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The Black Cat (1981)

Black Cat (Gatto nero) (original title)
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A professor with the psychic ability to communicate with the dead uses his powers on his pet cat in order to take vengeance upon his enemies.


Lucio Fulci


Biagio Proietti (story), Edgar Allan Poe (story: "The Black Cat") | 2 more credits »



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Complete credited cast:
Patrick Magee ... Prof. Robert Miles
Mimsy Farmer ... Jill Trevers
David Warbeck ... Inspector Gorley
Al Cliver ... Sgt. Wilson
Dagmar Lassander ... Lillian Grayson
Bruno Corazzari ... Ferguson
Geoffrey Copleston Geoffrey Copleston ... Inspector Flynn
Daniela Doria ... Maureen Grayson (as Daniela Dorio)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lucio Fulci ... Doctor (scenes deleted)


Robert Miles is a psychic that can communicate with the dead. He also has the ability to control the mind of his cat (who incidentally is black). He uses the cat to take vengeance upon his enemies. A photographer who happen to be working for the local constables begins to notice cat scratches on some of the accident victims that are turning up. She pays a visit to Miles (kitty just happens to be present) and conveys her suspicions of the cat's involvement in some of the local deaths. Kitty doesn't like this at all, and it's his turn to control the mind of owner Miles to take it's vengeance out. Written by Humberto Amador

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


When you heat this cat breathing down your neck...START PRAYING!!! See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

10 February 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Black Cat See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


'The Black Cat' is the only Lucio Fulci's film not released in theaters in Spain of his best period dedicated to horror movies (1979-1984). See more »


As Ferguson throws a rock at the black cat during his drunken encounter with the feline in an alley, he misses. The next successive shot shows the rock hitting the cat as it scurries away. See more »


[Sergeant Wilson sees Jill coming out of an underground crypt]
Sergeant Wilson: Miss, let me give you some advice, don't go down there anymore.
Jill Trevers: Why not?
Sergeant Wilson: My Grandad used to tell me when I was a lad that the dead like to be left alone. They're not very hospitable.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Anchor Bay release is the complete, uncut version of the film. See more »

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User Reviews

The Cat made him do it
16 May 2006 | by sol1218See all my reviews

**SPOILERS** Creepy and atmospheric little horror flick, based on the writings of Edger Alan Poe, about a mysterious black cat who at first is being controlled by this whacked out professor as well as self-style medium Robert Miles to do his dirty work. Later, after Miles kills it the feline comes back from the dead to exact vengeance on him by having Miles brought to justice from what he did.

As the movie starts, with the credits are rolling down the screen, we see this black cat distract a man, Foreman, behind the wheel of his car as he loses control and crashes killing himself. Miles who's the cat's master is later seen in his home playing tapes of sounds that he recorded in the local cemetery trying to contact Neil, for all we know Neil is his dead son, and we hear a number of strange and eerie sounds on the tape that sound like their from a language other then English, they sound like Greek to me.

Young America photographer Jill Trevers, photographing the ancient Roman and British ruins, in and around town is at the cemetery and sees one of the crypts broken into and inside finds a recording device. That evening at the local bar in town Jill hears form a number of patrons about this nut and weirdo Prof. Miles who's known to try to communicate with the dead and hangs around at the cemetery trying to get in touch with them. Going to see Miles by using the excuse of giving him back his lost recording device Jill notices his "pet" back cat who's anything but cuddly to him but who violently attacks Miles in Jill's presence scratching him in his hand. Jill later starts to suspect that it was Miles black cat who was responsible for the death of one of the towns well known heavy drinkers, Furgerson while photographing his body for the police department after he's found dead, from a fall off a gangplank and on to a spiked fence. Jill noticed that Furgersn's hand was terribly scratched just like Miles was by his cat.

We earlier saw a young couple, Stan & Maureen, lock themselves into a storehouse by the docks. As their making out the lights go out and they finds themselves locked in with the key to the door strangely missing. At first you have no idea to just what the couple have to do with the movie but later it turns out that Maureen's mother Mrs. Grayson once had an affair with Miles and broke it off, was this was Miles' way of getting even with her! How did Miles do it? Did Miles have his black cat sneak into the storehouse grab to key, thus locking them in, and then turn off the air-conditioner; causing the two lovebirds to suffocate to death?

Miles eventually get's even with Mrs. Grayson, for turning down his advances, by having his cat cause her apartment house to be set on fire by knocking over a lit kerosene lamp into the fire place and then having her, totally engulfed in flames, jump to her death from the third floor window. Miles now confidently feeling that he achieved all his goals in getting even with those in town who rubbed him the wrong way gives the back cat a meal spiked with a strong sedative knocking it out. Taking the unconscious cat, stuffed in a sack, outside in the woods Miloes brutally hangs it. Miles should have known that the black cat had nine, not one, lives and that it would soon come back to get even with him for what he did to it with a wild and ferocious fury that even he,it's former master, couldn't even in his wildest dreams imagine or comprehend.

Hard to find but very effective killer cat movie with Patrick McGee in his last movie role playing the crazed Professor Robert Miles who together with Mimsy Farmer, as the American photographer Jill Trevers, have some of the most extreme and mind-boggling close ups ever put on film. The black cat itself is also very scary as it moves towards and stalks it's victims and you forget for a while that it's really a common house cat.You look at the killer feline as if it were an instrument of death and terror conjure up by the Devil himself straight out of hell.

The movie "Black Cat" has a very hypnotic feel to it, maybe because of it's many unusual and almost microscopic closeups, and the ending is anything but a letdown, like you would expect from a movie like it. Miles gets just what he had coming to him with the cat, as well as the local police, having him face ultimate justice for the crimes that he committed.

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