|THE SHADOW OF THE CAT (director: John Gilling; screenwriter: George Baxt; cinematographer: Arthur Grant; editor: John Pomeroy; music: Mikis Theodorakis; cast: Catherine Lacey (Ella Venable), Andre Morell (Walter Venable), Freda Jackson (Clara), Andrew Crawford (Andrew, the Butler ), Barbara Shelley (Beth Venable), William Lucas (Jacob), Conrad Phillips (Michael Latimer), Alan Wheatley (Inspector Rowles); Runtime: 79; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Jon Penington; Universal-International (BHP); 1961-UK)|
by Dennis Schwartz
so-so mystery horror B-film was released
under Hammer’s pseudonym, BHP Productions. John
Gilling ("The Frightened Man"/"The Gamma
People"/"The Reptile") directs and George Bricker
screenwriter keep things average for this obscure film
except for the unusual premise.
this diverting old dark house shocker, set in a
Victorian mansion, a tame pussy cat turns ferocious when
seeking revenge against the treacherous trio who
her mistress to get her inheritance.
The cat watches its wealthy master, Ella Venable (Catherine
Lacey), slain and buried by her hubby Walter (Andre
Morell) and the family's two servants--the
butler Andrew (Andrew Crawford) and the
housekeeper Clara (Freda Jackson). When
Ella's nice niece Beth (Barbara Shelley)
visits the mansion with newspaperman
Michael Latimer (Conrad Phillips),
the killers become aware that the cat is antagonistic
to them and try to kill her. But the cat gets Andrew
to die in quicksand and frightens Clara to fall down
the staircase to her death. When the will discloses
that Beth alone will inherit the fortune, Walter
allies with relatives to eliminate Beth. But the cat
takes care of the bad relatives, and a panicky Walter
succumbs to a heart attack.
It's absurdly amusing. The film's mark of distinction is that the creepy murder scene was filmed from the P.O.V. of the cat.
REVIEWED ON 8/15/2015 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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