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Cat and the Canary
     

The Cat and the Canary

5.0 1
Director: Paul Leni

Cast: Laura La Plante, Creighton Hale, Forrest Stanley

 

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Frank Willard's barn-storming stage melodrama Cat and the Canary was filmed four times over a fifty-year period. This silent 1927 version stars Laura LaPlante as one of several potential heirs to a huge fortune. Brought to a foreboding mansion on the 20th anniversary of their eccentric benefactor's death, the heirs must sit in silence as the lawyer (Tully

Overview

Frank Willard's barn-storming stage melodrama Cat and the Canary was filmed four times over a fifty-year period. This silent 1927 version stars Laura LaPlante as one of several potential heirs to a huge fortune. Brought to a foreboding mansion on the 20th anniversary of their eccentric benefactor's death, the heirs must sit in silence as the lawyer (Tully Marshall) recites the terms of the will. The legacy hinges upon three sealed letters, each to be opened at a strategic point in the evening. Also crucial to the inheritance is the insistence that all the heirs spend the night in the creepy old mansion. Nervous Creighton Hale appoints himself LaPlante's protector--a far from simple job, given the many hidden panels and revolving doors which festoon the house. When the lawyer is murdered, LaPlante is the principle suspect. Cat and the Canary was remade as The Cat Creeps in 1930, and under its own title in 1939 (with Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard) and 1979.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Hans J. Wollstein
Based on Frank Willard's 1922 play "that startled the world" (as Universal advertising put it), this original silent version of The Cat and the Canary became the standard by which all future haunted house comedy-thrillers would be measured. Beautifully restored and released on DVD in 1998, the film's enduring appeal is certainly not due to its silly reading-of-the-will melodramatics -- hoary even for 1927 -- but because of German director Paul Leni's flamboyant visual style and a wonderfully self-effacing sense of humor. Everything one expects to happen happens here, but Gilbert Warrenton's busy camera (decades ahead of its time), Charles D. Hall's impressive sets (some of which reappeared in Frankenstein four years later), and ripe acting from a well-chosen cast make The Cat and the Canary roaring good comedy-melodrama.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/01/2005
UPC:
0014381247626
Original Release:
1927
Rating:
NR
Source:
Image Entertainment
Region Code:
0
Time:
1:25:00

Special Features

Also includes the film short: Harold Lloyd in Haunted Spooks - black & white, 23 minutes

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Laura La Plante Annabelle West
Creighton Hale Paul Jones
Forrest Stanley Charles Wilder
Tully Marshall Roger Crosby the Lawyer
Gertrude Astor Cecily Young
Arthur Edmund Carewe Harry Blythe
Flora Finch Susan Sillsby
Martha Mattox Mammy Pleasant
Lucien Littlefield Dr. Patterson
George Siegmann Hendricks
Joe Murphy Milkman
Billy Engle Taxi Driver

Technical Credits
Paul Leni Director
Neil Brand Score Composer
Kevin Brownlow Producer
Martin G. Cohn Editor
Alfred A. Cohn Screenwriter
Charles Hall Production Designer,Set Decoration/Design
Robert F. Hill Screenwriter
Paul Kohner Producer
Lloyd Nosler Editor
Patrick Stanbury Producer
Gilbert Warrenton Cinematographer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Title; Cyrus West [5:33]
2. The Will [12:21]
3. The Clock Strikes Twelve [6:41]
4. An Evil Omen [8:34]
5. Crosby Disappears [8:02]
6. Rooms Are Ready [12:00]
7. Secret Stash [9:57]
8. The Solution [4:33]
9. Doctor's Visit [9:32]
10. To the Rescue [6:14]
11. End Credits [:23]
1. Main Title; The Inheritance [7:48]
2. Farewell, Cruel World [6:20]
3. Scary Night [8:08]

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The Cat and the Canary 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This murder mystery is great without the gore, which I happen to dislike. Heirs are gathered in a house for the reading of the will of a rich man. And someone starts killing. Great ending. Love this movies.