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The Cat and the Canary

Released Sep 9, 1927 1h 15m Mystery & Thriller Comedy List
93% Tomatometer 45 Reviews 75% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings
The relatives of Cyrus West gather at his estate on the 20th anniversary of his death to hear the reading of his will. Annabelle West (Laura La Plante) is named the heir to Cyrus' fortune, under the condition that she is declared sane by a doctor (Lucien Littlefield). Later in the evening, the family is informed that a dangerously insane man known at "the Cat" is on the loose in the area. When Cyrus' lawyer (Tully Marshall) is found dead, Annabelle fears she is the next target. Read More Read Less

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The Cat and the Canary

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The Cat and the Canary

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Critics Consensus

Bringing its sturdy setup thrillingly to life, The Cat and the Canary proves Paul Leni a director with a deft hand for suspenseful stories and expertly assembled ensembles.

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Critics Reviews

View All (45) Critics Reviews
Anton Bitel Little White Lies With plenty of trickery and treachery on screen to match the inventive artifice of the film itself, this is a stylised succession saga of murder and madness, and a romantic melodrama with claws. Apr 11, 2024 Full Review Mordaunt Hall New York Times It is not only in actual cinematic effects that Mr. Leni's work is telling; there are sequences in the story which reveal his absolute command of the players. Sep 29, 2022 Full Review Mae Tinee Chicago Tribune Has chills, thrills, and excitement a-plenty to offer. Sep 28, 2022 Full Review Matt Brunson Film Frenzy Director Paul Leni does everything in his power to make the story pop, from the shot selections to the title cards. Rated: 3.5/4 Apr 28, 2024 Full Review Martin Unsworth Starburst Despite the familiarity of the story, this version still surprises and has some genuinely creepy moments. Rated: 5/5 Apr 22, 2024 Full Review Dennis Harvey 48 Hills A riot of playful visual invention. Jul 18, 2023 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (62) audience reviews
Zachary V A campy, fun horror film that certainly doesn't take itself too seriously - think Scoobie Doo done as a silent picture. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/24/23 Full Review andy f After a dazzling opening few minutes, this fades into a rather tedious whodunit (or who's going to do it). There are far better silent movies from this period. Just a few years later The Old Dark House would show exactly how to do it! Rated 2 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Boneyard L This silent film is a pretty straightforward eccentric inheritance mystery whose main point of interest in the modern era is as a historical piece. The plot is straightforward and the ending is banal, but it uses some advanced film techniques for the time to accomplish a few visual special effects that work surprisingly well. Fans of the silent era will get much more mileage out of this one than general audiences. Closest comparison: It's like One Body Too Many (1944) by way of Frankenstein (1910). Setting: Mystery Plot: Inheritance Tone: Suspense Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 06/11/20 Full Review Audience Member Great acting and an interesting plot twist. The hidden figure's outreached hand is terrifying in this silent feature Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/04/23 Full Review Audience Member The best thrilling movie ever made! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/26/23 Full Review Audience Member Creaky but adorable. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/20/23 Full Review Read all reviews
The Cat and the Canary

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Cast & Crew

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Movie Info

Synopsis The relatives of Cyrus West gather at his estate on the 20th anniversary of his death to hear the reading of his will. Annabelle West (Laura La Plante) is named the heir to Cyrus' fortune, under the condition that she is declared sane by a doctor (Lucien Littlefield). Later in the evening, the family is informed that a dangerously insane man known at "the Cat" is on the loose in the area. When Cyrus' lawyer (Tully Marshall) is found dead, Annabelle fears she is the next target.
Director
Paul Leni
Production Co
Universal Pictures
Genre
Mystery & Thriller, Comedy
Release Date (Theaters)
Sep 9, 1927, Original
Release Date (Streaming)
Feb 8, 2017
Runtime
1h 15m
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