“Haven’t you found anybody to put in your straight jacket yet?” “No, but I will by the time I leave.” Good luck with that! Join this episode’s Grue Crew – Joseph Perry, Chad Hunt, and Jeff Mohr – when they book a room in an old dark house and try to identify who is the cat and who is the canary in Paul Leni’s silent classic, The Cat and the Canary (1927).
Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 60 – The Cat and the Canary (1927)
Relatives of an eccentric millionaire gather in his spooky mansion on the 20th anniversary of his death for the reading of his will.IMDb
- Director: Paul Leni
- Produced by: Paul Kohner
- Featured Cast:
- Laura La Plante as Annabelle West
- Creighton Hale as Paul Jones
- Forrest Stanley as Charles Wilder
- Tully Marshall as Roger Crosby
- Gertrude Astor as Cecily
- Flora Finch as Susan
- Arthur Edmund Carewe as Harry
- Martha Mattox as Mammy Pleasant, housekeeper
- George Siegmann as the Guard
- Lucien Littlefield as Dr. Ira Lazar
- Hal Craig as Policeman
- Billy Engle as Taxi Driver
- Joe Murphy as Milkman
The Classic Era Grue Crew has a lot of fun with this founding member of the “Old Dark House” subgenre of films. Chad enjoyed viewing The Cat and the Canary with the knowledge that what later become classic tropes, were being viewed in this film for the first time by a lot of people. It is the shadows and lighting that wowed Jeff when he first saw this silent classic, but this time around, it was all about the actors, the characters, and the humor. Joseph points out how Universal’s Carl Laemmle hired Paul Leni, whose roots are in German expressionism, with the purpose of adapting the form for American audiences in The Cat and the Canary. Your Grue Crew highly recommends this movie and don’t get us started on the plastic eye!
The Decades of Horror: The Classic Era Grue Crew plan to release a new episode every other week. Hey, where else will you hear podcasts on films ranging from The Old Dark House (1932) to House on Haunted Hill (1959) to It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958)? The next episode in our very flexible schedule, chosen by Whitney Collazo, is the 1964 Hammer film, The Gorgon, directed by Terence Fisher, and starring Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and Barbara Shelley.
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To each of you from each of us, “Thank you so much for listening!”