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

GP  |   |  Mystery, Thriller  |  21 May 1971 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 6,142 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.



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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?


On one gravestone at the cemetery is written "Di Dario" = "Dario's". 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 Adjust Your Tracking (2013) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A solid murder mystery.
11 May 2006 | by (Brentwood, USA) – See all my reviews

The second film from the great Dario Argento, following his excellent depute film Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970), is a lengthy but enjoyable thriller.

Reporter joins with a blind old man (and former-reporter) to solve the mystery of why someone is killing people involved with genetic research.

While granted Cat O' Nine Tails doesn't rank with Argento's earlier film (or his later ones for that matter) it is still an atmospheric and well-made giallo thriller that is worth a look. The mystery is a well-mounted one with some nice twists to be had. The roof-top climax and shocking conclusion is quite worth the wait as well! The direction is sleek and the music score of Ennio Morricone is beautiful.

Cast-wise the film is good as well, James Franciscus and Karl Malden steal the show though as an unlikely pair of investigators.

Most people don't rate this film as one of Argento's best, even Argento himself declares it his least favorite film, but Cat O' Nine Tails still deserves to be seen - if only by Argento fans.

*** out of ****

11 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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