Cat And The Canary (Silent)
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- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 41 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: March 23, 2004
- Originally Released: 1927
- Label: Alpha Video
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
Performers, Cast and Crew:
|Starring||Laura LaPlante, Creighton Hale & Lucien Littlefield|
|Performer:||Forrest Stanley, Tully Marshall & Gertrude Astor|
|Directed by||Paul Leni|
|Music by||Kevin Slick|
|Composition by||Hugo Riesenfeld|
|Cinematography by||Gilbert Warrenton|
"...Now released in a new transfer....[A] pioneering mix of spooky expressionism and light comedy, fabulous camera work, and nice turns [from the cast]..." -- Rating: A-
Description by OLDIES.com:
Among the first and very best films of the genre, The Cat And The Canary is a masterpiece of early cinematic horror. Universal Pictures, flush with success from silent horror classics The Phantom Of The Opera and The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, commissioned German director Paul Leni (Waxworks) to bring The Cat And The Canary, a hit stage play, to the screen. His work is now considered a silent film classic and the movie served as a blueprint for haunted house thrillers for decades to come. The film's ground-breaking combination of atmospheric chills and tension-breaking humor was said to have inspired director James Whale who incorporated the same elements in his legendary movies The Old Dark House and The Bride Of Frankenstein. Genre fans will appreciate the opening sequence in which gloved hands brush away spider webs to reveal the title, an effect used fifteen years later in Universal's Son Of Dracula.
- A silent film.
Movie Lovers' Ratings & Reviews:
Based on 51 ratings.
I love to watch this movie. It's full of little things that add up to a worthwhile experience. Creighton Hale's antics may seem overdone, but he still entertains. "Aunt Susan" is an annoying character that is sure to remind you of someone in your own family. Her response to the police officer's command to join him on the motorcycle is priceless. The "doctor" who shows up in the early morning hours gives a performance that looks serious but comes across as comical. The character of "Mammy Pleasant" looks like she could be a distant relative of Senator John Kerry. But the most surprising part of this movie is Laura La Plante's perfect hair.
If you've seen many silient movies (and I have), you have no doubt noticed that silent movie actresses of the 1920's came to work on bad-hair day, every day. It's typical for a silent film actress's hair to look frizzy and wind-blown, even when she's inside a studio. The hair styling techniques we've grown used to now were not available then. But Laura La Plante's hair is very different; I can only guess that she came by this naturally at a time when it was rare. Perhaps she inpired many in the hair-care industry to find a way to make everyone's hair look that good. And maybe they succeeded.
And if you watch this movie, maybe you'll notice some worthwhile (or simply amusing) things that I missed.
Not bad, but somewhat overlong and hampered by dated editing techniques. Exterior of the "haunted house" is awful, but interiors, including a long hallway lined with full-length windows and billowing curtains, are better. Called the first of its kind, there have been much better versions of the comic-old dark house theme.