Combustible Celluloid
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With: Laura La Plante, Creighton Hale, Forrest Stanley, Tully Marshall, Gertrude Astor, Flora Finch, Arthur Edmund Carewe, Martha Mattox, George Siegmann, Lucien Littlefield
Written by: Robert F. Hill, Alfred A. Cohn, Walter Anthony, based on a play by John Willard
Directed by: Paul Leni
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 80
Date: 09/03/1927

The Cat and the Canary (1927)

4 Stars (out of 4)

House Smarty

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Paul Leni, a German art designer who fled to Hollywood, was one of the great horror/genre filmmakers of the time. But, sadly, he died in 1929 and left only a small body of work behind (Waxworks and The Man Who Laughs are among his other well-known films). Based on a play by John Willard, Leni's The Cat and the Canary (1927) is still a deliriously entertaining haunted house film with elements of comedy and mystery. It includes a family gathering in a spooky mansion for the reading of a will, a murderer on the loose and other fun stuff. Whenever possible, Leni shoots the house with slanted, expressionist lighting for a more dreamlike effect. Laura La Plante and Creighton Hale star.

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