The Cat and the Canary (1927) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Cat and the Canary (1927)

The Cat and the Canary (1927)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Cat and the Canary Photos

Movie Info

Creaky, but enduring expressionistic suspenser is the classic "old dark house" movie as sundry characters converge at an ominous mansion for the reading of a will. Remade three times in the sound era, this silent version starring Laura LaPlante is considered the definitive rendering. Beware of inferior prints.

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Laura Laplante
as Annabelle West
Creighton Hale
as Paul Jones
Tully Marshall
as Roger Crosby
Forrest Stanley
as Charlie Wilder
Gertrude Astor
as Cecily Young
Flora Finch
as Susan Sillsby
Martha Mattox
as Mammy Pleasant
Lucien Littlefield
as Dr. Patterson
Joe Murphy
as Milkman
Billy Engle
as Taxi Driver
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for The Cat and the Canary

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (5)

[This] adroitly atmospheric film is virtually an ideogram of narrative suspension and impact, and it's a lovely, musty, nightened place to visit.

Full Review… | October 20, 2014
Village Voice
Top Critic

What makes Canary sing is Leni's pioneering mix of spooky expressionism and light comedy, fabulous camera work, and nice turns from Laura La Plante, Creighton Hale, and Martha Mattox.

Full Review… | October 20, 2014
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Hugely entertaining.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Like most spoofs, it wears thin fairly quickly.

Full Review… | April 26, 2001
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Plays with cinematic form and representation like few movies of any style have gotten away with under the aegis of a big Hollywood studio.

Full Review… | June 4, 2015
Antagony & Ecstasy

Audience Reviews for The Cat and the Canary


Universal's first "old dark house" movie, this film is pretty entertaining...but it isn't strictly a horror film. It is somewhat comedic actually. Stylistically, it did plenty for what would become Universal's signature style for horror over the next few decades. It's humor is one that you sort of feel like sound would be helpful, and luckily they did make a sound remake called "The Cat Creeps"...unfortunately it is a lost film. For Universal Horror and Old Dark House film fans, and silent film fans this is definitely recommended, even if it wasn't my favorite of any of the genres it happens to tick.

Ken Scheck
Ken Scheck

It was really interesting to see how many of the tropes and techniques used in this film from the 20's are still in use today. The film isn't nearly as dated as you would expect. It actually holds up pretty well.

Galen Andrews
Galen Andrews

Pretty entertaining haunted house story, with greedy relatives gathering for a reading of a will. It's an effective precursor to the Universal horror that comes to being with the advent of sound.

Stephen Huss
Stephen Huss

The Cat and the Canary Quotes

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