The Black Cat (1934)

After a road accident in Hungary, the American honeymooners Joan and Peter and the enigmatic Dr. Werdegast find refuge in the house of the famed architect Hjalmar Poelzig, who shares a dark past with the doctor.

Wise Jake

I found it to be a masterpiece, personally. Bizarre, sadistic, and original. The chemistry between the actors is miraculous.

9 years ago


Surprisingly really good! The atmosphere steadily builds to a chilling creep factor, the chemistry between karloff and lugosi is perfect and the directing is pretty inspired at times - many of the shots and cuts felt modern and clever. It watches like a short story reads (if that makes sense lol). Worth the watch IMO.

4 years ago


The Black Cat, "suggested by" a story by Edgar Alan Poe, has very little to do with that literary classic. The first pairing of Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff, it toys with the audience's expectations concerning those actors. Is the true villain Lugosi's intense psychologist who drugs the heroine after a car accident? Or is it Karloff's famous architect who keeps beautiful dead women (a Poe trope, at least) in his basement? The film does try to do new things with Gothic, in particular with a slick, modern house as its setting, but a lot of the ideas on show seem unfinished. Characters might not react normally to seeing something shocking, for example, and the more supernatural elements are never explained. And somehow, it's never not watchable, strange to the point of inviting cult status. The music is sometimes a bit heavy-handed, almost silent film-style, and I could do without the final punchline, but as a creepy struggle between two Universal Monsterverse stars, it has real spark.

4 years ago

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