Blu-ray Release: The Cat and The Canary (1927)

Blu-ray Release Date: April 24, 2024
Price: Blu-ray $22.76
Studio: Eureka/MVD

Paul Leni (The Man Who Laughs) directs 1927’s The Cat and The Canary, a vitally important and influential films in the early history of American genre cinema, which perfected the “old dark house” formula and set the stage for the Universal horror cycle of the 1930s.

Twenty years after the death of millionaire Cyrus West, his surviving relatives are called together in a decaying mansion on the Hudson River. There, they gather to hear West’s lawyer Roger Crosby (Tully Marshall) read his last will and testament and discover that West has left everything to his niece Annabelle (Laura La Plante). That is, at least, on the condition that she is judged to be legally sane. As the family settles in for the evening, tensions rise when they are informed that a murderer nicknamed the Cat has escaped from a nearby asylum and is suspected to be somewhere on the grounds. Crosby soon disappears in mysterious circumstances, which proves to be just the first in a series of horrifying events that will punctuate a long, dark night of terror – during which Annabelle’s sanity will be called into question again and again.

Based upon the 1922 stage production by John Willard, The Cat and the Canary is a careful blend of horror and black comedy and stands at the apex of a cycle of films adapted from mystery plays throughout the 1920s. It later inspired James Whale’s The Old Dark House and has been remade several times – but never bettered. This Eureka Entertainment release (a part of the studio’s Masters of Cinema series) marks the film’s first time ever release on Blu-ray from a 4K restoration.

The release contains the following features:

  • Limited edition O-Card slipcase featuring new artwork by Graham Humphreys
  • 1080p HD presentation on Blu-ray from a 4K digital restoration of the original negatives supplied by MoMA
  • DTS-HD MA 5.1 score by Robert Israel; compiled, synchronised and edited by Gillian B. Anderson, based on music cue sheets compiled and issued for the original 1927 release
  • Brand new audio commentary by author Stephen Jones and author / critic Kim Newman
  • Brand new audio commentary by Kevin Lyons and Jonathan Rigby
  • Mysteries Mean Dark Corners – brand new video essay by David Cairns & Fiona Watson
  • Pamela Hutchinson on The Cat and the Canary – brand new interview with writer and film critic Pamela Hutchinson
  • Phuong Le on The Cat and the Canary – brand new interview with film critic Phuong Le
  • A Very Eccentric Man & Yeah, a Cat! – extracts from John Willard’s original play
  • Lucky Strike – Paul Leni gives a full-throated endorsement to the product that got him through filming The Cat and the Canary
  • A collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Richard Combs, Craig Ian Mann, and Imogen Sara Smith

Buy or Rent The Cat and The Canary (1927)

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.