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The Cat and the Canary (1978)

PG | | Comedy, Mystery, Horror | 1979 (UK)
A group of potential heirs gather in a forbidding old house to learn which of them will inherit a fortune. Later, they learn that a flesh-rending maniac is loose.



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Complete credited cast:
Allison Crosby
Beatrix Lehmann ...
Daniel Massey ...
Cyrus West (as Wilfrid Hyde White)


When an elderly man dies, some of his relatives gather to hear the reading of the will. When it is read by his attorney, the old man lets it be known how much he despised and loathed his worthless kin. As a result, his will is structured in such a way as to set up a dogfight between his potential heirs as to who will collect his fortune. Written by Alfred Jingle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


For God's sake, stay in your rooms and lock the doors!


Comedy | Mystery | Horror


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1979 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

El gato y el canario  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Names that eccentric uncle Cyrus West (Wilfrid Hyde-White) called his money-hungry relatives were "cats", "leeches" and "bastards". See more »


After Hendricks is shot fatally three times by Paul, he is still breathing. See more »


Annabelle West: Paul, you're hurt!
Paul Jones: No, no, I'm all right. I think the left side of my head's missing.
See more »


Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

A sad disappointment
1 May 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I fondly remember seeing this film in '79, and I was taken by it but this was long before I started demanding quality from the industry. I wish I hadn't seen it again, so I could have preserved the memory of the atmosphere and lightning and secret passageways, the reading of the will -- I could go on. But the sun rises. How can a film that boasts such talent lie on the floor so limply? There is no depth to any of the characters except the house keeper. Playboy to Doctor to Sportswoman to Pet girl to Instant heiress -- stick characters played by bored actors. The leading lady seemed miscast. Sorry, Miss Linley but the accent came and went so many times, it was distracting. Not that Miss Lynley got much help from Randy's adaption. To sum it up -- it was all there, all the spooky/ horror elements, but nothing jelled. There was no chemistry between anything... the movie lied there, the end offered nothing but who the killer was and even that was obvious from the onset. Yes. Yes. Very sad. Sometimes it's best to keep childhood memories in your mind's eye rather then try to relive the moment.......................

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