The Cat and the Canary (1978)
The original "old dark house" scenario, established in the popular play by Frank Willard about an eccentric millionaire's will triggering a series of grisly murders in his Gothic estate, is played again for laughs just as in the 1939 Bob Hope version -- albeit with a decidedly more perverse sense of humor thanks to one-time soft-porn director Radley Metzger. The potential heirs to the fortune of Cyrus West (Wilfred Hyde-White) gather in the deceased's mansion 20 years after his death (on the requisite dark and stormy night) to view the filmed reading of his will, but they are baffled to discover that lovely Annabelle West (Carol Lynley) is to be the sole beneficiary. They are further confused by Cyrus's recorded stipulation that Annabelle must spend the night in the house with the rest of the family and emerge the next morning safe and sane in order to claim the inheritance. Naturally, this turns out to be far more difficult than it sounds -- there's a history of insanity in the family, the house is replete with secret corridors and booby-traps, and police have reported an escaped murderer known as "The Cat" lurking in the vicinity. Metzger's cast is a veritable catalog of quirky behavior -- the butch/femme duo of Honor Blackman and Olivia Hussey are played as broadly as possible, and the revelation of the killer is particularly perverse -- but the PG-rated treatment is oddly reserved, regarding the proceedings with a leering "look-but-don't-touch" attitude. … More
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Critic Reviews for The Cat and the Canary
Audience Reviews for The Cat and the Canary
A really fun "spooky mansion with a lunatic on the loose" film.
Starring Pussy Galore, Juliet, The Jackal and a woman who Maggie Smith obviously stole her DNA from.
The focus pulling in this movie is incredible. A real suprise
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