The Black Cat 1934 Ages 12+

1.00PM Sun 12 May 2019 (1hr 5mins)
GOMA | Cinema B | Free

SYNOPSIS

The Black Cat will screen from an imported 35mm print.

"Based loosely on one of Edgar Allen Poe’s most disquieting tales, 1934’s The Black Cat is one of the neglected jewels in Universal Studios’s horror crown. Edgar Ulmer’s melancholy, twilight film of the confrontation between two disturbed World War I veterans, one warped by an evil faith and the other a shattered ghost of a man driven by revenge, and the young couple that becomes entangled in their twisted game, is a fable of modernity darkened with war, obsession, and madness. 

Decades after betraying his regiment during a savage battle in the war, Hjalamer Poelzig (Boris Karloff), mad architect and satanic priest, erects a nightmarish fortress of a house over the mass grave of the 10,000 men he betrayed. Dr. Vitus Werdegast (Bela Lugosi) calls it a “masterpiece of construction built on the ruins of the masterpiece of destruction.” Werdegast, one of the only survivors of the battle, returns after 15 years in a Russian prison to enact his revenge on Poelzig, who not only proved a traitor but a thief as well, having spirited away Werdegast’s wife and daughter soon after the doctor’s imprisonment. Ulmer’s starkly palatial direction ably realizes the operatic melodrama of the haunting premise, filled as it is with a dream-like collision of layers of meaning." Slant Magazine

CREDITS

35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 65 MINUTES, UNITED STATES, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR: EDGAR G. ULMER / PRODUCER: CARL LAEMMLE / SCRIPT: PETER RURIC / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JOHN MESCALL / EDITOR: ROY CURTISS / ART DIRECTOR: CHARLES D. HALL / MUSIC: HEINZ ROEMHELD / CAST: BORIS KARLOFF, BELA LUGOSI, DAVID MANNERS, JULIE BISHOP (AS JACQUELINE WELLS), EGON BRECHER / PRINT SOURCE: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, WASHINGTON / RIGHTS: UNIVERSAL PICTURES AUSTRALIA / SCREENING FORMAT: 35MM