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It appears the health of wealthy spinster Henrietta Winslow, who lives with her pet cats and mysterious servants, is failing. Her greedy relatives descend on the isolated mansion hoping to inherit a portion of her vast fortune. Joining them is Gil Smith, an enterprising real estate broker who hopes Henrietta will sell him the property and his comic sidekick, Mr. Penny, an idiosyncratic furniture dealer who sees a treasure trove of profitable antiques in the mansion. Henrietta's doctor surprises everyone by announcing that his patient has defied the medical predictions and is currently in remission, much to the disappointment of her gathered family. Not content to wait until nature eventually takes her course, someone expedites the process by murdering the old woman with a knitting needle.
Even Ladd Is Scared!
Title: Black Cat, The
Release Date: May 02, 1941
Runtime: 70 mins
All Genres: Comedy, Horror, Mystery
Colors: Black and White
IMDB Rating: 6.1
Buried.com Rating: 7.1 - (Rate This Horror Movie at Buried.com)
Category: Horror Movies Starting With B
MPAA Rating: 15
Albert S. Rogell
Basil Rathbone ...Montague Hartley
Hugh Herbert ...Mr. Penny
Broderick Crawford ...Hubert A. Gilmore 'Gil' Smith
Bela Lugosi ...Eduardo Vivos - Gardener
Anne Gwynne ...Elaine Winslow
Gladys Cooper ...Myrna Hartley
Gale Sondergaard ...Abigail Doone
Cecilia Loftus ...Henrietta Winslow
Claire Dodd ...Margaret Gordon
John Eldredge ...Stanley Borden
Alan Ladd ...Richard Hartley
Erville Alderson ...Doctor
Harry C. Bradley ...Coroner
Jack Cheatham ...1st Moving Man
Edgar Sherrod ...Minister
Edgar Allan Poe
Frederic I. Rinaldo
Hans J. Salter
More Movie Taglines:
- Hubert Smith: Oh, then you're the guy that slugged me. Richard Hartley: Yeah, and I'll do it again any time you train down to my weight.
Mr. Penny: That house is doubly blest / Which to our feline friends gives rest. Hubert Smith: Her hats are full of bats / For spending all her dough on cats.
Hubert Smith: [driving in the rain over a bumpy road] As an antique dealer, Mr. Penny, what do you think of this road? Mr. Penny: Oh, I'd hate to meet the worms that made these holes. Whoo-hoo!
Mr. Penny: [looking at the cats on the grounds after the rainstorm] It looks like it's been raining cats and cats around here.
Myrna Hartley: [responding to a noise] What was that? Hubert Smith: Only a cat. There's always a cat someplace around here.
- Both Broderick Crawford (replacing Richard Carlson) and Basil Rathbone (replacing Paul Cavanaugh) were late casting changes. Production was delayed nearly a month to accommodate these changes and other production scheduling problems.
Universal ordered Alan Ladd's billing increased to take advantage of his notoriety in the current Paramount hit This Gun for Hire (1942).
Broderick Crawford's line "He thinks he's Sherlock Holmes" is a gag. At the time this was made, Basil Rathbone had already played in two Holmes films, "The Hound of the Baskervilles" and "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes."
Marlene Dietrich's from-the-back cameo in the film is due to her stopping by on a break from filming The Flame of New Orleans (1941) to visit her then-boyfriend, Broderick Crawford. She graciously volunteered to fill in for Claire Dodd in a non-dialog scene after the actress left the studio for the day.
Associate producer Burt Kelly was tasked with delivering both this film and "Oh, Charlie" (released as Hold That Ghost (1941)) nearly simultaneously.
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Cat, Knitting Needle, Comic Sidekick, Fortune, Thunder ...[more]
Rating: 7.1 out of 10.0 - 65 votes cast total