The Cat and the Canary (1998 DVD)
Directed by Paul Leni
Silent with English intertitles
Lightweight but entertaining haunted house comedy (weird combination, I know) from German expressionist expat Paul Leni. I haven't seen either the 2005 Image or the 2007 Kino restorations of the film, but the picture quality here is fine with all sorts of sepia shadows providing the requisite atmosphere. The action revolves around new heiress Annabelle West's attempts to fend off a host of challenges to her millions in inheritance money, the catch being that she must first maintain her sanity as giant claws clutch jewelry off her neck during her sleep and dead people fall out of hidden panels and such. Creighton Hale's bespectacled dork, Paul Jones, is a little too goofy for me as the main comic relief figure, but the other characters are mostly OK and the "grotesque" mansion itself is an eyeful with or without the howling wind in the background. Includes a great version of the original 1927 score and a Harold Lloyd short (Haunted Spooks) that I haven't seen yet since I've been too busy gallivanting about town with ladies in fur coats. (http://www.image-entertainment.com/)
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