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Frank Willard's barn-storming stage melodrama Cat and the Canary was filmed four times over a fifty-year period. This silent 1927 version stars Laura LaPlante as one of several potential heirs to a huge fortune. Brought to a foreboding mansion on the 20th anniversary of their eccentric benefactor's death, the heirs must sit in silence as the lawyer (Tully Marshall) recites the terms of the will. The legacy hinges upon three sealed letters, each to be opened at a strategic point in the evening. Also crucial to the inheritance is the insistence that all the heirs spend the night in the creepy old mansion. Nervous Creighton Hale appoints himself LaPlante's protector--a far from simple job, given the many hidden panels and revolving doors which festoon the house. When the lawyer is murdered, LaPlante is the principle suspect. Many current prints of Cat and the Canary are so washed out that it's difficult to determine who the unmasked mystery murderer is. Overloaded with symbolism, impressionist lighting and camera angles, and well-timed moments of comedy relief, Cat and the Canary was the standard by which future "old dark house" films would be measured. It was remade as The Cat Creeps in 1930, and under its own title in 1939 (with Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard) and 1979. The DVD contains the film short: Harold Lloyd in "Haunted Spooks".