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The Cat and the Canary (1978)

 -  Comedy | Mystery | Horror  -  1979 (UK)
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 765 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 19 critic

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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Beatrix Lehmann ...
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Daniel Massey ...
Peter McEnery ...
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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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Mystery | Horror

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Release Date:

1979 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

El gato y el canario  »

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Technical Specs

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Wendy Hiller worked 10 days. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Susan Sillsby: Hm, my favourite period: early Devil's Island.
See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
Where There's a Will, There's a Way
6 September 2010 | by (Earth) – See all my reviews

In 1934, blonde fashion designer Carol Lynley (as Annabelle West) and an assortment of greedy relatives gather at "Glencliff Manor" to hear the taped reading of wealthy Wilfrid Hyde-White's last will and testament. Relatively soon, we learn Ms. Lynley is to inherit everything, but not without stipulation. First, she must remain alive and sane after one night in the deceased's spooky old mansion. As a storm rages outside, the suspicious cast is joined by psychologist Edward Fox (as Hendricks), who informs them a homicidal killer known as "The Cat" has escaped from the local insane asylum. That's a recipe for murder and mayhem…

This fairly tepid re-make of the 1927 "silent" classic was likely inspired by the success of films like "Murder by Death" (1976). Lynley and Michael Callan (as Paul Jones) could be described as the leads. As a stand-in for Buddy Rodgers (make that Ben Lyon), Peter McEnery (as Charlie Wilder) figures prominently, and Daniel Massey (as Harry Blythe) doesn't. Lawyerly Wendy Hiller (as Allison Crosby) arches her eyebrow. Elderly housekeeper Beatrix Lehmann shows how unflatteringly the film's extreme close-ups can exaggerate a face. And, Honor Blackman and Olivia Hussey somehow manage to make a lesbian subplot unexciting.

***** The Cat and the Canary (11/78) Radley Metzger ~ Carol Lynley, Michael Callan, Peter McEnery, Edward Fox


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