The Uncanny (film)

The Uncanny is a 1977 anthology horror film, concerning feline revenge. The film was directed by Denis Héroux, written by Michel Parry, and stars Peter Cushing, Donald Pleasence, Ray Milland, Joan Greenwood, Donald Pilon, Samantha Eggar, and John Vernon.[2][3]

The Uncanny
Theatrical poster to The Uncanny (1977)
Directed byDenis Héroux
Produced byRené Dupont
Claude Héroux
Milton Subotsky
Written byMichael Parry
StarringPeter Cushing
Ray Milland
Donald Pleasence
Music byWilfred Josephs
CinematographyHarry Waxman
Edited byKeith Palmer
Michel Guay
Peter Weatherley
Distributed byRank Film Distributors (U.K.)
Astral Films (Canada)
Release date
26 August 1977
Running time
88 min
CountryUnited Kingdom
Budget$1.1 million[1]

Although it is similar to the horror anthologies released by Amicus Productions and could be mistaken as one, it was actually distributed by The Rank Organisation. However, the co-producer was Milton Subotsky of Amicus.[1] The film was a British-Canadian co-production shot on-location in Montreal and Senneville, Quebec, and Pinewood Studios in England.

In the UK, the film was originally given an X-rating.


In 1977, in Montreal, writer Wilbur Gray visits his publisher Frank Richards to discuss his new book about cats. Wilbur believes that felines are supernatural creatures, and that they are the devil in disguise. Wilbur tells three tales to illustrate his thoughts:

In 1912, in London, Miss Malkin is a wealthy woman who rewrites her will leaving her fortune to her cats rather than to her nephew Michael. Her maid Janet, also the mistress of Michael, steals one copy of the will from the lawyer's briefcase and tries to destroy the original copy which is kept in the safe. When Miss Malkin sees her attempt, Janet kills her. The cats avenge Miss Malkin's death.

In 1975, in the Province of Quebec, the orphan Lucy comes to live with her aunt Mrs. Blake, her husband, and her cousin Angela after the death of her parents in a plane crash. Lucy brings her only friend, the cat Wellington, but her mean cousin forces her parents to get rid of Wellington. Lucy uses her mother's book of witchcraft to avenge Wellington.

In 1936, in Hollywood, the actor Valentine De'ath replaces the blade of a fake pendulum to kill his actress wife, and give his young mistress and aspiring actress a chance. The cat of his wife avenges her death.


Montreal 1977

Hollywood 1936

London 1912

Quebec 1975


Filming started in Montreal on 16 November 1976.[1]

Peter Cushing was third choice for author Wilbur Gray.

"The Uncanny" is the fifth Milton Subotsky film in which a character has the name "Maitland" ("Mrs. Maitland" played by Renee Girard). The others are And Now the Screaming Starts! (1973) in which Guy Rolfe plays "Maitland;" Tales from the Crypt (1972) in which Ian Hendry plays "Carl Maitland;" The Skull (1965) which top-bills Peter Cushing as "Dr. Christopher Maitland;" and the earliest, The City of the Dead (aka Horror Hotel, 1960) in which Tom Naylor plays "Bill Maitland."


The film performed poorly at the box office.[1]


  1. Ed. Allan Bryce, Amicus: The Studio That Dripped Blood, Stray Cat Publishing, 2000 p 153-154
  2. The Uncanny on IMDb
  3. UNCANNY, The Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 44, Iss. 516, (Jan 1, 1977): 154.
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