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The Black Cat (1941)

Passed | | Adventure, Comedy, Horror | 2 May 1941 (USA)
Elderly Henrietta Winslow lives in an isolated mansion with her housekeeper and beloved cats. As her health fails, her greedy relatives gather in anticipation of her death.

Director:

Albert S. Rogell

Writers:

Robert Lees (screenplay), Frederic I. Rinaldo (screenplay) (as Fred Rinaldo) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Basil Rathbone ... Montague Hartley
Hugh Herbert ... Mr. Penny
Broderick Crawford ... Hubert Smith (as Brod Crawford)
Bela Lugosi ... Eduardo Vigos
Anne Gwynne ... Elaine Winslow
Gladys Cooper ... Myrna Hartley
Gale Sondergaard ... Abigail Doone
Cecilia Loftus ... Henrietta Winslow
Claire Dodd ... Margaret Gordon
John Eldredge ... Stanley Borden
Alan Ladd ... Richard Hartley
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Storyline

Greedy heirs gather to wait for the death of Henrietta Winslow. Murder, thunder claps, howling cats, gun shots, screams in the night, hidden passages -- all the proper ingredients. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Even Ladd Is Scared!


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 May 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Black Cat See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$176,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Universal ordered Alan Ladd's billing increased to take advantage of his notoriety in the current Paramount hit This Gun for Hire (1942). See more »

Quotes

Hubert Smith: [Quoting the sign at the gate] That house is doubly blest / Which to our feline friends gives rest.
Mr. Penny: Oh, poetry, huh? It's beautiful, beautiful.
Hubert Smith: That's what Mrs. Winslows says. But as kids we used to say, In her hats are many bats / For spending all her dough on cats.
See more »

Connections

Version of Tales of Terror (1962) See more »

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User Reviews

 
There's something rotten in the house of Winslow!
22 May 2012 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

The Black Cat is directed by Albert S. Rogell and written by Robert Lees and Robert Neville. It stars Basil Rathbone, Hugh Herbert, Broderick Crawford, Bela Lugosi and Gale Sondergaard. Music is by Hans J. Salter and cinematography by Stanley Cortez.

Henrietta Winslow, a cat-loving old dear, is coming to the end of her days. Tonight her parasitic family have gathered at the Winslow mansion to rub their hands with glee as Henrietta's will is read out. But.......

.....Henrietta knew that whom the black cat follows – dies!

"That house is doubly blest. Which to the feline friends gives rest"

It's hardly a classic from the old dark house murder mystery treadmill, but The Black Cat is enormous fun and gets the sub-genre staples spot on. It's a big old fashioned mansion that is host to the creepy shenanigans, complete with secret passageways, revolving booths, suits of armour and roaring fires. There's even a creepy cat crematorium annex in the grounds as well! Naturally it's a stormy night, and naturally the collection of weasels and deviants start getting bumped off one by one. Cue much shrieking, blaming, dodging and the odd red herring. The mystery element is strong, with a good reveal preceding a fiery finale, and there's some high energy antics thrown in for good measure; the latter concerns Crawford's character who jumps through armour, leaps off a balcony and constantly falls down on the floor. Cast are working on a par with the material, with the highlights being Crawford, Sondergaard (who is deliciously spooky) and Herbert (who is the Lou Costello type comedy relief).

More comedy than creeper, but a comfortable recommendation for fans of similar movies. 6.5/10


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