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Lady in a Cage
Lady in a Cage
Actors: Olivia De Havilland, James Caan, Jennifer Billingsley, Jeff Corey, Ann Sothern
Director: Walter Grauman
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2005     1hr 34min

Destroying her well-oriented world, the elevator, nine feet from the floor, becomes a torture chamber--a cage. Unable to escape, her situation becomes desperate when the emergency alarm attracts a drunken derelict (James C...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Olivia De Havilland, James Caan, Jennifer Billingsley, Jeff Corey, Ann Sothern
Director: Walter Grauman
Creators: Lee Garmes, Leon Barsha, Luther Davis
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Classics, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Paramount
Format: DVD - Black and White,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 03/29/2005
Original Release Date: 07/08/1964
Theatrical Release Date: 07/08/1964
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 34min
Screens: Black and White,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 11
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

A Past Look At A Scary Future.
Hillary | Brooklyn, New York | 07/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Walter Grauman directs star Olivia DeHavilland, as a woman who is trapped in her own home, when the power is cut on her electric elevator. She is recovering from a hip injury, and cannot reach out for help beyond screaming, and ringing an alarm hooked up the the elevator.

The story is in black and white, and this adds to the mood, like in Alfred Hitchcocks "Psycho". Sure, they could've used color for this 1964 film, but you'll see for yourself why the lack of color, matches the noir and bizarre mood here.

DeHavilland is over-dramatic, but superb too, as the "Lady" of the title, her facial expressions are so fitting of her consuming exasperation at the frustrating situation. You can feel the sweat as she swelters in the summer heat, trapped helplessly. DeHavilland also has her son Malcomb, from whom she ponders a letter while trapped. She finds out that sonny boy, whom she idolizes with a devout reverence, hates her. She agonizes over his plea "Release me from your love", leading to the great exclamation "I AM a MONSTER!"Wait, it gets even better.

As DeHavilland rings her alarm relentlessly, hoping someone will save her, she attracts the attention of an old pathetic semi-mute wino, wandering around the neighborhood. He comes into the house, ignores DeHavillands' pleas, and steals her wine cellar contents instead. He leaves, and comes back with a shady lady played by Ann Southern, who further ransacks the house. DeHavilland can't believe what's happening. That's just the start.

The nerve jangling intensity increases, upon the arrival of three beatnik punks, one geeky weirdo clownish guy, a positively filthy looking girl, and her abusive group leader boyfriend, an early role for a then 26 year old future star, James Caan. When this trio of trouble enters, the real show begins, as they let Southern and the wino know, they're in charge. All sorts of games begin, especially wild, is the psycho-sexual headgames an insidious Caan inflicts upon DeHavilland, as he enters the "cage" and starts in on her son, and the kind of mother he speculates she is. Caan is slimy, sinister and completely lacking in moral compunction, as are his two cohorts. You will watch this with a very uneasy feeling and you will be left with that feeling after viewing this as well. For a movie that was released in 1964, it is even shocking by TODAY'S standards. Way ahead of it's genre in that era, it stands up to the test of time quite well as a high quality, unique suspense thriller.

"Lady In A Cage" is a sad social commentary about isolation, cruelty, and dysfunctional sociopaths that is so far ahead of it's time, it must be seen, to be believed. The graphically gory and shocking ending, only adds to the surreal nightmarish feel of what has led up to the culmination of all the gruesome events of a horrid day. This is a definite must for anyone who wants to see a film unlike any other, and a truly shocking one in it's time, and today."
scotsladdie | 01/12/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Unpleasant yet always fascinating LADY IN A CAGE stars Olivia as a wealthy widow who's trapped in her home elevator while she's being terrorized by various street people and hoodlums. Considered shockingly violent and not very successful upon it's initial release in 1964, this movie has practically cult status among afficianados. James Caan is impressive as a young tough as is Ann Sothern in her role as a fat floozie."
Suspenseful shocker with a violent, memorable ending.
Hillary | 06/18/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Olivia de Havilland is a pampered poetess with a bad hip trapped in her private elevator during a 4th of July power outage. Her cries for help are answered by 3 brutal killers who torment her like a caged animal. The story is a fascinating character study of a spoiled woman transforming into a savage in ten sweltering hours. It is also an open social commentary on the increasing violence and carelessness of the early sixties. Like "Whatever Happened To Baby Jane," "Lady In A Cage" has a unique story, a fantastic, tortured leading lady, and an ensemble of side villains that meet surprising fates. It's better than you might have heard. Definitely recommended for horror buffs and collectors of early sixties psychological thrillers. END"
Suspenseful and underrated
Hillary | 01/29/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I remembered seeing this movie on TV when I was a kid...I think it was on one of those late-night horror movie shows. I remembered it as being one of the scariest movies I had ever seen then, and after renting it as an adult, I have to say it still packs a pretty powerful punch. Olivia DeHavilland's over-acting doesn't deter from the film's shock value. For 1964, it was a rather harsh film. Probably the most unsettling part of the movie, though, is the revelation about her son...a situation that never really resolves itself. After several viewings the message becomes clear, and may just force you to realize some harsh truths about yourself as well. The cage was a metaphor for isolation...she kept her son in a cage of sorts, and society had kept Randall and his fellow goons in a different kind of cage...all with tragic and tormenting results! Not a movie for young kids, but a movie with a much, much deeper meaning than I first realized. An underrated and underappreciated masterpiece that demands several viewings. But don't watch it alone!"