6.7/10
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The Cat o' Nine Tails (1971)

Il gatto a nove code (original title)
A newspaper reporter and a retired, blind journalist try to solve a series of killings connected to a pharmaceutical company's experimental, top-secret research projects and in so doing, both become targets of the killer.

Director:

Dario Argento

Writers:

Dario Argento (based on a story by), Luigi Cozzi (based on a story by) (as Luigi Collo) | 2 more credits »

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Part three of the "Three Mothers" trilogy which takes place in Rome and has to do with Mater Lachrymarum (The Third Mother).

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Franciscus ... Carlo Giordani
Karl Malden ... Franco Arnò
Catherine Spaak ... Anna Terzi
Pier Paolo Capponi ... Police Supt. Spini
Horst Frank ... Dr. Braun
Rada Rassimov ... Bianca Merusi
Aldo Reggiani Aldo Reggiani ... Dr. Casoni
Carlo Alighiero Carlo Alighiero ... Dr. Calabresi
Vittorio Congia Vittorio Congia ... Righetto (cameraman)
Ugo Fangareggi Ugo Fangareggi ... Gigi the Loser
Tom Felleghy Tom Felleghy ... Dr. Esson
Emilio Marchesini Emilio Marchesini ... Dr. Mombelli
Fulvio Mingozzi Fulvio Mingozzi ... Spimi's man
Corrado Olmi Corrado Olmi ... Morsella
Pino Patti Pino Patti ... Barber
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Storyline

Franco Arno is a blind man that lives with his young niece and makes a living writing crossword puzzles. One night, while walking on the street, he overhears a weird conversation between two man sitting in a car parked in front of a medical institute where genetic experiments are performed. The same night someone breaks in the institute and knocks out a guard. Arno decides to investigate with the help of reporter Carlo Giordani. Written by Giancarlo Cairella <vertigo@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's nine times more suspenseful! See more »


Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France | West Germany

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

21 May 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cat o' Nine Tails See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) | (Super 8-version in 2 parts)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene where Giordani meets Anna Terzi at her father's house is a reference to the scene in the novel The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler where Marlowe first meets Vivian Regan at her father's house. Portions of the dialogue are verbatim. See more »

Goofs

When Carlo and Anna meet at the rooftop cafe for a drink it appears to be late afternoon. A few moments later a waiter replaces an ash tray and when the camera goes back to the couple it is almost totally nighttime. See more »

Quotes

Gigi the Loser: Nothing's easy for me. I can't even knock over a chair without getting caught.
See more »

Alternate Versions

On October 24th, 2005, the Austrian Label XT Video released a "Limited Uncut Integral-Version" DVD including the German dubbed version and the scenes which were not dubbed in a subtitled version. The DVD was released with three different covers and each version was released on 666 pieces. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Videoclub (2013) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Good but not excellent
8 November 2004 | by michelerealiniSee all my reviews

The second Dario Argento movie is one of his classics, although not as excellent as "L'uccello dalle piume di cristallo". Also here there's everything you expect from an Argento picture -an extremely well directed thriller, exciting shots and a very good editing.

The story is original, but at the end everything seems a little... thrown away, it seems that Dario was in a hurry to finish and the terrible truth at the end has something wasted. A journalist and a blind man investigate about a series of murders -as it happens in many Argento films. Their research focuses on a medical institute, which is developing a medicine for curing criminal instincts.

James Franciscus, the leading man, is too American and too handsome for being a credible Italian journalist. And the scene in the crypt is highly improbable -Franciscus penetrates a crypt in order to look for a necklace...

Good points are the shots -subjective shots-, in which the spectator can follow the action with the assassin eyes. Good cinematography, exciting soundtrack of Ennio Morricone and excellent presence of Karl Malden -he acts very well the role of the blind man.

If "L'uccello dalle piume di cristallo" deserves 9 out of 10, "Il gatto a nove code" deserves "only" 7 out of 10.


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