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Gatto nero
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The Black Cat (1981) More at IMDbPro »Gatto nero (original title)

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We all know director Lucio Fulci for his depraved nasties like New York Ripper, but if you're wondering why in France he's held in the same esteem as Hitchcock, then the deliciously eerie The Black Cat is a great place to start.
Inspired by the Edgar Allen Poe tale, this black cat is a malevolent moggy that stalks through a sleepy English town appearing to fulfil the murderous wishes of its owner, the sinister psychic medium Professor Miles (Patrick Magee in fine deranged form). What Professor Miles has not reckoned on is his cat turning him into the next mouse to slowly kill!

High on gothic atmospheric thanks to the moody cinematography of Sergio Salvati, this unusual Fulci tale of claustrophobic terror is a little seen gem that compares to the best output of the Hammer and Amicus studios.

THE BLACK CAT is released uncut on DVD by Shameless Screen Entertainment. The film will be presented remastered in 1.85:1 with English 2.0 sound. Also included on the disc is a Shameless original trailer gallery.


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Down 22% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Edgar Allan Poe (story)
Lucio Fulci (screenplay)
View company contact information for The Black Cat on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 February 1984 (USA) See more »
When you heat this cat breathing down your neck...START PRAYING!!! See more »
Robert Miles is a psychic that can communicate with the dead. He also has the ability to control the mind of his cat (who incidentally is black)... See more » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
(7 articles)
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User Reviews:
Brilliant Cinematography See more (39 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Patrick Magee ... Prof. Robert Miles

Mimsy Farmer ... Jill Trevers
David Warbeck ... Inspector Gorley

Al Cliver ... Sgt. Wilson
Dagmar Lassander ... Lillian Grayson
Bruno Corazzari ... Ferguson
Geoffrey Copleston ... Inspector Flynn
Daniela Doria ... Maureen Grayson (as Daniela Dorio)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Lucio Fulci ... Doctor (scenes deleted)
Vito Passeri ... Warehouse Watchman (uncredited)

Directed by
Lucio Fulci 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Lucio Fulci  screenplay
Edgar Allan Poe  story
Biagio Proietti  screenplay
Biagio Proietti  story

Produced by
Giulio Sbarigia .... producer
Original Music by
Pino Donaggio 
Cinematography by
Sergio Salvati 
Film Editing by
Vincenzo Tomassi 
Production Design by
Franco Calabrese  (as Francesco Calabrese)
Art Direction by
Massimo Antonello Geleng (uncredited)
Costume Design by
Massimo Lentini 
Makeup Department
Maria Pia Crapanzano .... hair stylist
Franco Di Girolamo .... makeup artist
Rosario Prestopino .... assistant makeup artist
Production Management
Renato Angiolini .... production executive
Antonio Da Padova .... unit manager
Ennio Onorati .... production manager
Tommaso Pantano .... unit manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
David Del Bufalo .... assistant director
Roberto Giandalia .... second unit director
Victor Tourjansky .... assistant director
Art Department
Alfredo D'Angelo .... carpets and drapes
Sound Department
Nick Alexander .... dubbing editor
Fernando Caso .... sound effects
Ugo Celani .... sound
Eros Giustini .... boom operator
Alvaro Gramigna .... sound effects
Edmondo Gintili .... foley recordist (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Paolo Ricci .... special effects
Nazzareno Cardinali .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Ennio Brizzolari .... key grip
Franco Bruni .... camera operator
Alfredo Fedeli .... gaffer
Roberto Forges Davanzati .... camera operator (as Roberto Forges-Davanzati)
Maurizio Lucchini .... assistant camera
Gianfranco Massa .... still photographer: action stills
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Mina Tacconi .... seamstress (as Palmina Tacconi)
Editorial Department
Rita Antonelli .... first assistant editor
Pietro Tomassi .... second assistant editor
Music Department
Natale Massara .... conductor
Other crew
Pasquale Martino .... cat trainer
Daniela Tonti .... continuity
David Ball .... production accountant (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Gatto nero" - Italy (original title)
See more »
92 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Dagmar Lassander was almost killed filming the fire scene when a breakaway wall fell on her.See more »
Revealing mistakes: What appears to be fishing line can briefly be seen holding up the bats as they attack Jill.See more »
Maureen Grayson:The air conditioning is not working - please find the key - I'm frightened.See more »
Movie Connections:


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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
Brilliant Cinematography, 2 May 2002
Author: marquis de cinema from Boston, MA

An unusually restraint film for a Fulci picture made in the early 1980s. A picturesque vision of gothic horror that's done in the style of an Italian gothic or Hammer horror film from the 1960s. I think Fulci's attempt here was to make a film in the manner of Hammer horror or Corman's Poe pictures, which would involve little of the director's usual gory antics. There are some violent scenes, and the most brutal scene in terms of gore or death is the one involving Lillian Grayson. Il Gatto Nero/The Black Cat(1980) relies more on atmosphere, mood, and tension, than gory set pieces, which was a change of tune for Fulci after the bloody violence of Zombie(1979), The Smuggler(1980), and City of the Living Dead(1980).

Its not one of his best works, but it is a beautiful looking film, with some gracious camerawork, and impressive visuals. Based loosely on the Edgar Allen Poe short story, of which this film has no direct relationship to the plot of that horror story. The closet the film comes is during the sequence that comes near the very end of the picture. The climax is an encore of the climatic moment in Sette Note in Nero/Seven Notes in Black(1977). The POV of the cat prowling around during the opening credits scene is handled with visual spectre by Sergio Salvati.

The casting of Patrick Magee as Robert Miles is one of the best parts of The Black Cat(1980). Magee gives a performance that shows why he was a master in playing eccentric and mentally troubled characters in films like A Clockwork Orange(1971), and Marat/Sade(1970). One of five or six excellent actors to have a role in a Lucio Fulci film. He portrays in his character emotions of fear, hate, and menace just by his expressions of his face and eyes, which are more effectively presented when viewing the film in widescreen. Atmospheric and eerie use of its British locales that rivals that of Jorge Grau's Let Sleeping Corpses Lie(1974).

One scene, which reaches the dreamlike style of Fulci's other gothic pics from the early 80s is the moment when the house that Jill Travels lives in shakes, and rocks around in a frenzy after the hanging Miles cat. Its an eerie sequence that is one of the best in the film. Daniela Doria once again plays a character who comes to a gruesome end(seems to be her only function in a Fulci film). David Warbeck does ok as Inspector Gorley, but his performance here is nowhere near as good as in The Beyond(1981). The Mrs. Grayson death scene borders on the effective and ridiculous without moving totally into the realm of the latter.

Mimsy Farmer gives a bland performance here that is short of the good performances given by Catriona MacColl, who was better at making a Fulci's heroine a little more dimensional. The editing is smooth looking and fluid compared to the erratic editing of City of the Living Dead(1980), which was a weakness for that film. The death of Ferguson is crafted with hand shaking suspense and a creative payoff. Fulci's director is flamboyant and yet simple in the same time. Overall, an entertaining horror film that is one of Fulci's most underrated films, and one despite its flaws is worthwhile for anyone that loves Euro-horror, Fulci horror, or just horror films in general.

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