IMDb > The Black Cat (1941)
The Black Cat
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The Black Cat (1941) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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6.2/10   719 votes »
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Release Date:
2 May 1941 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Even Ladd Is Scared!
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
A Cat above the rest See more (26 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Basil Rathbone ... Montague Hartley

Hugh Herbert ... Mr. Penny

Broderick Crawford ... Hubert A. Gilmore 'Gil' Smith

Bela Lugosi ... Eduardo Vigos - Gardener
Anne Gwynne ... Elaine Winslow

Gladys Cooper ... Myrna Hartley

Gale Sondergaard ... Abigail Doone
Cecilia Loftus ... Henrietta Winslow
Claire Dodd ... Margaret Gordon
John Eldredge ... Stanley Borden

Alan Ladd ... Richard Hartley
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Erville Alderson ... Doctor Williams (uncredited)
Harry C. Bradley ... Coroner (uncredited)
Jack Cheatham ... 1st Moving Man (uncredited)
Edgar Sherrod ... Minister (uncredited)

Directed by
Albert S. Rogell 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Robert Lees 
Robert Neville 
Edgar Allan Poe  story
Frederic I. Rinaldo 
Eric Taylor 

Produced by
Burt Kelly .... producer
 
Original Music by
Hans J. Salter (uncredited)
Frank Skinner (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Stanley Cortez 
 
Film Editing by
Ted J. Kent 
 
Art Direction by
Jack Otterson 
 
Set Decoration by
Russell A. Gausman 
 
Costume Design by
Vera West 
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Howard Christie .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Ralph M. DeLacy .... associate art director
 
Sound Department
Bernard B. Brown .... sound supervisor
Hal Bumbaugh .... sound technician
William Schwartz .... sound technician (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
John P. Fulton .... special photographic effects
 
Music Department
Hans J. Salter .... musical director (as H.J. Salter)
Ralph Freed .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Charles Henderson .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Charles Previn .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Jaik Rosenstein .... unit publicity writer (uncredited)
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
70 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Certification:
Canada:PG (Ontario) | Sweden:15

Did You Know?

Trivia:
In the trailer, 'Broderick Crawford' is credited as "Brod Crawford".See more »
Quotes:
Mr. Penny:[looking at the cats on the grounds after the rainstorm] It looks like it's been raining cats and cats around here.See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

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11 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
A Cat above the rest, 14 June 2009
Author: Gary170459 from Derby, UK

This little gem has long been one of my favourites: since I taped it in the '80's my daughter and I have watched it dozens of times, and although the 1934 horror film may be better it's still lovely to watch. Universal Pictures in the 1940's could churn out inconsequential family entertainment films like this so seemingly effortlessly and all with a special atmosphere that marked them apart from their bigger and richer rivals. Russell Gausman as set director did his usual fantastic job of creating something gorgeous to look at from nothing and the nitrate-film photography by Stanley Cortez was beautifully brooding, when the comedy allowed.

Relatives with secrets and problems assemble at a dying old lady's spooky old house to find out how much they'll inherit from her when the day comes. Or whether her army of beloved pampered cats will get it all. Dapper Basil Rathbone had the biggest problems of them all - but was he the one who murdered the old lady, or was she killed from kindness after all? There could have been some mysterious feline power at work, Alan Ladd looked like he'd shoot everyone for a nickel, Gladys Cooper was very demure even if very strong, Gail Sondergaard (her line "Two is equal to one" matched her "Sometimes they get into the machinery" from Cat And The Canary) and Bela Lugosi were as creepy as ever, Claire Dodd was plain nasty and John Eldredge just too dumb to be real. However I don't care what anybody says the lovely Anne Gwynne was never going to be Guilty in my eyes! Chunky Broderick Crawford and Hugh Herbert bumble through it all as the hero and light relief – this was a big vehicle for Herbert to woo-hoo his way through too. His over-zaniness can be a problem at times – was he and Crawford there in place of some songs or Abbott & Costello and overall did he help or detract? And what the Hell was Anne Gwynne supposed to see in Broderick Crawford anyway??

Maybe it helps to have seen it when young to see it now through rose-tinted spectacles. It can be too melodramatic at times, especially during the otherwise gripping climax, but with plenty of lovely smoky visuals and a rich atmosphere to wallow in I've always enjoyed watching this and hope to many more times.

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Gale Sondergaard in a tight dress chongajuly
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Minor little flick with a great cast!! TEDPLUS
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