In Canary Bob Hope carries a straight dramatic characterization, with comedy quips and situations dropping into the plot naturally to accentuate the laughs.
Paulette Goddard gets her first co-star billing, displaying confidence and assurance in her role as the heir to the eccentric millionaire’s fortune.
To provide chills and thrills, prospective heirs to the fortune assemble at the bayou home of the deceased 10 years after his death. Will is read, leaving estate to Goddard, when spooky manipulations start from strange sources. There’s the low key lighting, eerie music, and secret passages – all utilized to fullest extent to accentuate the chiller aspect of the piece. After three murders during the night, Hope solves the mystery – but only after Goddard has been placed in constant jeopardy.
Script [from the play by John Willard] is a well-knit and workmanlike job of writing.
The Cat and the Canary
Paramount. Director Elliott Nugent; Producer Arthur Hornblow Jr; Screenplay Walter De Leon, Lynn Starling; Camera Charles Lang; Editor Archie Marshek; Music Ernst Toch;; Art Director Hans Dreier, Robert Usher
(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1939. Running time: 72 MIN.
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