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Cat o' Nine Tails (1971)

Cast: James Franciscus, James Franciscus, Tom Felleghy, more...
Director: Dario Argento, Dario Argento
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Anchor Bay
Genre: Giallo
Running Time: 112 min.
Languages: English, French, Italian
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Recently Rented By scholarwarrior

In this flawed mystery-thriller from flamboyant horror director Dario Argento, Karl Malden portrays a blind man who joins forces with a reporter (James Franciscus) to catch a killer with an extra chromosome. Much of the action occurs at a research hospital, where the killer seeks to conceal the original crime with still more murders. Easily the least interesting of Argento's early thrillers (which include the superior L'Uccello dalle Piume di Cristallo and Quattro Mosche di Velluto Grigio), this film seems almost a parody of the genre at times, with preposterous coincidences and bogus Freudian analysis substituting for genuine mystery. Those familiar with the director's work may find it difficult to believe that Argento was responsible, but some undeniable stylistic touches -- such as one victim's wallpaper resembling a blood-splattered wall -- reveal that even a genius can make bad films. Ennio Morricone's soundtrack and a cast including Catherine Spaak and Pier Paolo Capponi offer little relief. The American version is missing approximately twenty minutes. ~ Robert Firsching, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

don't trust the "synopsis" by cammelltoe September 27, 2005 - 3:47 PM PDT
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
i just want to rebuke the synopsis for this movie, and reassure people who may happen upon it, or are curious about Argento's early Giallo work, that "cat of 9 tails" is worth your time. Blind Karl Malden, who is accompanied by his young niece, help a swinging journalist sort through a multitude of red herrings to uncover attempted blackmail, murder most foul, implied incest, the violence chromosome, and gay bars. all shot with Argento's dynamic sense of framing, brutal camera angles and a great Morricone score, this movie has the balls to make a glass of milk threatening--- and pulls it off! so, "the cat of nine tails" is not the revered "suspiria" or the awesome "deep red", but it doesn't necessarily have to be. It stands fine on it's own.

great film for study by MArdovino February 12, 2004 - 11:47 AM PST
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
nicely acted and well shot. Had a more of a murder mystery feel than horror. I liked the setting in Italy most of all. Argento is worth his reputation based on this.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.45)
53 Votes
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Underrated, Obscure and/or Neglected Genre Faves
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