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The Cat O'Nine Tails
The Cat O'Nine Tails
Actors: James Franciscus, Karl Malden, Catherine Spaak
Director: Dario Argento
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
UR     2007     1hr 52min

The Classic Shocker from DARIO ARGENTO, Director of THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE and SUSPIRIAWhen a simple robbery at a research institute leads to a series of brutal murders, a blind puzzle maker (Karl Malden of A...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: James Franciscus, Karl Malden, Catherine Spaak
Director: Dario Argento
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Blue Underground
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
DVD Release Date: 09/25/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/1971
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1971
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 52min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English, French, Italian

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Movie Reviews

Decent film from the master
Dave. K | Staten Island, Ny | 10/16/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"The Cat o' Nine Tails was the 2nd feature film made by Dario Argento and in my opinion it was a bit of a letdown compared to his brilliant debut The Bird with the Crystal Plumage. Sometimes I hear people say The Cat o' Nine Tails is a pretty good film, but not for Argento. I have to disagree with that. Looking back now The Cat o' Nine Tails may not be one of Argento's strongest flicks, but he was still learning his craft.

I'm as big of an Argento fan that you'll find, but quite honestly I wasn't all that into this flick. While by no means is The Cat o' Nine Tails a bad movie, it just wasn't able to hold my interest through out the picture.

Dario Argento also wrote the script and while the concept wasn't bad nor was the execution of the script it just sort of lacks in some areas. Despite what some people say, Argento can write a good screenplay and here it wasn't so much bad as it was just not all that interesting in my opinion.

There was also a lot of good in The Cat o' Nine Tails; this is an Argento movie so one thing is clear you know visually it's gonna look really good. From a visual side this isn't Tenebre or Suspiria, but The Cat o' Nine Tails still looks good.

The POV shots are quite impressive and personally I would rate them as some of the best I have ever seen. The murder scenes aren't all that violent, but they do have a great creepy feel, which is made even better by the score done by Ennio Morricone.

Argento and Morricone made for a good team in the movies they have done together; the two together are just as good as Argento is with Goblin. With Argento's visual style and Morricone's music it adds to the tension on the kill scenes.

About 52-minutes into the picture features one of my favorite Argento kill scenes, while the F/X aren't all that great it's still a well-done and excellent creepy scene. You'll be hard pressed to find a filmmaker who can film a murder scene better than Dario Argento. They are so amazingly shot.

But the problem for me is just that the investigation just isn't that interesting at times, while it does have it's moments I just felt there weren't enough. The 112-minute running time didn't help matters as well. Simply put in my opinion The Cat o' Nine Tails just drags in some areas. For what it's worth though The Cat o' Nine Tails is still a pretty good film, but a major letdown after his brilliant debut, but Argento was still learning his craft and after this would go on a great run of some of the very best horror movies ever made.

The thing with Dario Argento is a lot of his movies you must see more than once. Anybody who knows me can tell you how much I idolize Dario Argento. But to be quite honest upon my first viewings of a lot of his work I found it average or below average. But after going back and watching them I became a die hard Argento fan. Maybe The Cat o' Nine Tails will be one of those films I come to like more with another viewing.

In closing, The Cat o' Nine Tails is a good film in the career of Dario Argento, but not everything works and we have a good film, nothing less, nothing more.
Cookies Are Sweet And So Is This Giallo Masterpiece From Dar
J. B. Hoyos | Chesapeake, VA | 09/23/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

""The Cat O' Nine Tails" is one of my favorite gialli directed by Dario Argento. It is pure giallo - a great example of the Italian Giallo genre. A psychotic steals secret documents from a research lab. Soon everyone connected with the lab is stalked and killed because they may know too much. This highly suspenseful, highly emotional giallo combines mystery with technology. Experiments are being conducted involving the XYY chromosome; anyone born with it may possess a disposition for murder.

I thought the relationship between the blind puzzle maker Franco Aldo (Karl Malden of "The Streets of San Francisco") and his daughter Lori (Cinzia De Carolis) was very touching and warmhearted. Lori has nicknamed Franco "Cookie" because cookies are sweet. They share a close relationship in which they look closely after each other. It was fun watching them help the reporter Carlo Giordano (James Franciscus of "Beneath the Planet of the Apes") solve the murders.

Blue Underground has provided a great DVD of "The Cat O' Nine Tails." The video has been perfectly restored and is presented in widescreen with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The audio is loud and clear. I've never seen the Anchor Bay presentation. However, beware of the one from Miracle Productions because it is presented in a fuzzy, full screen edited version with an extremely important murder deleted. In fact, be wary of all DVDs made my Miracle Productions; you don't know what you may be getting.

Ennio Morricone has provided a great musical score for "The Cat O` Nine Tails." It consists of several great jazz pieces with numerous flute solos. Great sets and beautiful Italian scenery also highlight this film. "The Cat O' Nine Tails" is a must have for any fan of Italian gialli and/or a fan of Dario Argento who also directed the giallo megahits "The Bird with the Crystal Plumage," "Deep Red," and "Tenebre."
An early gem for Dario Argento - a superior Giallo
D. Steigman | USA | 02/26/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a GREAT Dario Argento movie. James Franciscus & Karl Malden star in this giallo where a killer has to kill before being exposed to having a chromosome imbalance - which would cause him to lose his job. This has a ton of suspense, some gore, and the killer isnt so easily revealed. I found the story interesting and the characters to be likable and gave very strong performances. I watch this one over and over.Great film, great transfer, this to me is a great movie to see if you're new to Dario Argento Giallo movies. This one as well as Bird with the Crystal Plumage are 2 of my favorites as well as Deep Red which is my favorite of all the Giallos he did that contained graphic gore (his early stuff wasnt nearly as graphic)"
Cat O'Nine Tails
Mary F. Jocius | New Bern, NC | 05/04/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This movie is bizarre! It is well-cast and beautifully filmed, but the storyline is absoltely insane. Karl Malden is terrific."