6.7/10
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The Cat o' Nine Tails (1971)

Il gatto a nove code (original title)
A newspaper reporter and a retired, blind journalist try to solve a series of killings connected to a pharmaceutical company's experimental, top-secret research projects and in so doing, both become targets of the killer.

Director:

Dario Argento

Writers:

Dario Argento (story), Luigi Cozzi (story) (as Luigi Collo) | 2 more credits »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Franciscus ... Carlo Giordani
Karl Malden ... Franco Arnò
Catherine Spaak ... Anna Terzi
Pier Paolo Capponi ... Police Supt. Spini
Horst Frank ... Dr. Braun
Rada Rassimov ... Bianca Merusi
Aldo Reggiani Aldo Reggiani ... Dr. Casoni
Carlo Alighiero Carlo Alighiero ... Dr. Calabresi
Vittorio Congia Vittorio Congia ... Righetto (cameraman)
Ugo Fangareggi Ugo Fangareggi ... Gigi the Loser
Tom Felleghy Tom Felleghy ... Dr. Esson
Emilio Marchesini Emilio Marchesini ... Dr. Mombelli
Fulvio Mingozzi Fulvio Mingozzi ... Spimi's man
Corrado Olmi Corrado Olmi ... Morsella
Pino Patti Pino Patti ... Barber
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Storyline

Franco Arno is a blind man that lives with his young niece and makes a living writing crossword puzzles. One night, while walking on the street, he overhears a weird conversation between two man sitting in a car parked in front of a medical institute where genetic experiments are performed. The same night someone breaks in the institute and knocks out a guard. Arno decides to investigate with the help of reporter Carlo Giordani. Written by Giancarlo Cairella <vertigo@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

From the Master of Terror Who Gave You "The Bird With the Crystal Plumage" - The Picture That Out-Psyched "Psycho"! See more »


Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France | West Germany

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

21 May 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cat o' Nine Tails See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) | (Super 8-version in 2 parts)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On one gravestone at the cemetery is written "Di Dario" = "Dario's". See more »

Goofs

Early in the graveyard scene, as they are walking, the position of the actors changes between shots. In the side angle Malden has his left arm raised with his hand on Franciscus' right shoulder, in the angle showing them from the front, Malden has his arm down and Franciscus is gripping his shoulder. See more »

Quotes

Carlo Giordani: Would you like something to drink? I have some milk.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original U.S. theatrical release was cut by approximately 20 minutes. The version released by Anchor Bay is the complete 112-minute version. See more »

Connections

References Suspicion (1941) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
More twisty, less violent Argento...
12 July 2012 | by tim-764-291856See all my reviews

I saw this on The Horror Channel.

Having seen a few Dario Argento horror flicks on this channel now, I would dare say that Cat O' Nine Tails is the most restrained, at least in the gore/violence stakes, of those I've watched. There are moments of extreme but swift, clever nasty bits, though.

I guess you'll be watching this cos it is by this so-influential 'Italian Hitchcock' maestro rather than for its story, but having said that, it's decently far-fetched enough but with enough relevance to paranoia around government testing of miracle drugs and all that...

It looked to me to have been made in English, rather than dubbed, or could just that the brilliant, understated performance by Karl Malden was and everyone else were dubbed after. He plays a blind, retired journalist, who has a young orphaned girl as his visual aide and along with a current newspaper reporter,(James Franciscus) they uncover all these secrets after a man, they suspect, was pushed under a train, rather than falling and then, other murders.

I'm no expert on the horror genre but would dare say that this still has signs of the director's visual stylish daring, but is less operatic than some of his, being more workmanlike and 'American'. It still works well, but is more akin to a crime thriller than out-and-out horror, though we do get moments of terror and suspense and the odd twist in the tale.

This might be a lesser Argento (number of reviews and score on IMDb) but is still a heap better than many Hollywood affairs but somehow, doesn't have that magic ingredient that his best movies have. Quite good, but not great.


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