The Cat and the Canary (1927)

Director: Paul Leni

Writers: adaptation by Robert F. Hill & Alfred A. Cohn, scenario by Alfred A. Cohn, titles by Robert Anthony, story supervision by Edward J. Montagne, from the stage play by John Willard

Stars: Laura La Plante, Creighton Hale, Forrest Stanley, Tully Marshall, Gertrude Astor, Flora Finch

Dark and mysterious antics ensue when a deceased millionaire uses his will to cause chaos and scheming among his greedy, grasping relatives.  


It’s easy to see the influence this film has had on generations of horror films and thrillers.


For the viewer who can appreciate (or tolerate) tropes that became dated long ago (i.e., the hand extending unseen from a hidden panel behind a character's head), there is much to enjoy here, and much that remains fresh even today.


The use of dissolves, superimpositions, lighting, and camera movements is often startling and even exhilarating as one can sense the activity of creative minds figuring out the grammar of film.


Paul Leni directs.



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