6.7/10
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86 user 139 critic

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 (based on a story by), Luigi Cozzi (based on a story by) (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 ... Dr. Casoni
Carlo Alighiero Carlo Alighiero ... Dr. Calabresi
Vittorio Congia Vittorio Congia ... Righetto (cameraman)
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 ... 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:

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Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The blue car that Anna drives is a 1967 Fiat Dino Spider. In 2020, in good condition, this car could be worth $100,000 or more. See more »

Goofs

Two men fight, one throws a stool at the other and he for some reason ends up on the different side of the room. Stool disappears. See more »

Quotes

Carlo Giordani: Something fishy there.
Franco Arno: Isn't there something fishy in all our lives?
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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

Referenced in Suspiria 25th Anniversary (2001) See more »

User Reviews

Good but not excellent
8 November 2004 | by michelerealiniSee all my reviews

The second Dario Argento movie is one of his classics, although not as excellent as "L'uccello dalle piume di cristallo". Also here there's everything you expect from an Argento picture -an extremely well directed thriller, exciting shots and a very good editing.

The story is original, but at the end everything seems a little... thrown away, it seems that Dario was in a hurry to finish and the terrible truth at the end has something wasted. A journalist and a blind man investigate about a series of murders -as it happens in many Argento films. Their research focuses on a medical institute, which is developing a medicine for curing criminal instincts.

James Franciscus, the leading man, is too American and too handsome for being a credible Italian journalist. And the scene in the crypt is highly improbable -Franciscus penetrates a crypt in order to look for a necklace...

Good points are the shots -subjective shots-, in which the spectator can follow the action with the assassin eyes. Good cinematography, exciting soundtrack of Ennio Morricone and excellent presence of Karl Malden -he acts very well the role of the blind man.

If "L'uccello dalle piume di cristallo" deserves 9 out of 10, "Il gatto a nove code" deserves "only" 7 out of 10.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Italy | France | West Germany

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

26 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)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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