7.3/10
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The Cat and the Canary (1939)

Approved | | Comedy, Horror, Mystery | 10 November 1939 (USA)
When an eccentric family meets in their uncle's remote, decaying mansion on the tenth anniversary of his death for the reading of his will, murder and madness follow.

Director:

Elliott Nugent

Writers:

Walter DeLeon (screenplay), Lynn Starling (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Bob Hope ... Wally Campbell
Paulette Goddard ... Joyce Norman
John Beal ... Fred Blythe
Douglass Montgomery ... Charlie Wilder
Gale Sondergaard ... Miss Lu
Elizabeth Patterson ... Aunt Susan
Nydia Westman ... Cicily
George Zucco ... Lawyer Crosby
John Wray ... Hendricks
George Regas ... Indian Guide
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Storyline

Ten years have passed since the death of millionaire, Cyrus Norman. Cosby, Cyrus' attorney, has gathered Cyrus' 6 remaining relatives to his New Orleans' mansion for Cyrus' "reading of the will". To the others disappointment, Joyce is the sole heir, but, due to a streak of insanity running in the family, a second will has been made in case Joyce falls victim to it. This puts Joyce in danger. Suddenly, Miss Lu, Cyrus' maid, appears and warns them that the spirits have told her that one of them will die that night. Following this, Hendrick, a prison guard, warns them that, "The Cat", a homicidal maniac has escaped. This sets up Cyrus' relatives with a night filled with murders, mysteries and intrigue. Written by Kelly

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A CHILL-AND-CHUCKLE CHASE!...A FORTUNE AT STAKE AND A MONSTER AT LARGE! (original ad - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 November 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El gato y el canario See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the original Broadway play and the 1927 film, the dead man was named Cyrus West. In this version the dead man is named Cyrus Norman, possibly because Mae West was still making films at this time. See more »

Goofs

When the heirs heading to the house in a boat point out a swimming alligator, protective tape is visibly wrapped around its mouth.. See more »

Quotes

Cicily: Don't big empty houses scare you?
Wally Campbell: Not me, I used to be in vaudeville.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Cat Creeps (1930) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Shaped my childhood nightmares
13 March 2003 | by silent_aliceSee all my reviews

Oh my gosh, how scary is this film? I first saw it when I was about six, and I only remember the hand coming through the wall to strangle the woman in bed, and the body falling out of a cupboard. This was enough to make me stay away from cupboards and beds for many years to come! I saw it again recently and found it more comical this time around, especially Bob Hope's performance, but I'm still scared of cupboards!


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