Cherished by many as the finest Universal horror film of the 1930s, this fantastical fever dream set in a futuristic Bauhaus-style mansion was the first movie to pair Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. The film’s director, no slouch in the cult department himself, is Austrian expat Edgar G. Ulmer, whose Detour, a legendary low-budget noir from 1945, is often cited as the greatest B-movie ever made. The Black Cat’s plot has a honeymooning American couple trapped in the Hungarian mansion of a sinister architect and war profiteer (Karloff). The mansion is built on death-haunted ground; the architect’s nemesis is a vengeful psychiatrist (Lugosi) with a morbid fear of cats. “Like a monster from the id, director Ulmer’s morbid jewel—Universal’s top-grossing release of 1934—is a catalogue of public fascinations in the 1930s: Edgar Allan Poe (whose story ‘suggested’ the film); megastars Karloff and Lugosi (in their first of six Universal collaborations); modernist architecture; postwar trauma; psychiatry, pathology and the occult (personified in the tabloids by Aleister Crowley) ... The film’s plot is secondary to its astonishing visual design and increasingly shocking vortex of necrophilia, sadism, and torture” (UCLA Film and Television Archive). B&W, 35mm. 65 mins.
"Sumptuously subversive... one of the very best horror movies Universal ever made."Time Out | full review
"What is so compelling about The Black Cat is that the film embraces its own generic contents while incorporating them into something far richer, far deeper than simply adventure or mystery. In the end, the film becomes that rarest of all things, a masterpiece of popular art."Slant | full review
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The Black Cat plays in a special Cult Cinema Classic Triple-bill on August 29 (with Never Give a Sucker an Even Break and Cobra Woman), on August 30 (with Never Give a Sucker an Even Break and The Incredible Shrinking Man), and on August 31 (with Cobra Woman and The Incredible Shrinking Man).
Special Triple-Bill Price – $16 Adults / $14 Seniors & Students
Regular single and double bill prices otherwise in effect.
Annual $3 membership required.
Please note: Triple-Bill tickets are only available for purchase at the door.