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The Cat and the Canary (1927)

Unrated | | Comedy, Horror, Mystery | 9 September 1927 (USA)
Relatives of an eccentric millionaire gather in his spooky mansion on the 20th anniversary of his death for the reading of his will.

Director:

Paul Leni

Writers:

John Willard (from the stage play by), Robert F. Hill (adaptation) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Laura La Plante ... Annabelle West
Creighton Hale ... Paul Jones
Forrest Stanley ... Charles Wilder
Tully Marshall ... Roger Crosby
Gertrude Astor ... Cecily
Flora Finch ... Susan
Arthur Edmund Carewe ... Harry (as Arthur Edmund Carew)
Martha Mattox ... Mammy Pleasant
George Siegmann ... The Guard
Lucien Littlefield ... Ira Lazar
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Storyline

Rich old Cyrus West's relatives are waiting for him to die so they can inherit. But he stipulates that his will be read 20 years after his death. On the appointed day his expectant heirs arrive at his brooding mansion. The will is read and it turns out that Annabelle West, the only heir with his name left, inherits, if she is deemed sane. If she isn't, the money and some diamonds go to someone else, whose name is in a sealed envelope. Before he can reveal the identity of her successor to Annabelle, Mr. Crosby, the lawyer, disappears. The first in a series of mysterious events, some of which point to Annabelle in fact being unstable. Written by Ron Kerrigan

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The play that startled the world! (Title lobby card). See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 September 1927 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A macska és a kanári See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD) (2004 restoration) |

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The black cat on the road was stuffed. See more »

Goofs

When the murdered lawyer falls from behind a concealed door, he falls face down, but in the subsequent scenes he is shown on his back. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: On a lonely pine-clad hill overlooking the Hudson, stood the grotesque mansion of an eccentric millionaire...
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Alternate Versions

Kino International distributed a video with the original 1927 musical setting compiled by James Bradford and adapted and performed by Eric Beheim and "The Cyrus West Players." It was produced by David Shepard using film materials from the David Bradley collection, and copyrighted in 1997 by Film Preservation Associates. The running time was 82 minutes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Justice League Unlimited: The Cat and the Canary (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphonie no. 3 avec orgue
  • 1st movement

Written by Camille Saint-Saëns
See more »

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User Reviews

Good Entertainment
23 March 2004 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

Whether you take it as a good-natured send-up of the 'old dark house' genre, or simply as a semi-serious horror/comedy, either way "The Cat and the Canary" is good entertainment. The atmosphere in the dusty old mansion is done very well, with plenty of creativity, and the story moves at a good pace and is told well. These are more than enough to make up for a few plot holes and a couple of characters that are left undeveloped.

The cat/canary image, which was deliberately exaggerated somewhat, is simple but it ties the story and characters together rather well. Most of the characters are interesting, although a couple of them never really take shape. Most of the performers seemed to enjoy their roles, and they worked well together, with most of them making good use of their moments in the spotlight.

If you enjoy silent movies, you should find this a pleasant way to spend an hour and a half or so.


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