IMDb > The Black Cat (1941)
The Black Cat
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Release Date:
2 May 1941 (USA) See more »
Even Ladd Is Scared!
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 »
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User Reviews:
Seen on Pittsburgh's Chiller Theater in 1975 See more (26 total) »


  (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:
70 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Canada:PG (Ontario) | Sweden:15

Did You Know?

The "Universal Horror Classic Movie Archive" DVD boxed set release of this film includes a reissue trailer from Realart Pictures that moves 'Alan Ladd''s billing up to second (after Basil Rathbone) to take advantage of his later stardom at Paramount.See more »
Hubert Smith:What's this?
Montague Hartley:Ashes! That proves it. It *was* Abigail! Unquestionably.
Hubert Smith:[aside, to Elaine] He thinks he's Sherlock Holmes.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of The Black Cat (1981)See more »


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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Seen on Pittsburgh's Chiller Theater in 1975, 18 December 2013
Author: kevin olzak ( from Youngstown, Ohio

1941's "The Black Cat," not to be confused with Bela Lugosi's 1934 classic, is merely another 'Old Dark House' murder-mystery in a comic vein, in the wake of 1939's "The Cat and the Canary." The unfunny comedy relief is supplied by Hugh Herbert, while the remainder of the stalwart cast maintain interest throughout, despite a severely dragging middle. The young Broderick Crawford is certainly likable, and pairs nicely with lovely Anne Gwynne, but top-billed Basil Rathbone is reduced to playing a weasely scoundrel, fooling around with beautiful Claire Dodd behind the back of desperate wife Gladys Cooper, to the annoyance of her devoted son (Alan Ladd). Henrietta Winslow (Cecilia Loftus) has been at death's door for some time, but makes certain that her many cats will be taken care of, along with longtime housekeeper Abigail Doone (Gale Sondergaard) and caretaker Eduardo Vedos (Bela Lugosi); when she gets stabbed to death with a long hatpin, hardly anyone bats an eye. Claire Dodd was enjoying a resurgence at Universal ("In the Navy," "The Mad Doctor of Market Street"), where she had previously starred in 1934's "Secret of the Château," while the relatively unknown Alan Ladd remained a year away from stardom in "This Gun for Hire." Lugosi is sadly wasted, but certainly hammed it up in numerous gag photos on set; Gale Sondergaard, the one cast member from "The Cat and the Canary," manages to amuse in a dour role, the still attractive actress amply filling out her uniform. No classic but entertaining, "The Black Cat" appeared four times on Pittsburgh's Chiller Theater: Jan 4 1975 (following 1945's "A Game of Death"), Aug 28 1976 (following 1960's "Dr. Blood's Coffin"), July 23 1977 (following Al Adamson's "Man with the Synthetic Brain"), and June 11 1983 (solo). The 1934 "Black Cat" had been a 5 time broadcast before this 1941 title debuted, totaling 8 overall.

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Gale Sondergaard in a tight dress chongajuly
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