The Shadow of the Cat (1961) torrent download

The Shadow of the Cat


Horror / Mystery / Thriller



A house cat sees her mistress murdered by two servants under orders from her husband , and becomes ferociously bent on revenge.


John Gilling


Barbara Shelley
as Beth Venable
Conrad Phillips
as Michael Latimer
André Morell
as Walter Venable
Richard Warner
as Edgar Venable
William Lucas
as Jacob Venable

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by hitchcockthelegend 8 /10

Tabitha The Cat, Evil Demon!

The Shadow of the Cat is directed by John Gilling and written by George Baxt. It stars Conrad Phillips, Barbara Shelley, André Morell, Richard Warner, William Lucas and Andrew Crawford. Music is by Mikis Theodorakis and cinematography by Arthur Grant.

Tabitha the house cat witnesses her mistress being murdered by her scheming family and sets about enacting revenge...

Out of BHP Films, which is basically Hammer Films using an alias due to a technical legality, The Shadow of the Cat is a delightfully eerie entrant in the pantheon of Old Dark House movies.

The picture kicks off with the brutal murder of an old dear, the setting a moody mansion full of shadows, murky rooms, rickety floors, nooks and crannies, and this while Tabitha the cat watches intensely. From here we meet the roll call of family and house servants, the majority of whom are nefarious, and as the paranoia builds amongst the guilty, their reasons for dastardly doings evident, Tabitha goes about her cunning assassinations.

Of for sure it's bonkers in plotting, but Gilling (The Plague of the Zombies/The Reptile) was a very astute director, and he manages to wring much suspense and unease from the story, whilst he's not shy to play up some humour and even adds some decent shocks into the bargain. Cast are on good form, playing it just the way it should be played, and the Bray Studio surrounding areas once again prove to be a useful location for such horror shenanigans.

Aided by Grant's (The Tomb of Ligeia/The Curse of the Werewolf) beautiful black and white photography, Gilling proves masterful at atmosphere. Naturally we have the requisite thunderstorm, but it's the oblique angles and looming shadows that really fill the mood with impending dread. While the use of a stretch screen technique to portray the cat's POV (Catovision?) is a nice trick that works very effectively.

It's a hard film to get hold of, but there are decent sources available to view it (the Onyx Media International double DVD with Cat Girl is a good transfer that does justice to the photography). It's still under seen and little known due to its lack of availability. Which is a shame, because for fans of Old Dark House creepers there's good fun to be had here. 8/10

Reviewed by ADAM-53 8 /10

Here kitty, kitty...

Although supposedly made under the name of BHP Productions for contractual reasons, there is no doubt that what you are watching is a Hammer film. Everything about it reflects the Hammer trademarks of the era. The lighting, the music, the photography, the use of the exteriors at Bray (Hammer's first and most fruitful home) and the ever-present Black Park (a green lung in urban Slough that Hammer turned into everything from a Swiss mountain stream to a tropical river filled with piranha fish) - nothing is out of place. The plot is typical Grand Guignol - a rich elderly woman is murdered by her relatives for her money. They might get away with it too, except her pet cat takes exception to the plot and decides to exact revenge. While not thought-provoking by any means, the film moves confidently and swiftly along. Director John (Plague of Zombies, The Reptile) Gilling papers enough shocks over the holes in the plot to keep it interesting and the cast (led by Barbara (The Gorgon) Shelley and Andre Morell) do their jobs efficiently and entertainingly. The movie, though, belongs to Tabitha... Oh, and do you get the significance of the widow's reading of Poe's "The Raven" at the start of the film? Creepy stuff!

Reviewed by HEFILM 6 /10

Well worth finding/ needs DVD restoration

This Hammer film has a unique story while boasting the typically good to great Hammer assets of editing (which is especially well done this time) and production and of course acting. The copy I saw was a very poor dub of a dub and a good version would rate higher. I'm not sure if this was a Scope movie or not, though many of Hammer's Black and White films were and the full frame version I saw looked cropped. Originally the cat was supposed to be shown only as a shadow, this might have in the long run been more effective, or at least explained the title, though it's the shadow of guilt it still refers too. I can't think of another Hammer film quite like this as far as plot or structure. It starts with a very good longish pre-credit sequence and has typically effective music throughout. Director John Gilling is under-appreciated and this film is unique in his output.

It is fast paced, stylish and fun, actor Andre Morell does a great freak out job. It can be a problem with films where most of the characters are bad guys to keep interest, but this group sweats in fear and celebrates their own misdeeds in a way that makes them engaging. You want them to die but you also somehow sympathize with the inevitable cruel nature of their fate.

Some nice shots of cat's glowing eyes by the way as well.

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