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Cat O'Nine Tails

Cat O'Nine Tails (1971)


No Reviews Yet...

Release Date: Feb 11, 1971 Wide



liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 4,006

My Rating

Movie Info

In this flawed mystery-thriller from flamboyant horror director Dario Argento, Karl Malden portrays a blind man who joins forces with a reporter (James Franciscus) to catch a killer with an extra chromosome. Much of the action occurs at a research hospital, where the killer seeks to conceal the original crime with still more murders. Easily the least interesting of Argento's early thrillers (which include the superior L'Uccello dalle Piume di Cristallo and Quattro Mosche di Velluto Grigio), this

Mar 29, 2005

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All Critics (17) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (4) | DVD (11)

A tall and slimmer Karl Malden stands out, but even with a rooftop chase, the conclusion and revelation are abrupt.

April 18, 2012 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

if it is Argento's weakest early effort, it is only because he was still trying to find his voice, experimenting with different techniques and gradually learning just how far he could push the envelope.

June 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk


November 16, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion

Italian 'giallo' thriller by horrormeister Dario Argento.

January 17, 2008

Dario Argento giallo is the cat's meow.

July 12, 2006 Full Review Source:

...highly unlikely to appeal to anyone other than the most ardent Argento fan, and even those folks will be hard-pressed to find anything here worth embracing.

October 23, 2005 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Moderately effective, stylish early giallo from Argento

August 21, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

... through the employment of his visual technique, commonality is transformed into remarkable quality.

January 29, 2002 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Set against a backdrop of genetic research and espionage, Argento's formal obsession with allusions to seeing and sightlessness is on fierce display.

November 8, 2001 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for Cat O'Nine Tails

Dario Argento's second film is a fairly underrated Giallo film. Argento has long expressed that Cat O' Nine Tails is one of least favorite films. Yet, this is a solid piece of Italian horror cinema. A film that is thrilling, horrifying and suspenseful. As a second work, Argento would mould and sharpen his skills as a director and along with his debut, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage; Cat O' Nine Tails was just the early horrifying attempts by Argento to create memorable horror films. This is an underrated film, and though Dario Argento has directed far superior Giallo films such as Deep Red, Tenebrae and Opera, Cat O' Nine Tails is still a well crafted film. The cast do a fine job here and the plot is thrilling, suspenseful, and keeps you on the edge of your seat. Dario Argento has made a terrific Giallo film with Cat O' Nine Tails, and it doesn't deserve the hatred it has received. I have to admit that despite this not being the strongest of Dario Argento's films, this is still a must see for fans of the director. Cat O' Nine Tails has enough thrills going for it to appeal to the Argento Connoisseur. Karl Malden delivers a solid performance Cat O' Nine Tails is very well crafted Giallo film, and despite Argento's mixed feeling about his film, this, I think is nonetheless a great film with a wonderful cast, effective story, and plenty of mystery and thrills that is a signature in all of Argento's Giallo's. Everything you'd expect from a great Giallo film is here, and as an Argento fan, I very much recommend it. An underrated film that is better than what critics have claimed it to be.
December 16, 2011
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

When I first saw this I thought it was a wee bit undistinguished, much less interesting or exciting than an Argento movie should be. After watching it again I realised I couldn't have been more wrong, as this is a mystery/suspense film as they come, lacking mainly in the gore or twistedness of Argento's best loved work. The plot is nicely complex and intriguing with many suspects and much going on and it unfolds at a good pace as a blind puzzle maker, skillfully played by Karl Malden probes the mystery. The screenplay is by the ever useful Dardano Sachetti and only slips up with a few scenes that have a vaguely cheesy, Americanised feel. Also the film has intrigue in spades but not so much intensity. There are a few murders, not too gruesome, in fact some of Argento's tamest, but they have great style and work in the more intrigue driven context. There is some real fine suspense and camera work, particularly in the break in scene and the rooftop finale. Ennio Morricone provides a customary fine score, creating a good haunting and hypnotic atmosphere for the film. Altogether, this is a fine work, one that all fans of the director or Italian thrillers in general should check out.
April 14, 2011

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • The Cat With Nine Taile (Il Gatto a nove code) (DE)
  • The Cat With Nine Taile (Il Gatto a nove code) (UK)
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