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Lady in a Cage (1964)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 1,813 users  
Reviews: 57 user | 33 critic

A woman trapped in a home elevator is terrorized by a group of vicious hoodlums.

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Title: Lady in a Cage (1964)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Mrs. Cornelia Hilyard
...
Randall Simpson O'Connell
Jennifer Billingsley ...
Elaine
Rafael Campos ...
Essie
William Swan ...
Malcolm Hilyard
...
George L. Brady Jr. aka Repent
...
Sade
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Storyline

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 alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Do not see "Lady in a Cage" alone! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

10 June 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Une femme dans une cage  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

The battery for the alarm is shown as it runs down; but later in the movie the battery works like new. See more »

Quotes

George L. Brady Jr.: Repent! Repent!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening Paramount logo is done in vertical stripes to reflect the cage motif. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Rocks the Movies: The 1970s (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Crazy, man, like wow
5 September 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Olivia de Havilland is a "Lady in a Cage" in this 1964 film also starring Ann Sothern, James Caan (in his debut), Jennifer Billingsley, Rafael Campos, and Scatman Crothers. de Havilland is an elegant, wealthy poetess who is recovering from a broken hip and is dependent on an elevator in the house - one of those European types that looks like a birdcage. After her son Malcolm has left for the weekend, an accident outside knocks out the power as she is going upstairs in the elevator. Though she hits an outside alarm, no one who can help hears it. The only ones that hear it? Any thief within a 5-mile radius. A homeless alcoholic (Jeff Corey) is first on the scene; he steals a toaster and alerts a cheap hustler, Sade (Ann Sothern, who resembles Suzanne Pleshette in this film). However, they're no match for the next bunch, played by James Caan, Jennifer Billingsley, and Rafael Campos, who seem like early Mansonites and decide everything is theirs. (Later a third group shows up, and they're the toughest yet.) All the while, the lady of the house sits in the elevator, powerless to do anything about the destruction around her.

This is a harrowing movie, very '60s in its music and the messages are familiar: the urban jungle, druggies, man's inhumanity to man, people not stopping to help, putting themselves and their own agendas first. The de Havilland character is driven to drastic measures - the movie will glue you to your TV set.

The beautiful de Havilland is excellent - as she always is - as the trapped woman who not only has to deal with enemies at the gate but the fact that one of the crooks finds an accusatory note from her son which ends with a suicide threat - and she has no idea there was a problem. "He sounds gay," one of them (Campos) says. James Caan is appropriately frightening, and so hairy it looks as if hair was taped onto his body. Jennifer Billingsley is good as his whacked out, drug-laden girlfriend. Sothern's story has a big continuity hole; it's never resolved. It's always a treat to see her in anything, and she plays this down and out loser very well.

Without de Havilland, this would have been a fairly lousy movie; with her, I think it's a cut above the horror films of other aging, classic film actresses like Crawford and Davis. If there is one thing de Havilland can always bring to a role besides great acting - and I write in the present tense because she's still alive - it's refinement, beauty, and class. Let's hope there's still a role she will agree to play.


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