The Cat and the Canary (1979 film)

The Cat and the Canary is a British mystery horror comedy film directed by Radley Metzger released in 1978. It is the fourth film adaptation of John Willard's 1922 black comedy play of the same name, following the versions from 1927, 1930 and 1939.

The Cat and the Canary
Original film poster
Directed byRadley Metzger
Produced byRichard Gordon
Written byJohn Willard (playwright)
Radley Metzger (screenwriter)
StarringHonor Blackman
Michael Callan
Edward Fox
Wendy Hiller
Olivia Hussey
Wilfred Hyde-White
Beatrix Lehmann
Carol Lynley
Daniel Massey
Peter McEnery
Music bySteven Cagan
CinematographyAlex Thomson
Edited byRoger Harrison
Distributed byGrenadier Films
Release date
  • 1978 (1978)
Running time
98 minutes


On the 20th anniversary of his death, the remaining relatives of Cyrus West (Wilfred Hyde-White) are called to his mansion to view the filmed reading of his will. Cyrus lets it be known how much he despised and loathed his kin by setting up a dogfight for the fortune and revealing that Annabelle West (Carol Lynley) is to be the sole beneficiary. However, to claim the inheritance, Annabelle must spend the night in the house with the rest of the family and be deemed sane the next morning.

A doctor from the asylum up the road, Dr Hendricks (Edward Fox), arrives and informs the guests that a homicidal maniac has escaped and is hiding out in the area. With a history of insanity in the family, a mansion replete with secret rooms and corridors, and "The Cat" murderer on the loose, the night becomes a tale of gruesome murders, suspense, and, ultimately, revelations.


Honor BlackmanSusan Sillsby
Michael CallanPaul Jones
Edward FoxDr. Hendricks
Wendy HillerAllison Crosby
Olivia HusseyCicily Young
Beatrix LehmannMrs. Pleasant
Carol LynleyAnnabelle West
Daniel MasseyHarry Blythe
Peter McEneryCharlie Wilder
Wilfrid Hyde-WhiteCyrus West


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