The Cat and the Canary (1927)
A touchstone of the early days of horror films, The Cat and the Canary is an expressionist and dreamlike vision of a woman trying to survive a night in a terrifying (and possibly poltergeisted) mansion in order to claim the property a distant relative has willed her — what’s sometimes called an “old dark house” movie. It was originally a stage play, and early cinema became a venue for many of these stories in the early twentieth century, as the popular spooky genre migrated over to the silver screen. A definitive example of the form and one of the first true haunted house movies, The Cat and the Canary is a masterpiece of light and shadow. German director Paul Leni brings a full toolbox of expressionist effects to the movie: ominous angles and superimposition, visual distortion, unusual shot composition. Its use of groundbreaking cinema technique in exploring both fright and slapstick has inspired filmmakers for almost a hundred years.
Tampa Theatre is proud to present this silent classic with a live original score by the brilliant Dr. Stephen Ball on our Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ!
Support is provided by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, Florida Council on Arts and Culture, the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, and the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners.