The Cat and the Canary
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Description du produit
Un vieil original milliardaire rédige son testament et le met sous pli en deux enveloppes cachetées à ouvrir vingt ans après sa mort. Conformément aux v ux du vieil homme, les membres de la famille se réunissent après sa disparition pour définir qui touchera l'héritage. Mais une étrange créature va bientôt elle aussi réclamer sa part...
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Even though the story is formula, this is an excellent presentation of who is included in the will and the old man dies. There a few different variances in this presentation. First the will is not to be opened till 20 years after the old man's death. And someone has tampered with the envelope the names the successor is a person named in the will is also proven to be crazy.
So the inheritor the "will" will now become the new canary being watched by all the other cats in the family. We watch as one by one it looks like they will be dispatched starting with... oh no you don't, watch the movie and find out. And of course this just enforces the suspicion that the inheritor is crazy.
Of course as usual it's always the last person you suspect, it's in an old dark house, secret passages and spooky looking eyes and hairy hands and suspects running from room to room.
Laura La Plante plays the innocent but extremely cute looking niece. Martha Mattox places sinister looking caretaker that watched over the house for 20 years (and the safe with the will). Tully Marshall plays a crusty old lawyer who gets to read the will. Creighton Hale gets to play the comic relief the thoughtful cousin and maybe a bit more.
For those of you expecting a talkie you're going to be disappointed. For the rest of us you can actually see their mouths worked and they actually are saying what is being printed. The fun part of the movie is when the characters express themselves in explicative the written cards are expressed in metacharacters (probably helps get around those ~!@#$%^ scenarios.) There is a good sound score in the background.
This is well worth adding to your silent collection and periodically viewing for missed nuances.
Although any version of this film is worth watching I suggest you look for the restored photography version.
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
Twenty years after the death of wealthy Cyrus West his relatives are summoned to his old mansion for the reading of his will. Hovering in charge of the mansion is a creepy housekeeper, rather of the ilk of Mrs. Danvers. She can suddenly cross her eyes until she is looking at her nose, certainly an original touch!Several nieces and nephews gather to hear from Cyrus's lawyer who will get the fortune. The youngest and prettiest niece, Annabelle, played by Laura la Plante, is the beneficiary but the group, locked in the old house overnight, is stalked by a mystery figure and an insane asylum escapee, known as "The Cat," finds refuge in the mansion and hides there. There is a lot of thrashing around and screaming as you can imagine.
The film is a deep sepia in tone but whether that was the intended color rather than a result of age, I don't know.The movie isn't really scary and is often funny either intentionally or otherwise but it is interesting as the corner stone of film horror. There are many artistically effective touches like the snarling black cats at the beginning, and spooky flashlight sequences. As the clock strikes midnight, when the will is read, you see the inside mechanism of the clock with the hammers striking eerily. Chairs coved with protective padding look exactly like tombstones. Not "Psycho" or "The Shining" that's for sure, the film is nevertheless interesting and fun and definitely a role model for what was to come in horror-comedy films.
Paul Leni's expressionistic directing does wonders with the story although its stage origins are apparent. Had Leni not died in 1929, I wonder what he might have done with DRACULA as early Universal publicity claimed he would direct it.
The DVD contains a great bonus of an early Harold Lloyd short, HAUNTED SPOOKS, from 1920. Consistently inventive, this film is chilling on its own terms because Lloyd lost the thumb and index finger of his right hand during the filming. He was posing for publicity photos and was holding a lighted but supposedly dud bomb. It went off. Despite his hospitalization and the obvious trauma he suffered, Lloyd was back at work on HAUNTED SPOOKS within a few weeks, wearing a flesh-colored glove on his right hand with a prosthetic thumb and finger. It's interesting to compare footage that is clearly "before and after" based on how he uses his right hand. This tragedy didn't stop Lloyd from making this film into a top comedy or from going on to be a star of feature films, enjoying a popularity that was second only to Charlie Chaplin. Now that's REAL determination!
I also like to add that it's star, Laura LaPlant is much overlooked. She was a great actress with amazing comedic timing. Unlike many of her contemporaries, well known divas like Swanson, Pickford, and Gish, her beauty is timeless. She only made about 20 films (very few for the time) before retiring to a life of leisure as the wife of Irving Asher who went on to become Head of Production at Fox.