The Black Cat

The Black Cat

Edgar G Ulmer (1934)

62min
A Certificate
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Review

Our Score
This landmark horror film of the 1930s was the first feature to double bill Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, and both were given reverential sole surname billing on the credits. It's more Aleister Crowley than the Edgar Allan Poe story it's actually based on, a triumph of bizarre Art Deco sets, innovative style, classical music and eerie tension as Satanist Karloff plays chess with doctor Lugosi for innocent lives. Lugosi has never been so sympathetic or Karloff so evil, and the heady finale, where the former flays the latter after a black mass, is incredibly potent stuff for the era. This timeless classic is a testimony to the craft of director Edgar G Ulmer before his career lurched into the quickie arena.

Cast & Crew

Hjalmar Poelzig Boris Karloff
Dr Vitus Verdegast Bela Lugosi
Peter Allison David Manners
Joan Allison Julie Bishop
Karen Lucille Lund
Majordomo Egon Brecher
Sergeant Henry Armetta
Lieutenant Albert Conti
Director Edgar G Ulmer
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteAvailable on: video and DVD