Lady in a Cage

( 2 )

Overview

Olivia de Havilland stars in this sensationalistic shocker as Mrs. Halyard, a wealthy widow recuperating from a broken hip. Inside her mansion, she becomes trapped between floors in her elevator. She activates an emergency alarm but succeeds only in attracting the attention of the wino Jeff Corey, who steals goods from her house and sells them to a fence. The wino visits Sade Ann Sothern, a prostitute, who spreads the plight of Mrs. Hilyard's dilemma to three young hoods, Randall James Caan, Elaine Jennifer ...
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Overview

Olivia de Havilland stars in this sensationalistic shocker as Mrs. Halyard, a wealthy widow recuperating from a broken hip. Inside her mansion, she becomes trapped between floors in her elevator. She activates an emergency alarm but succeeds only in attracting the attention of the wino Jeff Corey, who steals goods from her house and sells them to a fence. The wino visits Sade Ann Sothern, a prostitute, who spreads the plight of Mrs. Hilyard's dilemma to three young hoods, Randall James Caan, Elaine Jennifer Billingsley, and Essie Rafael Campos. The trio follows the wino and the hooker back to the mansion, where they have an orgy, kill the wino, and lock Sade in a closet. Randall taunts Mrs. Hilyard and confronts her with a nasty suicide note from her son, Malcolm William Swan. Mrs. Hilyard, mustering up her strength, attempts to fight back against Randall and the two other goons.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
This mid-'60s entry into the suspense genre remains a potent and surprisingly nasty little piece of work. Some aspects of Luther Davis's screenplay have aged poorly (particularly the intermittent bits of internal narration for Olivia De Havilland's character) but he gets his message about the cost of being indifferent to your fellow man across with grim efficiency. Better yet, Lady in a Cage puts the screws to the audience when it focuses on the main character's plight: virtually the entire last half of the film is edge-of-the-seat material. Director Walter Grauman plays up the grotesque edge of the material, capturing the action with gritty, harsh black-and-white cinematography and getting a series of feverish, over-the-top performances from a well-chosen cast. De Havilland is quite sympathetic as the tormented heroine, aiding the film's claustrophobic feel by making us feel every bit of her pain. Ann Sothern and Jeff Corey supply memorably hammy support work, but it's the young James Caan who steals the show, creating a perfect portrait of soulless, sociopathic evil as the angry leader of the teen thugs. It all adds up to one potent gut-punch of a movie. Lady in a Cage may be too nasty and outlandish for some tastes but fans of vintage suspense will enjoy getting a shock from this suspense workout.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/1/1998
  • UPC: 037757263112
  • Original Release: 1964
  • Rating:

  • Source: Paramount
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Olivia de Havilland Mrs. Hilyard
Ann Sothern Sade
Jeff Corey George L. Brady Jr.
James Caan Randall
Jennifer Billingsley Elaine
Rafael Campos Essie
William Swan Malcolm Hilyard
Charles Seel Junkyard Proprietor
Scatman Crothers Proprietor's Assistant
Technical Credits
Walter E. Grauman Director
Leon Barsha Editor
Sam Comer Set Decoration/Design
Luther Davis Producer, Screenwriter
Lee Garmes Cinematographer
Paul Glass Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Gene Hibbs Makeup
Joseph Kish Set Decoration/Design
Paul K. Lerpae Special Effects
Hal Pereira Art Director
Rudolph Sternad Production Designer
Wally Westmore Makeup
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Fantastic Movie

    I watched this movie with my dad when I was just a young girl and it still sticks in my mind as one of the greatest movies ever made. I would definately recommend it to anyone looking for a thriller of this sort. It is absolutely a one-of-a-kind treasure! It's exciting and keeps you on your toes. Everything a movie should be!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Watch Olivia "Go Ape!"

    First it was Davis and Crawford then de Havilland took her turn as "(Scream) Queen For A Day", soon to be followed by Stanwyck, Bankhead, Fontaine (Olivia's sis), Page, Gordon, Lake, Bennett, Winters, Reynolds, Turner, Gardner, De Carlo, Hayworth, (I'm running out of space). Hepburn wisely chose to miss out on all the fun, opting to win three more Academy Awards instead. The critics hated 1964's "Lady in a Cage" and it was banned in England but de Havilland defended it in print and on a coast-to-coast tour. She even warned us in the poster ads: "Do Not See LADY IN A CAGE Alone!" (Could it be that owning a percentage of the film's profits provided any additional motivation to her devotion?) On a July 4th weekend, alone in the house she shares with her son, de Havilland is recovering from a broken hip. An electrical failure causes her elevator to stop between floors while she's in it, and the ringing alarm attracts a wino (Jeff Corey). Later arrivals are Ann Sothern as a plump hustler, and a trio of young hoodlums, James Caan, Rafael Campos, and Jennifer Billingsley, who ransack the house and terrorize the others. She is further shocked to discover a note from her dominated son threatening suicide unless she lets him lead his own life. As a wealthy poetess forced to confront the fact that she is a doting mother whose twisted affection for her son may portend the destruction of them both, de Havilland has to croak lines like "It's all true. I AM a monster." She is allowed a few moments of introspection and self-awareness, but the strident screenplay and the supporting roles, overdrawn and overacted by the rest of the cast, destroy the credibility de Havilland's restrained performance might have had if it were seen in a less frenetic context. And if all of the film's gore had been used more effectively to make its point--that the psychological violence individuals inflict on each other is the cause of the indifference and random brutality practiced by society at large--"Lady in a Cage" might have been a useful addition to the trapped victim and juvenile delinquent film genres. Nonetheless, "Lady in a Cage" is important for at least two reasons: first, it has notable visual style unlike the heavy Gothic expressionism of the previous films, a style which suggests the depth of visual detail which is to appear in future films of this genre. And second, it suggests the direction toward which the genre may be heading--that is, toward the very specific. This may be because the film is based on a true incident. So "Lady in a Cage" can be taken on a purely literal level as a representation of what in the 1960s seemed to be an increasing fear of the spreading violence in America. And such, the film predates "The Incident", "In Cold Blood", "The Boston Strangler", "10 Rillington Place", and most specifically, the genre-oriented "Targets." [filmfactsman]

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