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The Cat and the Canary (1978)

PG | | Comedy, Mystery, Horror | 1979 (UK)
A group of potential heirs gather in a forbidding old house to learn which of them will inherit a fortune. Later, they learn that a flesh-rending maniac is loose.


Radley Metzger


Radley Metzger (screenplay), John Willard (play)




Complete credited cast:
Honor Blackman ... Susan Sillsby
Michael Callan ... Paul Jones
Edward Fox ... Hendricks
Wendy Hiller ... Allison Crosby
Olivia Hussey ... Cicily Young
Beatrix Lehmann ... Mrs. Pleasant
Carol Lynley ... Annabelle West
Daniel Massey ... Dr. Harry Blythe
Peter McEnery ... Charlie Wilder
Wilfrid Hyde-White ... Cyrus West (as Wilfrid Hyde White)


When an elderly man dies, some of his relatives gather to hear the reading of the will. When it is read by his attorney, the old man lets it be known how much he despised and loathed his worthless kin. As a result, his will is structured in such a way as to set up a dogfight between his potential heirs as to who will collect his fortune. Written by Alfred Jingle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


For God's sake, stay in your rooms and lock the doors!


Comedy | Mystery | Horror


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The 1939 version of The Cat and the Canary (1939) and The Ghost Breakers (1940) were Walt Disney's inspiration for the "Haunted Mansion" amusement park attraction which itself got adapted as a film with The Haunted Mansion (2003). See more »


When two different characters are shot there is no visible damage to them. No blood, no bullet holes. Despite both wearing light coloured tops. Apparently the budget didn't run to any special effects. See more »


Cyrus West: Good evening, leeches. Take your places. As you know, I am Cyrus West. Now first of all, let me tell you that you're all a bunch of bastards. I know, I know the people you came from. They're all a bunch of bastards. Yes, your fathers, your mothers, your uncles, your aunts, your nephews, your nieces, your sons, your daughters, not to mention a cartload of cousins. All a bunch of bastards except, of course, Mew Mew, and perhaps one or two others. Perhaps I'm the biggest bastard of you all, to ...
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Crazy Credits

The credits of the film are shown in the form of Cyrus West (Wilfrid Hyde-White) holding up a series of title cards for the crew credits, followed by silent clips of the main characters with the corresponding actors' names but no character names. See more »

Alternate Versions

The Anchor Bay DVD is the director's cut, which runs 106 minutes. See more »


Version of La voluntad del muerto (1930) See more »

User Reviews

Intriguing if talky mystery.
3 November 2002 | by gridoonSee all my reviews

If drawing-room-type murder mysteries with a comic touch are your cup of tea, then you can't go wrong with this one. It's not as good as, say, "Murder by Death" or the best Agatha Christie adaptations, and there are some overly talky sequences that exist mainly to showcase the actors and lead nowhere. But it holds your interest, and has some very good acting, especially by Wilfrid Hyde-White in a most unusual cameo. (**1/2)

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Release Date:

1979 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Cat and the Canary See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Grenadier Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Colour by) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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