6.7/10
8,922
81 user 131 critic

The Cat o' Nine Tails (1971)

Il gatto a nove code (original title)
A newspaper reporter and a retired, blind journalist try to solve a series of killings connected to a pharmaceutical company's experimental, top-secret research projects and in so doing, both become targets of the killer.

Director:

Dario Argento

Writers:

Dario Argento (based on a story by), Luigi Cozzi (based on a story by) (as Luigi Collo) | 2 more credits »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A musician is stalked and blackmailed by an unknown killer for the accidental killing of another stalker.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Michael Brandon, Mimsy Farmer, Jean-Pierre Marielle
Certificate: GP Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An American expatriate in Rome witnesses an attempted murder. He learns later that it's connected to an ongoing murder spree in the city, and decides to do his own investigation, despite being personally targeted by the killer.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Tony Musante, Suzy Kendall, Enrico Maria Salerno
Opera (1987)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young opperata is stalked by a deranged fan bent on killing the people associated with her to claim her for himself.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Cristina Marsillach, Ian Charleson, Urbano Barberini
Tenebrae (1982)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An American writer in Rome is stalked by a serial killer bent on harassing him while killing all people associated with his work on his latest book.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Anthony Franciosa, Giuliano Gemma, Christian Borromeo
Inferno (1980)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An American college student in Rome and his sister in New York investigate a series of killings in both locations where their resident addresses are the domain of two covens of witches.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Leigh McCloskey, Irene Miracle, Eleonora Giorgi
Deep Red (1975)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A jazz pianist and a wisecracking journalist are pulled into a complex web of mystery after the former witnesses the brutal murder of a psychic.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: David Hemmings, Daria Nicolodi, Gabriele Lavia
Phenomena (1985)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young girl, with an amazing ability to communicate with insects, is transferred to an exclusive Swiss boarding school, where her unusual capability might help solve a string of murders.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Jennifer Connelly, Donald Pleasence, Daria Nicolodi
Trauma (1993)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A young man tries to help a teenage European girl who escaped from a clinic hospital after witnessing the murder of her parents by a serial killer and they try to find the killer before the killer finds them.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Christopher Rydell, Asia Argento, Piper Laurie
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A young policewoman slowly goes insane while tracking down an elusive serial rapist/killer through Italy when she herself becomes a victim of the brutal man's obsession.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Asia Argento, Thomas Kretschmann, Marco Leonardi
Sleepless (2001)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An older, retired police detective and a young amateur sleuth team up to find a serial killer who's resumed a killing spree in Turin, Italy after a 17-year period.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Max von Sydow, Stefano Dionisi, Chiara Caselli
Two Evil Eyes (1990)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Two horror tales based on short stories by Edgar Allan Poe directed by two famous horror directors, George A. Romero and Dario Argento. A greedy wife kills her husband, but not completely. A sleazy reporter adopts a strange black cat.

Directors: Dario Argento, George A. Romero
Stars: Adrienne Barbeau, Harvey Keitel, Ramy Zada
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A reporter and a promiscuous young woman try to solve a series of child killings in a remote southern Italian town rife with superstition and a distrust of outsiders.

Director: Lucio Fulci
Stars: Florinda Bolkan, Barbara Bouchet, Tomas Milian
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Franciscus ... Carlo Giordani
Karl Malden ... Franco Arnò
Catherine Spaak ... Anna Terzi
Pier Paolo Capponi ... Police Supt. Spini
Horst Frank ... Dr. Braun
Rada Rassimov ... Bianca Merusi
Aldo Reggiani Aldo Reggiani ... Dr. Casoni
Carlo Alighiero Carlo Alighiero ... Dr. Calabresi
Vittorio Congia Vittorio Congia ... Righetto (cameraman)
Ugo Fangareggi Ugo Fangareggi ... Gigi the Loser
Tom Felleghy Tom Felleghy ... Dr. Esson
Emilio Marchesini Emilio Marchesini ... Dr. Mombelli
Fulvio Mingozzi Fulvio Mingozzi ... Spimi's man
Corrado Olmi Corrado Olmi ... Morsella
Pino Patti Pino Patti ... Barber
Edit

Storyline

Franco Arno is a blind man that lives with his young niece and makes a living writing crossword puzzles. One night, while walking on the street, he overhears a weird conversation between two man sitting in a car parked in front of a medical institute where genetic experiments are performed. The same night someone breaks in the institute and knocks out a guard. Arno decides to investigate with the help of reporter Carlo Giordani. Written by Giancarlo Cairella <vertigo@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Caught between the truth and a murderer's hand! See more »


Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

Italy | France | West Germany

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

21 May 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cat o' Nine Tails See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) | (Super 8-version in 2 parts)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

On one gravestone at the cemetery is written "Di Dario" = "Dario's". See more »

Goofs

When Anna is escaping from the police, at the end of the chase, we first see her get away, and then policemen come and are confused, because they lost them. Car's parked are different between two shots and so is the traffic. In the first shot the street is empty, while in the second there's traffic. See more »

Quotes

Franco Arno: Put the lid back on the coffin.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original U.S. theatrical release was cut by approximately 20 minutes. The version released by Anchor Bay is the complete 112-minute version. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
The only problem with this movie is that it's a Dario Argento film
28 October 2003 | by Maciste_BrotherSee all my reviews

When fans of Dario Argento watch his films, they expect to see certain things: violence, amazing camera-work, violence, crazy story-lines, violence towards women, etc. And that's the main problem with CAT O' NINE TAILS: it doesn't deliver those things fans of Argento expect to see. If you take Argento's name off of this film's credit, I'm sure a lot of people would consider it great but because it's sorta thrifty when it comes to the usual Argento ingredients, too many have dismissed it as being average. Most of the on-screen killings are strangulations. I'm sure many fans of Argento were disappointed with this. And most of the people killed are men, which probably also disappointed fateful Argento fans, accustomed to seeing the director murdering women in spectacular ways.

Compared to other non-Argento Gialli, CAT O' NINE TAILS is excellent. For example, it is much better than DELERIUM, SOLANGE, TORSO, THE CASE OF THE BLOODY IRIS and slew of other average or mediocre gialli out there. It's a shame this movie is a Dario Argento film because it is completely overlooked as a great giallo.

With that said, the film still has some weaknesses. It's all over the place. One minute, it's a mystery. The next, it's a racing movie. Then it suddenly becomes a romance story, etc. The lack of focus in the direction and the script is evident throughout the movie. In comparison, THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE was much more focused that this second movie in Dario's animal trilogy. The characters' motivations are also murky and muddled. The relationship between handsome Franciscus and not-so handsome Malden is fun if not really convincing. There's simply very little background information about those two characters, certainly James Franciscus' character, who is as one dimensional as humanly possible. But the acting is better than most Argento films and what's lacking in details in the characters is compensated by the excellent cast. The little girl was really good. The comedic bits, like the barber shop scene or when Franciscus decides to wear a raincoat after making love (?!?!) fell flat with a big thud. But the film's story-line IS interesting, if implausible. The feel and look of the film is dream-like and the music is excellent. Even if CAT O' NINE TAILS doesn't have as many signature Argento scenes as his other famous films, there are a couple of stand-out moments or shots peppered throughout which makes this worthwhile viewing. And there's actually an ending to this Dario Argento film.

All in all, I think CAT O' NINE TAILS is totally memorable. It is much better than the crap Argento has been making these days. And like I've said above, it is much better than most non-Argento gialli made in those days. So, the only thing wrong with this great film is that it's a Dario Argento film.


49 of 68 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 81 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed