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Cat And The Canary, The


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Product Details

  • Actors: Honor Blackman, Michael Callan, Edward Fox, Wendy Hiller, Olivia Hussey
  • Directors: Radley Metzger
  • Writers: Radley Metzger, John Willard
  • Producers: Ray Corbett, Richard Gordon
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Director's Cut, Dolby, DVD-Video, HiFi Sound, NTSC, PAL, Surround Sound, THX, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • Studio: Knightscove-Ellis International
  • Release Date: Oct. 19 2004
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002TT0AK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #65,894 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Amazon.ca

Carol Lynley stars as the guileless young woman who becomes the sole heir to eccentric millionaire Wilfrid Hyde-White's fortune in this remake of the Paul Leni silent-film classic. But there's a catch: all the surviving relatives must spend the night in the old mansion. If she dies or is judged insane within the next 12 hours a new heir will be named, and, as if a house full of greedy relatives isn't enough, a homicidal maniac is on the loose, or so informs asylum director Edward Fox, making a dramatic swashbuckling entrance crashing through the library window like a British Zorro. Radley Metzger, best known for his elegant erotic dramas and racy romantic comedies, steps out of the genre that made his name since his debut film Dark Odyssey. With tongue firmly in cheek he refigures the old, dark house farce as a British comedy of manners, nicely capturing the clipped delivery and witty repartee of the drawing-room comedy at the expense of the thrills and chills that make Leni's original so memorable. It's a stylishly handsome and often clever film (the reading of the will, with brash Hyde-White hosting from beyond the grave through the magic of home movies, is an inspired highlight), but it never achieves any tension or terror. Honor Blackman, Wendy Hiller, Daniel Massey, and Olivia Hussey costar. --Sean Axmaker

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: DVD
The year is 1934. Precisely twenty years has passed since the timely death of Cyrus West. And now, since where there is a will, there's a way--It's time to celebrate!--One of our lucky guests (all of whom are related) will inherit a fortune via a reading from beyond the grave! This whimsical film is designed for an intelligent audience. Its characters are (with a few dastardly exceptions) highly likable people engaging in interesting conversations. Exclusively filmed in London, England, we soon find ourselves surrounded by a most fitting ambiance: Spooky house, too much floor space, constant downpour, a frequent roar of thunder, and the most wonderful indoor fire one could imagine! It's great--In fact perfect--For anyone who is a chicken at heart but wants desperately to enjoy a horror movie! You see, it seems the technical crew didn't quite want to really frighten us. Perhaps the intention was just to get us thinking a bit. For one thing, no one seems concerned about (what is certain to be) a shocking electric bill as the lighting is near brilliant at all times (obviously, the old and remarkable mansion wasn't refurbished with dimmer switches)! Dinner is served, the main course being "Bombay Chicken (with extra curry)". "I think this chicken died in 1914," announces one uninhibited soul. Next come the creeping shadows ("only the shadow knows"), secret passageways, escape hatches, screams in the night, a character who disappears in the middle of conversation, an old clock that starts to chime but never finishes, and yes, even a beautiful black cat.Read more ›
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "tvrepairman" on Jan. 31 2002
Format: VHS Tape
I bought this DVD in hopes it would be great but instead I find it to be just an average film. This story has been done different times and I can tell you that the absolute best version is the Bob Hope version (Cat and The Canary 1939). That film unfortunately isn't available. Another good version which is available is the silent one from around 1927 and it does a good job too. If I were you, I would try to locate those versions before ever getting this version. Don't get me wrong, this film isn't bad but it just doesn't stand up to the other 2 versions. The premise is as follows on this 1978 version: Glencliff Manor, 1934. A dark/stormy night. The family of a deceased millionaire has been summoned for the reading of his final will and testiment. An unexpected visitor arrives, the chief psychologist from the local mental hospital who is searching for a dangerous criminal escapee. Turn off the lights and you can enjoy this one but I am spoiled by the 2 far better versions so please if you can, see the 1939 Cat and The Canary with Bob Hope and or see the silent 1927 version. Those I promise will make you forget this one.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Matt Danford on June 1 2001
Format: DVD
There is something about this film I find oddly appealing. The first half is a wonderful character study while the second half falls into third rate who done it. The quality of the DVD is not what I would normally expect, some scratches, etc. but I found myself watching it several times reliving the joy it gave me many years ago when I first discovered it. It is good entertainment. Favorite line, "except the moth".
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nelson Aspen on July 21 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Carol Lynley looks like she's having a ball in this fun, creepy version of the stage play about a bunch of would-be heirs stuck spending the night in a house of horrors. If your kids are planning a slumber party, or you're in the mood for Drive-In fare, this is an entertaining choice for your movie viewing!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 24 reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
At Last: A Superb and Fun Chiller For the Faint of Heart!! Oct. 24 2000
By talkytina - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
The year is 1934. Precisely twenty years has passed since the timely death of Cyrus West. And now, since where there is a will, there's a way--It's time to celebrate!--One of our lucky guests (all of whom are related) will inherit a fortune via a reading from beyond the grave! This whimsical film is designed for an intelligent audience. Its characters are (with a few dastardly exceptions) highly likable people engaging in interesting conversations. Exclusively filmed in London, England, we soon find ourselves surrounded by a most fitting ambiance: Spooky house, too much floor space, constant downpour, a frequent roar of thunder, and the most wonderful indoor fire one could imagine! It's great--In fact perfect--For anyone who is a chicken at heart but wants desperately to enjoy a horror movie! You see, it seems the technical crew didn't quite want to really frighten us. Perhaps the intention was just to get us thinking a bit. For one thing, no one seems concerned about (what is certain to be) a shocking electric bill as the lighting is near brilliant at all times (obviously, the old and remarkable mansion wasn't refurbished with dimmer switches)! Dinner is served, the main course being "Bombay Chicken (with extra curry)". "I think this chicken died in 1914," announces one uninhibited soul. Next come the creeping shadows ("only the shadow knows"), secret passageways, escape hatches, screams in the night, a character who disappears in the middle of conversation, an old clock that starts to chime but never finishes, and yes, even a beautiful black cat. Enter (speaking of beauty) actress Olivia Hussey ("Cicily Young") who proves she is equally splendid with make-up as she is without (for suitable comparison, please see her in the notorious "Black Christmas" which is most definitely NOT for the faint of heart). Olivia does it a lot with her eyes not to mention a very appropriate and low cut red dress. At one point, left in the bedroom by herself a bit too long, "Cicily" remarks (upon her roommates' eventual return), "Where have you been?"; Roommate: "Not far."; Cicily: "Being alone in this place gives me the double creeps." Also joining the party are a host of charming characters who are dressed quite stiffly in formal attire consistent with the time period. There's "Harry", a naturally likable chap; The wrinkly "Mrs. Pleasant"; Mrs. Crosby (full of stately mannerisms); The lovely "Annabelle" (wrinkle free); "Susan", outspoken, and in need of a large mole being removed from the left side of her face); And "Paul", a fine gentleman but also Annabelle's "kissin' cousin". There's also a surprise guest from "down the way" who comes barging on the scene to announce (in Paul Revere fashion), "There's an escaped homicidal maniac on the loose who has escaped from a home for the criminally insane!" . . . "We're just up the road," he adds. Furthermore, he always tries to get in A HOUSE whenever he escapes! Then he likes to hide! "I'm asking everyone in the area to lock themselves in until morning," adds this bearer of "good tidings". This provokes quite a reaction among the genetically predispositioned (mental illness happens to run in the family) ("Remember: Cream first, and coffee later"). A couple of gems: "I don't know why I should be glum"; "Well, I wasn't mad when I came here, but I certainly will be soon!" Get a grip! The relatives can all take comfort in knowing that Mr. West knows something they don't! None of us thought it would turn into this type of evening, but not to worry: All of the jolts are left in Dr. Frankenstein's laboratory.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Fun adaptation of classic stage thriller! July 21 2003
By Nelson Aspen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: VHS Tape
Carol Lynley looks like she's having a ball in this fun, creepy version of the stage play about a bunch of would-be heirs stuck spending the night in a house of horrors. If your kids are planning a slumber party, or you're in the mood for Drive-In fare, this is an entertaining choice for your movie viewing!
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Oddly appealling June 1 2001
By Matt Danford - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There is something about this film I find oddly appealing. The first half is a wonderful character study while the second half falls into third rate who done it. The quality of the DVD is not what I would normally expect, some scratches, etc. but I found myself watching it several times reliving the joy it gave me many years ago when I first discovered it. It is good entertainment. Favorite line, "except the moth".
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
good mystery March 13 2010
By Stephen G. Hartman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD-R Verified Purchase
with the cast of stars, this sound remake of a silent mystery is worth viewing, just to sit back and
play who's who.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Entertaining old fashioned melodrama Oct. 23 2006
By blondeguy10 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Its interesting when watching some of these old movies from the 60's, 70's and even to a certain extent from the 80's to observe how film making techniques and acting styles change over the years. Given today's penchant for much more gruesome thrillers, this film from the 70's (itself a remake) is rather tame. It's a stylish and well acted tale of a family gathered together for the reading of a will ("Leeches All") and we all know that before morning maybe one or more will be dead.

Its quite old fashioned and melodramatic in places and the cast of stalwarts all look like they are having a blast and each has a 'chewing the scenery' moment. Whatever happened to Carol Lynley? she was certainly talented and her 'english' accent is not bad at all.


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