What's new
Signup for GameFly to rent the newest 4k UHD movies!

Blu-ray Review A Few Words About A few words about...™ - The Cat and the Canary (1927) -- in Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

Archivist
Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 8, 1999
Messages
18,555
Real Name
Robert Harris
Paul Leni's original silent version of The Cat and the Canary, starring Laura La Plante is a beautifully produced Universal horror film that will lead into those more famous examples that came a few years hence. Beyond the most obvious, think James Whale's The Old Dark House.

With film elements, inclusive of OCN preserved by The Museum of Modern Art, and a score based upon the original by Robert Israel, Eureka's new Blu-ray should find a place in the libraries of both silent film aficionados as well as those new to earlier cinema.

The imagery is lovely, with a proper grain structure and tints that make the new Blu-ray appear much akin to an original 35mm print. We're quite fortunate that the film has survived, and been restored.

A quality package of an important silent film.

Image – 9

Audio – 10 (DTS-HD MA 5.1)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Plays nicely with projectors - Yes

Upgrade from DVD - Definitely

Worth your attention - 10

Slipcover rating - n/a

Highly Recommended

RAH




Thank you for supporting HTF when you preorder using the link below. As an Amazon Associate HTF earns from qualifying purchases. If you are using an adblocker you will not see link.

https://www.amazon.com/The-Cat-and-...82-20&linkCode=ogi&th=1&psc=1&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Please support HTF by using one of these affiliate links when considering a purchase.

richardburton84

Supporting Actor
Joined
Sep 4, 2011
Messages
960
Real Name
Jack
We're quite fortunate that the film has survived, and been restored.

It’s a little bit of a pity the same can’t be said for the sound version except for a few brief fragments (for the record, I’m referring to The Cat Creeps, not the Bob Hope version). Now I have no idea if would have been anywhere near as good as the silent version (probably not), but it would have made an interesting extra if it survived.
 

Robert Harris

Archivist
Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 8, 1999
Messages
18,555
Real Name
Robert Harris
It’s a little bit of a pity the same can’t be said for the sound version except for a few brief fragments (for the record, I’m referring to The Cat Creeps, not the Bob Hope version). Now I have no idea if would have been anywhere near as good as the silent version (probably not), but it would have made an interesting extra if it survived.
Apparently the Vitaphone discs survive.
 

Robert Crawford

Crawdaddy
Moderator
Patron
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
68,138
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
I’m watching my Blu-ray this weekend.
A big improvement video presentation-wise over the 10-09-07 DVD which I watched a couple of years ago. This 2024 Blu-ray I viewed with the Robert Israel score but I need to listen to the two different audio commentaries on the Blu-ray. I'll try to listen to those commentaries during my next viewing of this classic silent film. Furthermore, I need to watch the 1939 film version starring Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard. I'll try to watch the 2020 Kino Blu-ray today or tomorrow with that film version.

1713175691975.png
1713175792274.png


1713175466360.png
 

Robert Harris

Archivist
Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 8, 1999
Messages
18,555
Real Name
Robert Harris
A big improvement video presentation-wise over the 10-09-07 DVD which I watched a couple of years ago. This 2024 Blu-ray I viewed with the Robert Israel score but I need to listen to the two different audio commentaries on the Blu-ray. I'll try to listen to those commentaries during my next viewing of this classic silent film. Furthermore, I need to watch the 1939 film version starring Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard. I'll try to watch the 2020 Kino Blu-ray today or tomorrow with that film version.

View attachment 219705 View attachment 219706

View attachment 219704
Why the need to contrast and compare?

Bob Hope can never be as funny as Creighton Hale. His comedic chops in Yankee Doodle Dandy, Sergeant York and Dive Bomber will forever set him apart from the pack.

Hope could never compete, which is why he spent decades hosting down and out award shows.
 

Robert Crawford

Crawdaddy
Moderator
Patron
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
68,138
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
Why the need to contrast and compare?

Bob Hope can never be as funny as Creighton Hale. His comedic chops in Yankee Doodle Dandy, Sergeant York and Dive Bomber will forever set him apart from the pack.

Hope could never compete, which is why he spent decades hosting down and out award shows.
Because it’s been decades since I last watched the Hope movie and I don’t have much memory of it.
 

Paul Penna

Screenwriter
Joined
Aug 22, 2002
Messages
1,243
Real Name
Paul
Why the need to contrast and compare?

Bob Hope can never be as funny as Creighton Hale. His comedic chops in Yankee Doodle Dandy, Sergeant York and Dive Bomber will forever set him apart from the pack.

Hope could never compete, which is why he spent decades hosting down and out award shows.

Because it’s been decades since I last watched the Hope movie and I don’t have much memory of it.
Spoiler alert: Bob Hope is actually funnier than Creighton Hale.
 

JoeDoakes

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2009
Messages
3,471
Real Name
Ray
A big improvement video presentation-wise over the 10-09-07 DVD which I watched a couple of years ago. This 2024 Blu-ray I viewed with the Robert Israel score but I need to listen to the two different audio commentaries on the Blu-ray. I'll try to listen to those commentaries during my next viewing of this classic silent film. Furthermore, I need to watch the 1939 film version starring Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard. I'll try to watch the 2020 Kino Blu-ray today or tomorrow with that film version.

View attachment 219705 View attachment 219706

View attachment 219704
I find it interesting that, following the success this film had, Paramount rebooted an even creakier old dark house story (that had first been brought to screen in 1914 with HB Warner! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ghost_Breakers), and managed to out do it in both chills and comedy. Ghost Breakers also has a very notable appearance by the great Noble Johnson as The Zombie!
 

Robert Harris

Archivist
Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 8, 1999
Messages
18,555
Real Name
Robert Harris
I find it interesting that, following the success this film had, Paramount rebooted an even creakier old dark house story (that had first been brought to screen in 1914 with HB Warner! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ghost_Breakers), and managed to out do it in both chills and comedy. Ghost Breakers also has a very notable appearance by the great Noble Johnson as The Zombie!
Might be a good idea to explain who Mr. Johnson was - for the uninitiated.
 

JoeDoakes

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2009
Messages
3,471
Real Name
Ray
Might be a good idea to explain who Mr. Johnson was - for the uninitiated.
I am sure that I could express this better, but Mr. Johnson was an early black silent film maker who moved into acting. His sound era acting parts often did not have lines, but he was always memorable. Moreover, at a time when many supporting actors, white or black, were not credited, he often was. For myself, I found him particularly memorable as Ivan in Most Dangerous Game, the Native Chief in King Kong, the Nubian in The Mummy, Ram Singh in Lives of a Bengal Lancer, Chief Red Shirt in She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, and, of course, The Zombie in Ghost Breakers Over the course of his career, he worked with directors like deMille, Capra, and Ford and actors like John Wayne, Bing Crosby, Gary Cooper and Ronald Coleman. A really remarkable story. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_Johnson
 

Robert Harris

Archivist
Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 8, 1999
Messages
18,555
Real Name
Robert Harris
When you look into the careers of black actors who worked in Hollywood pre-1950s and ‘60s, there aren’t many who made it into the major credit blocks.

Early on there was Paul Robeson, an extraordinary actor and singer, whose career was destroyed by his political views.

With initial appearances beginning in 1941, my friend Woody Strode, who will be known to readers here, working with some of the greatest directors and actors, inclusive of becoming part of the John Ford family.

If one wishes to be precise, Mr. Strode was black/Native American.

An extraordinary presence.

Beyond Mr. Poitier, who first appeared as an extra in 1947, there was Dorothy Dandridge, Juanita Moore, Lena Horne…

Too many were typecast - maids and butlers.

As to their names, how many can identify these actors - beyond the likes of Hattie McDaniel and Butterfly MacQueen. How many can readily identify Rex Ingram or James Baskett (no thanks to Disney) or Canada Lee or Fredi Washington?. We won’t even try for Oscar Micheuex.

Standing down from my soapbox.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Sign up for our newsletter

and receive essential news, curated deals, and much more







You will only receive emails from us. We will never sell or distribute your email address to third party companies at any time.

Latest Articles

Forum statistics

Threads
357,277
Messages
5,134,498
Members
144,340
Latest member
Phoneman66
Recent bookmarks
0
Top