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Cat O' Nine Tails, The - Blue Underground - Blu-ray Print E-mail
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Written by Chris Mayo   
Sunday, 18 September 2011
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The Cat O' Nine Tails Blu-ray on Severed Cinema
Buy "The Cat O' Nine Tails" on Blu-ray from Amazon.com Buy "The Cat O' Nine Tails" on Blu-ray from Amazon.ca

AKA: Il gatto a nove code, El gato de las nueve colas, A kilencfarkú macska, Døden leker blindebukk, De nio heta spåren, Die neunschwänzige Katze, Dokuz kuyruklu kedi, Hiipivä kauhu, Kot o dziesieciu ogonach, Le chat à neuf queues, O Gato das Sete Vidas, O Gato de Nove Caudas, O gatos me tis 9 oures, Smygande skräck

Directed by: Dario Argento
Written by: Dario Argento, Luigi Collo (story), Dardano Sacchetti (story)
Produced by: Salvatore Argento
Cinematography by: Erico Menczer
Editing by: Franco Fraticelli
Music by: Ennio Morricone
Cast: James Franciscus, Karl Malden, Catherine Spaak, Pier Paolo Capponi, Horst Frank, Rada Rassimov, Aldo Reggiani, Carlo Alighiero
Year: 1971
Country: Italy
Language: English
Color: Color
Runtime: 1 h 52 min

Studio: Blue Underground

 

"The Cat O' Nine Tails" is the second directorial effort from Maestro Dario Argento as well as the second installment of his animal trilogy -- whose counterparts are "The Bird with the Crystal Plumage" and "Four Flies on Grey Velvet" (his first film).  With Argento's sophomore debut he managed to garner the reputation as being "The Italian Hitchcock."  While the film might not be Argento's favorite of his work, it does hold the test of time as being a solid gialli and showcases Argento's early development of greatness.

Franco Arno (Karl Malden, “The Streets of San Francisco”), a blind man and his young niece Lori (Cinzia De Carolis, “Cannibal Apocalypse”) are walking down a street late one evening when they overhear two men in a parked car mentioning blackmail.  Lori is able to spot a man with brown hair, but is unable to discern the other.  The two continue on their way, but once home Arno hears a scuffle outside.  A night watchman at a nearby medical facility gets clubbed over the head and we see someone break into the building.

The subsequent day a Reporter, Carlo Giordani (James Franciscus, “Beneath the Planet of the Apes”) bumps into Arno (literally) and makes mention of an attempted robbery the night before at the Terzi Institute for Genetic Research.  The police discuss the break-in with Giordani and how Dr. Calabresi’s (Carlo Alighiero, “Torso”) office was compromised but nothing appears to have been taken or tampered with.  Calabresi later confides in his fiancée Bianca (Rada Rassimov, “Baron Blood”) that he knows who broke into his office and what was taken and that in the end it will work out in his best interest.  Things however take an unexpected turn for Dr. Calabresi.  While at a train station he meets an unknown man and ends up thrown in front of an approaching train.

The Cat O' Nine Tails Blu-ray Screenshot on Severed Cinema

When the morning paper arrives the next day Lori reads the day’s events to her uncle and the top story showcases Dr. Calabresi’s death.  Lori tells her uncle that Calabresi was in fact the man from the car.  Knowing such information Arno meets with Giodani to discuss the incident further.  As bodies continue to pile, the two work together to dissect the clues in an attempt to solve the case.

"The Cat O' Nine Tails" displays the early molding of Argento’s filmmaking career and still manages to contain much of the elements of Argento’s more honored work.  While not on the color scheme level of something like “Inferno” the film is still stylish with a lush vibrant color pallet.  It also contains some grisly murders (the strangulation, the train death as well as the film’s finale all come to mind) that Argento fans have grown to appreciate and anticipate. Ennio Morricone is also here and delivers a wonderful score, which will be no surprise to Morricone enthusiasts.

To some, "The Cat O' Nine Tails" might be far from Argento’s best work, but for this Argentophile it holds its own alongside the director’s best films and comes highly recommended.

Blue Underground unleashes "The Cat O' Nine Tails" on Blu-ray with a 1080p MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 aspect ratio.  The visual presentation is supreme and is virtually devoid of any and all folly.  The audio is presented English 2.0 DTS-HD, DTS-HD Mono as well as both Italian and French Dolby Surround 2.0 and works well for a film from the 1970’s.  There is an assortment of supplemental features with this release.  First up we get ‘Tales of the Cat’ a14-minute set of interviews with Writer/Director Dario Argento, Co-Writer Dardando Sacchetti and Composer Ennio Morricone.  Next up is a US and International theatrical trailer.  There are also TV Sports as well as Radio Interviews with James Franciscus and Karl Malden each running around 8-minutes.

CLICK TO ENLARGE IMAGE
The Cat O' Nine Tails Blu-ray Screenshot on Severed Cinema

The Cat O' Nine Tails Blu-ray Screenshot on Severed Cinema

The Cat O' Nine Tails Blu-ray Screenshot on Severed Cinema

The Cat O' Nine Tails Blu-ray Screenshot on Severed Cinema

The Cat O' Nine Tails Blu-ray Screenshot on Severed Cinema

The Cat O' Nine Tails Blu-ray Screenshot on Severed Cinema

The Cat O' Nine Tails Blu-ray Screenshot on Severed Cinema

The Cat O' Nine Tails Blu-ray Screenshot on Severed Cinema

The Cat O' Nine Tails Blu-ray Screenshot on Severed Cinema

The Cat O' Nine Tails Blu-ray Screenshot on Severed Cinema

The Cat O' Nine Tails Blu-ray Screenshot on Severed Cinema

The Cat O' Nine Tails Blu-ray Screenshot on Severed Cinema

The Cat O' Nine Tails Blu-ray Screenshot on Severed Cinema

 RATING:
 VIDEO: 1 
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 AUDIO: 1 
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 BLU-RAY: 1 
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 MOVIE: 1 
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 DVD SPECS:
 Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 1080p MPEG-4 AVC
 Region: A
 Audio: English 2.0 DTS-HD, English DTS-HD Mono, Italian, French Dolby Surround 2.0


 SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL:
 - Tales of the Cat - Interviews with Writer/Director Dario Argento, Co-Writer Dardando Sacchetti and Composer Ennio Morricone
 - Theatrical Trailers
 - TV Spots
 - Radio Spots
 - Radio Interviews with Stars James Franciscus and Karl Malden

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