6.7/10
8,193
76 user 119 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 (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

The scene where Giordani meets Anna Terzi at her father's house is a reference to the scene in the novel The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler where Marlowe first meets Vivian Regan at her father's house. Portions of the dialogue are verbatim. 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

Dr. Braun: [to Carlo] You know, you have very beautiful eyes.
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

Follows The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Argento's most underrated movie.
3 March 2002 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

I expected the worst from 'The Cat O'Nine Tales' because of its generally poor critical standing, but was pleasantly surprised by this intriguing and effective murder mystery. I must point out that I watched the uncut, undubbed original Italian version. I think this might be a factor in my reaction to it. I'm assuming that the American version is botched and that is the version most people have seen.

This movie isn't as flamboyant and eccentric as most of Argento's later work. The plot, though convoluted at times, actually makes sense, and there is a bit more character development that you normally expect. As much as I enjoy Argento's later surrealism he sometimes just goes too far e.g. the messy and downright silly 'Phenomena'. This movie is more controlled and conventional but still features some spectacular murders and has enough Argento touches to make it an above average giallo thriller. A very good, suspenseful mystery that holds the interest until the last (very memorable) sequence. Argento fans shouldn't overlook this one!


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