilty party is revealed, it does make sense, a necessity rarely used in Hollywood today.

As a vehicle for Hope it works a charm. As a movie in itself it should be recognised as a classic.

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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
See more »

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