The Cat o' Nine Tails (Il gatto a nove code) Reviews

  • Nov 25, 2020

    Dario Argento's Cat o' Nine Tails has it's pros and cons, but it is safe to say that it is a step below much of the director's early efforts. Essentially a murder mystery, the film has a diverse and interesting cast and shows many of the techniques that Argento would become famous for, including an interesting color palette and intriguing camera angles. However, the movie is flawed in many ways. At times, awkward cross cutting is used to transition from one scene to another and there are annoying quick shots of the killer's eyeball in the midst of an otherwise creatively shot scene. Additionally, there are a handful of pointless scenes, including a baffling car chase and an equally baffling love scene that add nothing to the story. There is also plenty of puzzling dialogue that doesn't advance the story and some questionable dubbing. All in all, a mixed bag of a movie.

    Dario Argento's Cat o' Nine Tails has it's pros and cons, but it is safe to say that it is a step below much of the director's early efforts. Essentially a murder mystery, the film has a diverse and interesting cast and shows many of the techniques that Argento would become famous for, including an interesting color palette and intriguing camera angles. However, the movie is flawed in many ways. At times, awkward cross cutting is used to transition from one scene to another and there are annoying quick shots of the killer's eyeball in the midst of an otherwise creatively shot scene. Additionally, there are a handful of pointless scenes, including a baffling car chase and an equally baffling love scene that add nothing to the story. There is also plenty of puzzling dialogue that doesn't advance the story and some questionable dubbing. All in all, a mixed bag of a movie.

  • May 29, 2020

    The title and poster would suggest a very different movie than what The Cat O' Nine Tails actually is. The plot centers on a mystery at a genetics lab, so I kept expecting them to uncover some sort of genetically-altered multi-tailed experimental mutant cat. It turns out there is only an awkward throwaway reference to a cat o' nine tails, the whip, which somehow represents the clues for the murder case, and that's as far as the movie goes into the subject. The loose cat theme does allow Ennio Morricone to create a unique and unpredictable score that incorporates feline snarls. That's not the only unusual stylistic choice: the transitions between scenes are edited so that the next scene flashes a couple times before it switches as if the characters in the first scene are thinking about where they'll go next. The characters are distinctive as well. Karl Malden is solid as a calm and confident blind man named Franco, the perceptive instigator of the investigation he undertakes with James Fransicus' heroic if overbold Carlo. As they unravel the mystery (or the cat's nine tails, I guess), they encounter a number of interesting side characters, including the headstrong lab owner's daughter (Catherine Spaak) and the comical lock picker, Gigi the Loser (Ugo Fangareggi). When the mystery is finally solved and the villain revealed, Dario Argento abruptly ends his movie, ready to be done with it, even if he didn't tie up all the loose ends (of the cat o' nine tails — maybe it makes more sense than I thought!).

    The title and poster would suggest a very different movie than what The Cat O' Nine Tails actually is. The plot centers on a mystery at a genetics lab, so I kept expecting them to uncover some sort of genetically-altered multi-tailed experimental mutant cat. It turns out there is only an awkward throwaway reference to a cat o' nine tails, the whip, which somehow represents the clues for the murder case, and that's as far as the movie goes into the subject. The loose cat theme does allow Ennio Morricone to create a unique and unpredictable score that incorporates feline snarls. That's not the only unusual stylistic choice: the transitions between scenes are edited so that the next scene flashes a couple times before it switches as if the characters in the first scene are thinking about where they'll go next. The characters are distinctive as well. Karl Malden is solid as a calm and confident blind man named Franco, the perceptive instigator of the investigation he undertakes with James Fransicus' heroic if overbold Carlo. As they unravel the mystery (or the cat's nine tails, I guess), they encounter a number of interesting side characters, including the headstrong lab owner's daughter (Catherine Spaak) and the comical lock picker, Gigi the Loser (Ugo Fangareggi). When the mystery is finally solved and the villain revealed, Dario Argento abruptly ends his movie, ready to be done with it, even if he didn't tie up all the loose ends (of the cat o' nine tails — maybe it makes more sense than I thought!).

  • Jan 18, 2020

    It is not one of the best, more Hitchockian than Giallo. Low on gore, it doesn't do enough to stand out. Morricone was underused

    It is not one of the best, more Hitchockian than Giallo. Low on gore, it doesn't do enough to stand out. Morricone was underused

  • Jan 12, 2019

    THE CAT O' NINE TAILS (1971) MUST WATCH FILM (FREE ON VUDU) : SORRY FOR ALL CAPS MY KEYBOARD IS STUCK CRITICIZED BY PEOPLE, ARGENTO'S SOPHOMORE FILM IS ACTUALLY A TAUT HORROR SUSPENSER WITH GREAT ACTING. IT WAS GOOD TO SEE KARL MALDEN 'BABY DOLL' IN AN ARGENTO FILM . WHO CARES ABOUT THE NONSENSE PLOT, THE DEATHS ARE GRUESOME & COOL ! SUBLIME 1970'S ART HOUSE & INTERNATIONAL FILMS . ONE OF MY FAVORITES. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED TO ANY ONE WHO LIKES THE ITALIAN GIALLO GENRE. "WTF IS A GIALLO, EXACTLY?" I HAD TO DO SOME RESEARCH . IN THE ITALIAN LANGUAGE, GIALLO IS A BROAD TERM THAT CAN BE TRANSLATED AS "CRIME NOVEL"OR "FILM" INCLUDING ANY LITERARY GENRE INVOLVING CRIME AND MYSTERY, WITH ALL ITS SUB-GENRES SUCH AS CRIME FICTION, DETECTIVE STORY, MURDER MYSTERY ORTHRILLER-HORROR.ITALIAN GIALLO GENRE. I REALLY DIG DARIO ARGENTO !!

    THE CAT O' NINE TAILS (1971) MUST WATCH FILM (FREE ON VUDU) : SORRY FOR ALL CAPS MY KEYBOARD IS STUCK CRITICIZED BY PEOPLE, ARGENTO'S SOPHOMORE FILM IS ACTUALLY A TAUT HORROR SUSPENSER WITH GREAT ACTING. IT WAS GOOD TO SEE KARL MALDEN 'BABY DOLL' IN AN ARGENTO FILM . WHO CARES ABOUT THE NONSENSE PLOT, THE DEATHS ARE GRUESOME & COOL ! SUBLIME 1970'S ART HOUSE & INTERNATIONAL FILMS . ONE OF MY FAVORITES. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED TO ANY ONE WHO LIKES THE ITALIAN GIALLO GENRE. "WTF IS A GIALLO, EXACTLY?" I HAD TO DO SOME RESEARCH . IN THE ITALIAN LANGUAGE, GIALLO IS A BROAD TERM THAT CAN BE TRANSLATED AS "CRIME NOVEL"OR "FILM" INCLUDING ANY LITERARY GENRE INVOLVING CRIME AND MYSTERY, WITH ALL ITS SUB-GENRES SUCH AS CRIME FICTION, DETECTIVE STORY, MURDER MYSTERY ORTHRILLER-HORROR.ITALIAN GIALLO GENRE. I REALLY DIG DARIO ARGENTO !!

  • Jul 28, 2018

    It gets better with every viewing!

    It gets better with every viewing!

  • Jan 03, 2017

    Interesting murder mystery. Not Argento's best, but it being early in his career, you can see him developing his style.

    Interesting murder mystery. Not Argento's best, but it being early in his career, you can see him developing his style.

  • Aug 05, 2016

    Creepy unusual mystery with a rather abrupt dissatisfying ending despite lots of intriguing plot points, action and good cast.

    Creepy unusual mystery with a rather abrupt dissatisfying ending despite lots of intriguing plot points, action and good cast.

  • Feb 22, 2016

    When the italian master of thriller and horror works together with the italian master of movie scores, the result is an italian masterpiece of a thriller.

    When the italian master of thriller and horror works together with the italian master of movie scores, the result is an italian masterpiece of a thriller.

  • Sep 21, 2015

    As with a lot of Argento's films this is very well shot and I thought well acted with a great plot (especially the trademark Argento reveal). It is his least favourite film as it is too 'Americanised' but his excellent style still shines through here, a great film.

    As with a lot of Argento's films this is very well shot and I thought well acted with a great plot (especially the trademark Argento reveal). It is his least favourite film as it is too 'Americanised' but his excellent style still shines through here, a great film.

  • Apr 25, 2015

    People love Argento,I do not.This is in keeping with the overrated fare he kept putting out.

    People love Argento,I do not.This is in keeping with the overrated fare he kept putting out.