6.7/10
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78 user 125 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:

As the body count increases, will no one escape the sting of the cat o' nine tails 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

When Carlo and Anna meet at the rooftop cafe for a drink it appears to be late afternoon. A few moments later a waiter replaces an ash tray and when the camera goes back to the couple it is almost totally nighttime. See more »

Quotes

Gigi the Loser: Nothing's easy for me. I can't even knock over a chair without getting caught.
See more »

Alternate Versions

On October 24th, 2005, the Austrian Label XT Video released a "Limited Uncut Integral-Version" DVD including the German dubbed version and the scenes which were not dubbed in a subtitled version. The DVD was released with three different covers and each version was released on 666 pieces. See more »

Connections

Featured in Profondo Delle Tenebre: Memento Mori (2015) 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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