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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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Allison Crosby
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Cicily Young
Beatrix Lehmann ...
Mrs. Pleasant
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Dr. Harry Blythe
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Charlie Wilder
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Cyrus West (as Wilfrid Hyde White)
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Storyline

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

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Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Mystery | Horror

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

1979 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

El gato y el canario  »

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(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The picture is considered a curio in the canon of director Radley Metzger whose body of work comprises mainly soft-core erotic dramas. This film was Metzger's only non-adult movie. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Hendricks: Weapons can be as dangerous as maniacs.
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Connections

Version of La voluntad del muerto (1930) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Surprisingly Well-Done Remake
5 April 2009 | by See all my reviews

I'm not overly fond of seeing remakes of movies that I hold in high esteem, such as Paul Leni's excellent silent film "The Cat and the Canary" (1927), but the 1979 British remake (actually the fifth filming of John Willard's 1922 stage play) has such an impressive cast that it was hard for me to resist. And, as it turns out, this most recent incarnation is as fun as can be; an amusing and at times pretty darn scary updating. In what is a now-classic setup, a group of relatives convenes in England, at Glencliff Manor on a stormy night in 1934, to hear the reading of Cyrus West's will, while outside the house, an escaped homicidal maniac stalks the neighborhood. Here, West's attorney, Dame Wendy Hiller, screens the 20-year-old filmed testament of the old man (Wilfrid Hyde-White, whose grumpy recitation for his latter-day "leeches" and "bastards" easily steals the show) to a group of millionaire wanna-bes that includes yummy Carol Lynley, lesbian cousins Honor Blackman and Olivia Hussey, and American songwriter Michael Callan. Radley Metzger, in his sole horror outing in a career more known for various erotic entertainments, directs this film with style to spare, and his screenplay is clever and at times even sparkling. Callan gets the lion's share of the script's comical one-liners, and his quips regarding "putting on heirs," "where there's a will, there's a way" and "kissing cousins" are actually very funny. But don't get me wrong; despite the screenplay's cleverness, this "CATC" does dish out the scares, especially in the film's final 1/2 hour, when that maniac (who reminded me a bit of a bloodied-up Keith Richards, of all people!) gets into the house and things turn pretty nasty. All in all, a surprisingly well-done remake. Now...when is somebody finally gonna release a Region 1 DVD of the 1939 Bob Hope/Paulette Goddard "CATC"? That's what I want to know!


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