The Cat and the Canary

"The Cat and the Canary" is a stage play by John Willard, adapted at least four times into feature films, in 1927, 1930, 1939, and again in 1979.

Willard's stage play opened on February 7, 1922 in New York City.

The story concerns the death and inheritance of old Cyrus West, a rich eccentric who felt that his relatives "have watched my wealth as if they were cats, and I -- a canary". He decrees that his will be read twenty years after his death, at which point his relatives converge at his old family home, now a spooky old haunted mansion. The will reads that his most distant relative still bearing the name of West be sole heir provided they are legally sane. The rest of the night spent in the house calls into question the sanity of Annabelle West, a fragile young woman who is legally Cyrus West's heir.

The 1927 silent version, directed by Paul Leni, and stars Laura La Plante as Annabelle West.

The 1930 version is now presumed lost. It was made under the title "The Cat Creeps". "The Cat Creeps" was Universal's first horror film with sound and dialogue, predating its classic Universal horror films like "Frankenstein" (1931), "Dracula" (1931), and "The Invisible Man" (1933).

The 1939 version, directed by Elliott Nugent, stars Bob Hope, Paulette Goddard, and Gale Sondergaard. This version is mainly comedic. Universal, who owned the rights to the play, sold them to Paramount Pictures. The film, along with the 1940 film The Ghost Breakers, was an inspiration to Walt Disney for his Haunted Mansion attraction at Disneyland.cite web|url=|title=A special what-might-have-been version of Why For|author=Jim Hill]

The 1979 British version, written and directed by Radley Metzger, stars Honor Blackman, Michael Callan, Edward Fox, Wendy Hiller, Olivia Hussey, Wilfred Hyde-White, Beatrix Lehmann, Carol Lynley, Daniel Massey, and Peter McEnery.


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  • The Cat and the Canary —  Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différentes œuvres portant le même titre. The Cat and the Canary (en français Le Chat et le canari) est le titre de plusieurs œuvres : The Cat and the Canary, court métrage muet américain de George …   Wikipédia en Français

  • The Cat and the Canary — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel: Die Katze und der Kanarienvogel Originaltitel: The Cat and the Canary Produktionsland: Großbritannien Erscheinungsjahr: 1979 Länge: 89 Minuten Originalsprache: Englis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • cat that ate the canary — noun a) A person who appears self satisfied or smug, especially while concealing something mischievous, prohibited, or private. He talked freely and carried the smile of the cat that swallowed the canary. b) A person whose appearance and behavior …   Wiktionary

  • The Cat and the Canary —    Playwright John Willard achieved his only Broadway success with this long running (349 performances) comedy mystery thriller, which opened on 7 February 1922 at the National Theatre. Florence Eldridge played the ingénue who claims her… …   The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater

  • The Cat and the Canary —    1) Voir Le Chat et le Canari    2) Voir Le Mystère de la maison Norman    3) Voir La Volonté du mort …   Dictionnaire mondial des Films

  • The Cat and the Canary (disambiguation) — The Cat and the Canary is the title of a 1922 play by John Willard. The Cat and the Canary might also refer to:* The Cat and the Canary (1927 film), a 1927 silent film by Paul Leni. * The Cat Creeps, a 1930 sound remake of the 1927 film. * La… …   Wikipedia

  • The Cat and the Canary (1961 film) — The Cat and the Canary ( sv. Katten och kanariefågeln) is a 1961 Swedish television movie directed by Jan Molander. The film is a remake of the 1927 American silent film The Cat and the Canary . The film stars Lena Granhagen as Annabelle West,… …   Wikipedia

  • The Cat and the Canary (1927 film) — Infobox Film | name = The Cat and the Canary caption = Original 1927 quad poster director = Paul Leni producer = Paul Kohner writer = John Willard (play) Walter Anthony (titles) Alfred A. Cohn (adaptation) Robert F. Hill (adaptation) starring… …   Wikipedia

  • The Cat and the Canary (1979 film) — Infobox Film | name = The Cat and the Canary caption = DVD cover director = Radley Metzger producer = Richard Gordon writer = John Willard (play) Radley Metzger (adaptation) starring =Honor Blackman Michael Callan Edward Fox Wendy Hiller Olivia… …   Wikipedia

  • The Cat and the Canary (1939 film) — Infobox Film name = The Cat and the Canary caption = director = Elliott Nugent producer = Arthur Hornblow, Jr. writer = Walter de Leon Lynn Starling Play Author: John Willard narrator = starring = Bob Hope Paulette Goddard John Beal Douglass… …   Wikipedia

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