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The Black Cat (1941)

Approved | | Comedy, Horror, Mystery | 2 May 1941 (USA)
Elderly Henrietta Winslow lives in an isolated mansion with her housekeeper and beloved cats. As her health fails, her greedy relatives gather in anticipation of her death.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Mr. Penny
...
Hubert A. Gilmore 'Gil' Smith
...
...
Elaine Winslow
...
Myrna Hartley
...
Abigail Doone
Cecilia Loftus ...
Henrietta Winslow
...
Margaret Gordon
John Eldredge ...
Stanley Borden
...
Richard Hartley
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Storyline

Greedy heirs gather to wait for the death of Henrietta Winslow. Murder, thunder claps, howling cats, gun shots, screams in the night, hidden passages -- all the proper ingredients. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Even Ladd Is Scared!

Genres:

Comedy | Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 May 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El gato negro  »

Box Office

Budget:

$176,000 (estimated)
 »

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

Bela Lugosi had earlier starred in The Black Cat (1934) alongside Boris Karloff which like this was an adaptation, albeit a darker and more violent one, of the Edgar Allan Poe story. See more »

Quotes

Montague Hartley: How is she, doctor?
Doctor: You'll be pleased, I'm sure, to know that Mrs. Winslow is still violating all the laws of science. She should be dead. But she's very much alive.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Adjust Your Tracking (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
There's something rotten in the house of Winslow!
22 May 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Black Cat is directed by Albert S. Rogell and written by Robert Lees and Robert Neville. It stars Basil Rathbone, Hugh Herbert, Broderick Crawford, Bela Lugosi and Gale Sondergaard. Music is by Hans J. Salter and cinematography by Stanley Cortez.

Henrietta Winslow, a cat-loving old dear, is coming to the end of her days. Tonight her parasitic family have gathered at the Winslow mansion to rub their hands with glee as Henrietta's will is read out. But.......

.....Henrietta knew that whom the black cat follows – dies!

"That house is doubly blest. Which to the feline friends gives rest"

It's hardly a classic from the old dark house murder mystery treadmill, but The Black Cat is enormous fun and gets the sub-genre staples spot on. It's a big old fashioned mansion that is host to the creepy shenanigans, complete with secret passageways, revolving booths, suits of armour and roaring fires. There's even a creepy cat crematorium annex in the grounds as well! Naturally it's a stormy night, and naturally the collection of weasels and deviants start getting bumped off one by one. Cue much shrieking, blaming, dodging and the odd red herring. The mystery element is strong, with a good reveal preceding a fiery finale, and there's some high energy antics thrown in for good measure; the latter concerns Crawford's character who jumps through armour, leaps off a balcony and constantly falls down on the floor. Cast are working on a par with the material, with the highlights being Crawford, Sondergaard (who is deliciously spooky) and Herbert (who is the Lou Costello type comedy relief).

More comedy than creeper, but a comfortable recommendation for fans of similar movies. 6.5/10


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