7.1/10
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141 user 67 critic

The Black Cat (1934)

American honeymooners in Hungary become trapped in the home of a Satan-worshiping priest when the bride is taken there for medical help following a road accident.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Hjalmar Poelzig (as Karloff)
... Dr. Vitus Werdegast
... Peter Alison
... Joan Alison (as Jacqueline Wells)
Egon Brecher ... The Majordomo
... Thamal
... Karen
... The Sergeant
Albert Conti ... The Lieutenant
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Storyline

Honeymooning in Hungary, Joan and Peter Allison share their train compartment with Dr. Vitus Verdegast, a courtly but tragic man who is returning to the remains of the town he defended before becoming a prisoner of war for fifteen years. When their hotel-bound bus crashes in a mountain storm and Joan is injured, the travellers seek refuge in the home, built fortress-like upon the site of a bloody battlefield, of famed architect Hjalmar Poelzig. There, cat-phobic Verdegast learns his wife's fate, grieves for his lost daughter, and must play a game of chess for Allison's life. Written by Sister Grimm <srgrimm@teleport.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The most imaginative picture yet! (Newspaper ad cut). See more »


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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

7 May 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Vanishing Body  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$95,745 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$236,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A drawing of what resembles to be William Powell's face strangely ended up on a lobby card and poster next to Boris Karloff instead of Bela Lugosi. See more »

Goofs

When Werdegast and Poelzig are fighting near the end of the film, Poelzig is on top of Werdegast, choking him. Werdegast then turns the tables and ends up on top of Poelzig. After Thamal (Werdegast's servant) enters the room, Poelzig is suddenly on top of Werdegast, and is choking him again. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
The Lieutenant: [looking over Joan's passport] Mr. and Mrs. Alison, Car 96, Compartment F. Orient Express, Budapest, Visegrad.
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Soundtracks

Symphony no. 7: Second Movement
(uncredited)
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
Played as background music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Horror Buff's Dream
31 October 2000 | by See all my reviews

The best of the collaborations between Karloff & Lugosi. The production values are high and Karloff's makeup is excellent. There is a lot going on it the script-- perhaps too much, as the script is a bit confusing and sometimes pointless. But the atmosphere is thick and the "aura" hangs over the movie like a dense mist. There is more horror implied than actually seen. This movie has black magic, a man skinned alive, treachery, phobia, and a chess game with lives at stake. Mostly, it has great performances by Karloff and Lugosi in their one and only film appearance as equals (without one dominating the other). Truly, this is one of the finest Universal horror classics and will deliver everything a fan of such fare could possibly want.


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