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BARBARA SHELLEY & WILLIAM LUCAS IN 'THE SHADOW OF THE CAT'

Title: THE SHADOW OF THE CAT Year: 1961 Rating: **

Hammer Films pitted vulnerable humans against a vampire, a werewolf, a mummy, a mad scientist's monster... yet one of the most formidable is a house cat... who had witnessed the murder of its wealthy caretaker living in a giant mansion, and enough money to be richly inherited... a setting usually befitting theatrical mysteries, only we see the particular killers: also witnessed by the feline, making THE SHADOW OF THE CAT a revenge-driven horror/thriller...

And no one... not even the glib and sneaky, twice-removed William Lucas setting various traps... can stop this furry devil, which already caused elderly patriarch André Morell to practically die of a heart attack... yet the titular tabby's just as passively protects the only kindhearted relative in Hammer stock ingenue Barbara Shelley, usually a scream queen only here everyone else is screaming... while the otherwise standard direction and horror cliches (like perfectly-timed lighting and wide-lens perspectives) provides SHADOW a relatively weak bite... compared to if the titular CAT witnessed these horrible people killing each other off instead: after all, they're the true villains, so their inevitable deaths hardly matter anyway.   

William Lucas in THE SHADOW OF THE CAT
William Lucas in THE SHADOW OF THE CAT with André Morell and Catherine Lacey
Barbara Shelley and Conrad Phillips in THE SHADOW OF THE CAT
Barbara Shelley in THE SHADOW OF THE CAT
Credits for THE SHADOW OF THE CAT
Credits for THE SHADOW OF THE CAT
William Lucas in THE SHADOW OF THE CAT with Richard Warner and Catherine Lacey
William Lucas in THE SHADOW OF THE CAT with Barbara Shelley & Vanda Godsell
William Lucas in THE SHADOW OF THE CAT
Barbara Shelley in THE SHADOW OF THE CAT
William Lucas in THE SHADOW OF THE CAT with André Morell and Catherine Lacey
Bunkie as Tabitha in THE SHADOW OF THE CAT
Andrew Crawford in THE SHADOW OF THE CAT


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