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The Black Cat [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff
  • Directors: Edgar G Ulmer
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Altitude Film Distribution
  • DVD Release Date: 27 May 2013
  • Run Time: 65 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00BASJ3SG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,932 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Classic horror starring Bela Lugosi. While honeymooning in Budapest, young couple Peter (David Manners) and Joan Allison (Julie Bishop) meet Doctor Vitus Verdegast (Lugosi), who is en route to the mansion of his old 'friend', Hjalmar Poelzig (Boris Karloff). Forced to enjoy Poelzig's hospitality themselves following a bus crash, the Allisons discover that he is in fact a devil worshipper who betrayed Verdegast and thousands of their countrymen during WWI. Verdegast now wants revenge - but Poelzig pre-empts him by taking his guests prisoner, announcing his intention to turn Joan into the bride of Satan..

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Peter J. Dooley on 14 April 2008
Format: DVD
The great Bela Lugosi has a score to settle. After a car crash,Lugosi
offers to take a stranded honeymoon couple to the house of his friend,
Herr Poelzig. Lugosi has a score to settle with poelzig, as he left him
for dead in a POW camp, and then married his wife.
Poelzig tells him she is dead, but in fact she is still being held prisoner by the sadistic Poelzig,
who also wants to keep the honeymoon couple to offer as a sacrifice in one of his frequent Black Mass ceremonies.
Can Bela save them and find out the truth about his wife before it is too late?
A fine Universal Horror Classic with Lugosi on top form sparring with the equally great Boris Karloff.
Look out for John Carradine in his debut role as the pianist.
A haunting, poetic movie with a solid cast and slowly revealing story. Don't miss.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Nigel Jackson on 17 April 2009
Format: DVD
Edgar G. Ulmer's 'The Black Cat' stands out as a true high point of the 1930's Universal horror films and without doubt here we have a film to haunt and fascinate the imagination and chill the soul, with its glacial and shadowy atmospheres set in the sinister Art Deco/Bauhaus mansion of Engineer Poelzig, played with incredible presence and arresting visual impact by Boris Karloff, who has built his house on the ruins of Fort Marmarus which he commanded during the war. We are taken on a rainswept journey into the darkside of post WWI Mittel-Europa. Bela Lugosi plays his nemesis, Dr Vitus Werdegast, who once served under him and has now returned as avenging angel, seeking Kaarin his lost wife and 'thirsting for his blood' as Poelzig sonorously declares. The foils to all this obsessive darkness, doom and madness are the newlywed couple of novelist Peter Allison (David Manners) and his young wife Joan, played by the exquisite Jacqueline Wells. Many brilliant and striking scenes impress themselves from the Expressionistic appearance of starkly shadowed cats, curious use of angles, light and darkness, Poelzig's necrophiliac shrine beneath the castle where beautiful women are preserved in glass cases so that he might 'possess their beauty for ever', the fraught and intense chess-game which Werdegast and Poelzig play, the strange rites of the Black Mass which Poelzig officiates over at the rites of Lucifer held at the dark of the moon in a wonderfully designed infernal chapel.Read more ›
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 6 Aug. 2008
Format: DVD
"I go to visit an old friend," says Dr. Vitus Werdegast to Peter and Joan Alison, the young newlyweds he meets on the train moving through a rain-swept night. Their destination is the small, picturesque village of Vizhegrad that had been the site of a horrendous battle during the Great War. They board a bus and the driver tells them, "All of this country was one of the greatest battlefields of the war. Tens of thousands of men died here. The ravine down there was piled twelve deep with dead and wounded men. The little river below was swollen red, a raging torrent of blood. And that high hill yonder where Engineer Poelzig now lives was the site of Fort Marmorus. He built his home on its very foundations. Marmorus, the greatest graveyard in the world." Then the bus swerves and crashes in the driving rain, leaving the driver dead and the young wife injured, Dr. Werdegast takes them to Hjalmar Poelzig's home...his "old friend." Just who are Dr. Vitus Werdegast and Hjalmar Poelzig?

Werdegast (Bela Lugosi), says Poelzig, "is one of Hungary's greatest psychiatrists," He was captured in the Great War and thrown into a dank prison to rot for 15 years. He lost his wife, his young daughter and, as we shall see, his sanity. Yet he will be deeply touched by the newlyweds.

Poelzig (Boris Karloff), says Werdegast, is "one of Austria's greatest architects." He designed the great monolith of a home that sits atop what was Fort Marmorus. Poelzig has a muscular body and a slab of a face, with cruel, mocking eyes and a widow's peak that would make Robert Taylor cry with envy. We also will learn that he is a traitor, a murderer, a seducer, a Satanist and a talented embalmer.

The Black Cat has nothing to do with Poe's story. It's about evil, madness, love and obsession.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andrew on 12 Jan. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Awesome film! Great dvd quality! Recommended to any classic film lover! I love it so much and I think most people would! Lugosi and Karloff are great as always.
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Format: DVD
The very first pairing of Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi ensured that this was Universal's No 1 film of 1934 and 80 years on you can see why. Karloff plays a satanic worshipper who has a fetish for killing women and then keeping them preserved in the basement. Lugosi in a rare role plays the good guy who gives Karloff a visit in order to kill him after Karloff killed his wife years ago. Lugosi is paired with an American couple that he meets on his travels and with nowhere to stay they join the 'party'.

The dialogue is pretty good.Karloff: "Come, Vitus. Are we men or are we children? Of what use are all these melodramatic gestures? You say your soul was killed, that you have been dead all these years. And what of me? Did we not both die here in Marmaros 15 years ago"? for example.

The Black Cat is really about two people Karloff and Lugosi who command the screen to the point that the other characters are just a tad annoying- led by the American couple, played by David Manners and Julie Bishop. Bishop is quite forgetable especially. The sets are very daring, and Karloff's house wouldn't be out of place in the 1970s yet alone the 30s. His daunting sci fi ish haircut only adds to the futuristic take on the place.

Edgar G Ulmer directs. Though this was his final studio film after being blackballed by Hollywood over an affair. Still made many good ones after this though. As for the title, don't get confused with the 1941 movie and also don't think for a second that this film is adapted from an Edgar Allen Poe story- it isn't. Though Poes name is mentioned in the credits, to draw the audidence in one suspects. There is a black cat of which Lugosi shreiks at during the film, but other than that the cat has nothing to do with the movies plot and eventual outcome.
Read more ›
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