Continuing our inheritance movie theme but this time without sound. The Cat and the Canary has been remade several times, I’ll be talking about the 1927 silent movie version. This movie has all the elements of a good creepy thriller. Cyrus West has died and makes his relatives wait 20 years to find out who gets the money. They gather at the old homestead for the reading of the will and find out that Annabelle West (Laura La Plante), is the lucky or unlucky sole heiress. There is one stipulation, she must be declared sane before she gets a penny. If she can’t be declared sane then the money goes to the relative whose name is in a second, sealed envelope.
Before Annabelle can be examined, Roger Cosby (Tully Marshall), lawyer and executor of the will goes missing. And that’s just the start of weird things happening. Who can Annabelle trust when all the relatives want the money for themselves? Well there is sweet but kind of daft cousin Paul Jones (Creighton Hale) who seems to be more than a little enamored with her and maybe Mammy Pleasant (Martha Mattox) the creepy housekeeper who has been taking care of the house all these years.
Poor Annabelle, in addition to staying alive she also has to remain sane enough to pass the doctor’s scrutiny. This is kind of hard to do in a house with disappearing people, appearing corpses, secret passageways, not to mention an escaped lunatic. All enough to drive anyone insane.
If I had to say anything bad about this movie is that I can’t read lips and get all of the dialogue that wasn’t put on screen. But the set design, the lighting, the light comedy at all the right places made this one enjoyable little feature.
One of the many creepy scenes in The Cat and the Canary.