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.
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 »
We're gonna kill you, pop. All of you. You... and the pig. And the human being.
[above, Mrs. Hilyard screams]
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The opening Paramount logo is done in vertical stripes to reflect the cage motif. See more »
Tense, Unpleasant, Claustrophobic, Sadistic and Scary Urban Tale
In a hot summer holiday, the incapacitated Mrs. Cornelia Hilyard (Olivia de Havilland), who broke the hip a few months ago, gets trapped alone in her private elevator in her huge house during an electricity failure. An old wino beggar is attracted by the alarm in the alley and decides to robber the house helped by Sade (Ann Sothern), a fat hustler. Meanwhile, a dangerous gang of punks leaded by Randall (James Caan) invades the house and decides to eliminate all the witness after the robbery.
I have never heard any reference about "Lady in a Cage", but I decided to buy the just-released DVD and I do not regret. I found a tense, unpleasant, claustrophobic, sadistic and scary urban tale, with outstanding and impressive performance of James Caan. The story shows the lack of attention and sympathy of the urban populations, the violence of criminals against their victims and it is very ahead of time for a 1964 movie. I recalled the also claustrophobic and excellent 1955 "The Desperate Hours", but "Lady in a Cage" is more realistic, frightening and brutal, and has not aged. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "A Dama Enjaulada" ("The Lady Caged")
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