The Black Cat (1941)
There were several movies by the
name of The Black Cat. There was the 1934 version with Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff in a delicious movie that
pits them against each other in roles that carried their characters over from World War II.
The other is from 1941 with Bela
Lugosi as a care-taker who also takes care of cats on the place . . . not to mention the human cats who are lounging
around to pounch on the family matriarch's fortune when she dies.
These other felines includes
such luminaries as Gladys Cooper, Basil Rathbone, Broderick Crawford and Anne Gwynne who manage to pull off a superb job in
this fun-to-watch film!
The bloopers abound and include
the cats whose meows never quite seem to match whatever the cats are actually doing.
The Siamese kittens in Henrietta
Winslow's (Henrietta WInslow) lap at the beginning of the movie turn into one adult Siamese when she talks to Gil Smith (Broderick
And it's difficult to understand
how Elaine Winslow (Anne Gwynne) could come across Smith's friend, Mr. Penny (Hugh Herbert) and not raise an alarm at
finding a stranger going through things like a thief might!
And what's with the coroner not
only examining Mrs. Winslow's body in the Cat Crematory on the property but accepts a "tip" from Hartley (Basil Rathbone)
for bringing a finding of death by accident in stead of murder.
Plus Richard Hartley (Alan Ladd)
has a scene with Hartley (Basil Rathbone) out in the garden. He goes from facing Harley and then turns towards the camera
for the close-up.
Richard Hartley (Alan Ladd) reaches
out from behind the library drapes to the Mrs. Winslow's will out of Mr. Penny's coat pocket. Why was he hiding behind
the drapes and for how long? How could he know Mr. Penny would be sitting there?! And when he reached for the
will, how could he tell what he was doing since he couldn't see out?!
When Smith is in the cremetory,
you can see somebody's hands pushing out one of the tiles from above Smith's head.
There's a glitch in the scene when
Gale Sondergaard fixes tea for Mr. Penny. The glitch comes when Penny tastes the tea and the film cuts as he supposedly
high-tailed out of the room.
Alan Ladd decides that he's a phsycian
who can pronounce Sondergaard is dead as they take her body down from hanging on her closet door.
Mr. Hartley (Basil Rathbone) checks
a sack and finds dirt in it so Smith (Broderick Crawford) cracks that Hartley things he's Sherlock Holmes.
How could tiny and older Myrna
Hartley (Gladys Cooper) carry the larger and younger Elain Winslow (Anne Gwynne) over her shoulder?!
When Myrna caught on fire, the
next shot is of a "Myrna Dummy" in her clothes that's pulled along on wheels.