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critics consensus

Making the most of its Karloff-Lugosi star pairing and loads of creepy atmosphere, The Black Cat is an early classic in the Universal monster movie library. Read critic reviews

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The Black Cat Photos

Movie Info

Stranded Budapest honeymooners follow a mad doctor (Bela Lugosi) to a black-lipped architect's (Boris Karloff) Art Deco manor.

Cast & Crew

Boris Karloff
Hjalmar Poelzig
Bela Lugosi
Dr. Vitus Werdegast
David Manners
Peter Alison
Lucille Lund
Karen Werdegast Poelzig
Egon Brecher
The Majordomo
Henry Armetta
Police Sergeant
Albert Conti
Police Lieutenant
Anna Duncan
Maid (uncredited)
Herman Bing
Car Steward (uncredited)
Heinz Roemheld
Original Music
John J. Mescall
Cinematographer
Ray Curtiss
Film Editor
Charles D. Hall
Art Direction
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News & Interviews for The Black Cat

Critic Reviews for The Black Cat

All Critics (35) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (31) | Rotten (4)

  • The Black Cat is a wittily self-ironising affair, mixing and matching its incongruous parts to produce something thoroughly Poe-stmodern.

    April 5, 2021 | Full Review…
  • Wildly expressionistic, the movie has nothing to do with the Poe story from which it takes its title and everything to do with Ulmer's sense of the Nazi menace.

    October 20, 2016 | Full Review…
  • A dismal hocus-pocus which seems to confuse its actors as much as it fails to frighten its audience.

    October 19, 2008 | Full Review…
  • Story is confused and confusing, and while with the aid of heavily-shadowed lighting and mausoleum-like architecture, a certain eeriness has been achieved, it's all a poor imitation of things seen before.

    September 26, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Ulmer never again had the budgetary resources granted him by Universal (at the time, Karloff and Lugosi were two of the studio's biggest stars), and he makes the most of them.

    September 26, 2007 | Full Review…
  • More foolish than horrible. The story and dialogue pile the agony on too thick to give the audience a reasonable scare.

    August 8, 2006 | Full Review…

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