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The Shadow of the Cat (1961)

A house cat sees her mistress murdered by two servants under orders from her husband , and becomes ferociously bent on revenge.


John Gilling


George Baxt


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Cast overview:
André Morell ... Walter Venable
Barbara Shelley ... Beth Venable
William Lucas ... Jacob Venable
Freda Jackson ... Clara, the Maid
Conrad Phillips ... Michael Latimer
Richard Warner ... Edgar Venable
Vanda Godsell ... Louise Venable
Alan Wheatley ... Inspector Rowles
Andrew Crawford Andrew Crawford ... Andrew, the Butler
Kynaston Reeves Kynaston Reeves ... The Grandfather
Catherine Lacey ... Ella Venable


A house cat sees her mistress murdered by two servants under orders from her husband , and becomes ferociously bent on revenge.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The only witness to MURDER! See more »


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Release Date:

7 June 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La sombra del gato See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

BHP, Hammer Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The cat's trainer is a man by the name of John Holmes. This must have been frustrating for the Svengoolie writing staff as the joke pretty much writes itself, yet they know the network would never allow it to air. See more »


Beth Venable: You mean to tell me that an ordinary domestic cat is terrorizing three grown-ups?
See more »


Referenced in Agency (1980) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Once upon a midnight dreary...
20 June 2012 | by gustave_weilSee all my reviews

Ah, how the internet 'creates' new mythology. 'Shadow of the Cat' prophetically opens with a quote from Poe's The Raven, and for most of its running time trots out a parade of mystery movie clichés with wildly uneven results. The anvil of foreshadowing plunges oft, and heavily, and the exposition fairy sure does sprinkle her dust over all the cobweb festooned proceedings. My memories (from 70's television) of this film were actually quite fond, but alas time has not been so kind to 'Shadow of the Cat' upon recent review. As for its legendary 'Hammer' status, I proffer the opinion that upon not-so-close scrutiny the script in NO way follows the Hammer formula, and that just because John Gilling, Barbara Shelley, Bray Studios and some production staff were involved- does not this a Hammer film make. This myth needs clearing up, and I quote a treasured volume (purchased in 1973 when I was 13) "The House of Horror The Story of Hammer Films", Ed. Allen Eyles, Robert Adkinson and Nicolas Fry, Lorrimer Publishing, London UK, p. 110- '...it might be noted that 'Shaow of the Cat' and 'Light Up the Sky', two films that have been characterized as Hammer pictures, are in fact not productions of the company'. Until these editors can be positively proved ill informed (from where did they draw their information?) the case seems obvious. '90's reprint editions of this book completely omit page 110 and the gallery 'Brides of Dracula and others' and ignorantly include 'Shadow of the Cat' in the filmography. One might as well include films like 'The Flesh and the Fiends' (another Gilling Gothic from the period) etc as Hammer films simply because they resemble the company's output. Indeed the internet has made unjustifiable legends out of much (the incredibly over-rated, 'Twins of Evil' springs immediately to mind), and while I still enjoy these films they belong in their pop culture place, not elevated to some ridiculous fantasy standard that they most definitely do not attain. That said, 'Shadow of the Cat' was obviously influenced by Hammer, but script wise and structurally it is ostensibly not.

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