The Black Cat (1934)

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The Black Cat (1934)
Genre: Horror
Photography: Black and White
Running Time: 69 Minutes
Country: United States
Release Date: May 7, 1934 (United States)
May 18, 1934 (New York City)
Directed by: Edgar G. Ulmer
Written by: Peter Ruric
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Starring: Boris Karloff
Bela Lugosi
Previous film: N/A
Next film: N/A

The Black Cat is a 1934 drama, horror, suspense, thriller, mystery, black and white, live action movie.  It was directed by Edgar G. Ulmer, written by Peter Ruric, edited by Ray Curtiss, filmed by John J. Mescall, musically composed by Heinz Eric Roemheld, distributed by Universal Pictures, produced by Carl Laemmle Jr., E.M. Asher, and Universal Pictures, and it starred Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi.  

Why It Rocks

  1. Great acting.  
  2. Bela Lugosi's character is the best part of this film.  He plays Doctor Vitus Werdegast.  This is one of the few movies where Lugosi is able to upstage Karloff, which didn't happen very often when they were in the same movie together.  
  3. Good soundtrack.  
  4. Even though Lugosi upstages Karloff in this movie, Karloff still does an amazing job.  He plays a devil worshipper named Hjalmar Poelzig, whose responsible for torturing Vitus and turning him insane, and whom Vitus wants revenge on.  
  5. Amazing casting.  
  6. Something unique about this movie is that neither Vitus or Poelzig are necessarily good people.  Poelzig is a devil worshipper who stole Vitus' wife, killed her, and then married Vitus' daughter, which makes it understandable why Vitus would want revenge, and Vitus goes to insane lengths to get said revenge.  
  7. The architecture of Poelzig's home is so surreal that we feel like we're in his world.  
  8. One of the best aspects of this movie is the outstanding dialogue.  Lugosi has lots of haunting monologues and he savours every single word that he's given.  

Bad Qualities

  1. While the movie is good, it has little to do with the Poe story that it's based on.  There is a Black Cat in the movie, but it isn't all that important to the plot.  


The Black Cat has an 87% critic rating and a 70% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a 3.5/5 on Letterboxd, and a 7.1/10 on the International Movie Database (IMDB).