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Lady in a Cage (1964)

Not Rated | | Drama, Horror, Thriller | 10 June 1964 (USA)
A woman trapped in a home elevator is terrorized by a group of vicious hoodlums.

Director:

Walter Grauman

Writer:

Luther Davis
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Olivia de Havilland ... Mrs. Cornelia Hilyard
James Caan ... Randall Simpson O'Connell
Jennifer Billingsley ... Elaine
Rafael Campos ... Essie
William Swan William Swan ... Malcolm Hilyard
Jeff Corey ... George L. Brady Jr. aka Repent
Ann Sothern ... Sade
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Storyline

The lady is Mrs. Hilyard, a wealthy poetess who lives in a three-story city mansion and her cage is her elevator, which stops a dozen feet short of the main floor due to an electrical failure on a July 4th weekend. She rings her outside alarm, eventually noticed by a drunken derelict, who breaks into the house, ignores her plight and helps himself to various items and alcohol. He leaves with his loot but returns a while later with a plump prostitute and three teenage hoodlums, who proceed to terrorize Mrs. Hilyard as they wreck her home. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What happens in this elevator is not for the weak - it is, perhaps, not even for the strong! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 June 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Une femme dans une cage See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Caan modelled his performance in the film after Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951). See more »

Goofs

The battery for the alarm is shown as it runs down; but later in the movie the battery works like new. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Hilyard: [slowly realizing] It's all true. I'm a monster... a monster.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening Paramount logo is done in vertical stripes to reflect the cage motif. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Rocks the Movies: The 1970s (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

A Camp Classic
4 October 2000 | by bakerjpSee all my reviews

This a great film - Olivia de Havilland is perfectly cast in the role as well-to-do old lady with perfect hair, recovering from a hip operation, and (s)mothering her vaguely effeminate son who refers to her as "Darling". Her gradual descent into insanity as she is trapped in her "cage" is chilling to watch. She goes from being an uptight fakey Joan Crawford, through to neurotic terrified Shelly Winters (her scene where she rolls her eyes around in horror is CLASSIC), until ultimately she is a crazed Bette Davis...

I loved the shot of the dead dog, and the cars whizzing by, not noticing the alarm bell ringing endlessly. The fact that the whole thing happens in daylight was a good touch. What made this film good is that I didn't know how it was going to end - it seemed just nasty enough to go all out with an amoral ending if it felt like it. No wonder if was banned in the UK when it first came out.

The inevitable comparisons to Whatever Happened to Baby Jane should be made. In some ways this is a superior film - Baby Jane always appeared a little slow and plodding, and should have been cut by about 30 minutes. Lady in A Cage is just long enough, and it kept me gripped throughout.

Forget whether or not this film is philosophy 101. It's a camp classic - and Olivia's naff poetry and observations about cities being jungles are all part of the fun. Just sit back and enjoy it.

As for James Caan - he makes a wonderful debut, which owes a LOT to Brando and Dean. He appears shirtless for a good deal of the movie, and I don't think I've ever seen a pair of tighter jeans on anyone, before or since. He's the icing that makes this movie a very fine cake.


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