Up 321 this week

The Cat o' Nine Tails (1971)
"Il gatto a nove code" (original title)

GP  |   |  Mystery, Thriller  |  21 May 1971 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.7/10 from 6,126 users  
Reviews: 69 user | 84 critic

A newspaper reporter and a retired, blind journalist try to solve a series of killings connected to a pharmaceutical company's experimental, top-secret research projects and in so doing, both become targets of the killer.



(story), (story), 3 more credits »
0Check in

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Video


Celebrate IMDb's 25th Anniversary with Photos We Love

IMDb turns a classy 25 on October 17! To celebrate, we put together a gallery of some of our favorite movie, TV, and event photos from the last 25 years.

See the Photos We Love

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 37 titles
created 25 Jul 2011
a list of 27 titles
created 14 Aug 2013
a list of 27 titles
created 15 Sep 2014
a list of 47 titles
created 10 months ago
list image
a list of 41 titles
created 5 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Cat o' Nine Tails (1971)

The Cat o' Nine Tails (1971) on IMDb 6.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Cat o' Nine Tails.

User Polls



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A musician is stalked by an unknown killer who's blackmailing him for an accidential killing of another stalker. But is everything what it appears to be?

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Michael Brandon, Mimsy Farmer, Jean-Pierre Marielle
Certificate: GP Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A writer is stalked by a serial killer after witnessing a murder attempt on one woman's life.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Tony Musante, Suzy Kendall, Enrico Maria Salerno
Opera (1987)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young opperata is stalked by a deranged fan bent on killing the people associated with her to claim her for himself.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Cristina Marsillach, Ian Charleson, Urbano Barberini
Tenebre (1982)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An American writer in Rome is stalked by a serial killer bent on harassing him while killing all people associated with his work on his latest book.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Anthony Franciosa, Giuliano Gemma, Christian Borromeo
Inferno (1980)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An American college student in Rome and his sister in New York investigate a series of killings in both locations where their resident addresses are the domain of two covens of witches.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Leigh McCloskey, Irene Miracle, Eleonora Giorgi
Deep Red (1975)
Horror | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A musician witnesses the murder of a famous psychic, and then teams up with a fiesty reporter to find the killer while evading attempts on their lives by the unseen killer bent on keeping a dark secret buried.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: David Hemmings, Daria Nicolodi, Gabriele Lavia
Sleepless (2001)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An elderly and retired police detective and a young amateur sleuth team up to find a serial killer whom has resumed a killing spree in Turin, Italy after a 17-year hiatus.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Max von Sydow, Stefano Dionisi, Chiara Caselli
Phenomena (1985)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A young girl, with an amazing ability to communicate with insects, is transferred to an exclusive Swiss boarding school, where her unusual capability might help solve a string of murders.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Jennifer Connelly, Donald Pleasence, Daria Nicolodi
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A young policewoman slowly goes insane while tracking down an elusive serial rapist/killer through Italy when she herself becomes a victim of the brutal man's obsession.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Asia Argento, Thomas Kretschmann, Marco Leonardi
Trauma (1993)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A young man tries to help a teenage European girl whom escaped from a clinic hospital after witnessing the murder of her parents by a serial killer and they try to find the killer before the killer finds them.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Christopher Rydell, Asia Argento, Piper Laurie
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

A Rome policewoman teams up with a British Interpol agent to find a crafty serial killer whom plays a taunting game of cat-and-mouse with the police by abducting and killing young women and showing it over an Internet web cam.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Stefania Rocca, Liam Cunningham, Silvio Muccino
Comedy | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Adriano Celentano, Enzo Cerusico, Marilù Tolo


Cast overview, first billed only:
Catherine Spaak ...
Anna Terzi
Police Supt. Spini
Horst Frank ...
Dr. Braun
Rada Rassimov ...
Bianca Merusi
Aldo Reggiani ...
Dr. Casoni
Carlo Alighiero ...
Dr. Calabresi
Vittorio Congia ...
Righetto (cameraman)
Ugo Fangareggi ...
Gigi the Loser
Tom Felleghy ...
Dr. Esson
Emilio Marchesini ...
Dr. Mombelli
Fulvio Mingozzi ...
Spimi's man
Corrado Olmi ...
Pino Patti ...


Franco Arno is a blind man that lives with his young niece and makes a living writing crossword puzzles. One night, while walking on the street, he overhears a weird conversation between two man sitting in a car parked in front of a medical institute where genetic experiments are performed. The same night someone breaks in the institute and knocks out a guard. Arno decides to investigate with the help of reporter Carlo Giordani. Written by Giancarlo Cairella <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


It's nine times more suspenseful! See more »


Mystery | Thriller


GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

21 May 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cat o' Nine Tails  »

Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(cut) | (Super 8-version in 2 parts) | (Limited Uncut Integral-Version)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Although it's one of his most successful films, this is the least favorite of Dario Argento among his pictures. See more »


Early in the graveyard scene, as they are walking, the position of the actors changes between shots. In the side angle Malden has his left arm raised with his hand on Franciscus' right shoulder, in the angle showing them from the front, Malden has his arm down and Franciscus is gripping his shoulder. See more »


Gigi the Loser: Nothing's easy for me. I can't even knock over a chair without getting caught.
See more »


Referenced in Alien³ (1992) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The only problem with this movie is that it's a Dario Argento film
28 October 2003 | by (the rock) – See all my reviews

When fans of Dario Argento watch his films, they expect to see certain things: violence, amazing camera-work, violence, crazy story-lines, violence towards women, etc. And that's the main problem with CAT O' NINE TAILS: it doesn't deliver those things fans of Argento expect to see. If you take Argento's name off of this film's credit, I'm sure a lot of people would consider it great but because it's sorta thrifty when it comes to the usual Argento ingredients, too many have dismissed it as being average. Most of the on-screen killings are strangulations. I'm sure many fans of Argento were disappointed with this. And most of the people killed are men, which probably also disappointed fateful Argento fans, accustomed to seeing the director murdering women in spectacular ways.

Compared to other non-Argento Gialli, CAT O' NINE TAILS is excellent. For example, it is much better than DELERIUM, SOLANGE, TORSO, THE CASE OF THE BLOODY IRIS and slew of other average or mediocre gialli out there. It's a shame this movie is a Dario Argento film because it is completely overlooked as a great giallo.

With that said, the film still has some weaknesses. It's all over the place. One minute, it's a mystery. The next, it's a racing movie. Then it suddenly becomes a romance story, etc. The lack of focus in the direction and the script is evident throughout the movie. In comparison, THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE was much more focused that this second movie in Dario's animal trilogy. The characters' motivations are also murky and muddled. The relationship between handsome Franciscus and not-so handsome Malden is fun if not really convincing. There's simply very little background information about those two characters, certainly James Franciscus' character, who is as one dimensional as humanly possible. But the acting is better than most Argento films and what's lacking in details in the characters is compensated by the excellent cast. The little girl was really good. The comedic bits, like the barber shop scene or when Franciscus decides to wear a raincoat after making love (?!?!) fell flat with a big thud. But the film's story-line IS interesting, if implausible. The feel and look of the film is dream-like and the music is excellent. Even if CAT O' NINE TAILS doesn't have as many signature Argento scenes as his other famous films, there are a couple of stand-out moments or shots peppered throughout which makes this worthwhile viewing. And there's actually an ending to this Dario Argento film.

All in all, I think CAT O' NINE TAILS is totally memorable. It is much better than the crap Argento has been making these days. And like I've said above, it is much better than most non-Argento gialli made in those days. So, the only thing wrong with this great film is that it's a Dario Argento film.

40 of 54 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Most awkward lovemaking scene ever cozmogrl1-1
I heard Argento does not even like this film... is that true? NewJeruPoet
One of Argento's best plots? ODDBear
point of view shots... levitatedstate
what the hell? splattaflix
Catherine Spaak's hair paul_johnr
Discuss The Cat o' Nine Tails (1971) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: