As Aunt Alice, Ruth Gordon applies for the job of housekeeper in the Tucson, Arizona home of widow Claire Marrable in order to find out what happened to a missing widowed friend, Edna ... See full summary »
The working class twin sister of a callous wealthy woman impulsively murders her out of revenge and assumes the identity of the dead woman. But impersonating her dead twin is more complicated and risky than she anticipated.
The promotion announced that this film was released in "Hypnovision" which gives an idea of the story. A frustrated thriller writer wants accurate crimes for his next book so he hypnotises ... See full summary »
Domineering Harriet Craig holds more regard for her home and its possessions than she does for any person in her life. Among those she treats like household objects are her kind husband ... See full summary »
The lady is Mrs. Hilyard, a wealthy poetess who lives in a three-story city mansion and her cage is her elevator, which stops a dozen feet short of the main floor due to an electrical failure on a July 4th weekend. She rings her outside alarm, eventually noticed by a drunken derelict, who breaks into the house, ignores her plight and helps himself to various items and alcohol. He leaves with his loot but returns a while later with a plump prostitute and three teenage hoodlums, who proceed to terrorize Mrs. Hilyard as they wreck her home. Written by
First of two pictures in a row in which Olivia De Havilland stepped into a role originally announced for Joan Crawford; the following year, she replaced Crawford in Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte. See more »
The battery for the alarm is shown as it runs down; but later in the movie the battery works like new. See more »
I am a human being. A feeling, thinking, human being.
Okay. I am *all* animal. Sure beats the hell outta being an inmate...
... inmate?... Asylum?
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The opening Paramount logo is done in vertical stripes to reflect the cage motif. See more »
Sharply observed details elevate this lurid shocker.
"Lady In A Cage" was far ahead of its time. Compared to the rest of the lurid shockers produced in the early 1960s featuring aging Hollywood stars (including de Havilland's other 1964 appearance in "Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte") this film, along with "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" transcended the genre. But while "Baby Jane" had a lot to say about the price of fame, "Lady In A Cage" rightly predicted the impending chaos of a rapidly changing society.
Nothing about the basic premise (a middle-aged woman trapped in her house is terrorized by vagrants and thugs) suggests a deep sociological study. What elevates the ensuing events are the sharply observed details: the neighborhood in transition, the alienated masses isolated by endless traffic, the hoodlums' utter lack of conscience, and most of all, de Havilland's expert performance as the lone representative of the civilized world. Her undoing serves as a cautionary tale for a society on the brink. de Havilland makes this otherwise unsavory film exceedingly watchable. As her secrets are uncovered, she finds herself culpable as well. Everyone is caught in the inexorable downward spiral.
Despite the heavy themes, the film is highly accessible, even fun, if you take a jaundiced view. Not quite as campy as "Baby Jane" perhaps, but on some level, just as iconic. It's a film that stands up well to repeated viewings. Great graphic title sequence, modern music, sharp- focus black and white photography. Overall, fine work by everyone involved.
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