The Black Cat
The Black Cat (1934)

The first cinematic teaming of horror greats Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi is a bizarre, haunting, and relentlessly eerie film that was surprisingly morbid and perverse for its time. Peter (David Manners) and Joan Allison (Julie Bishop) are… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
DVD Release Date: September 10, 1992
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Available Online

Critic Score: 87% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Making the most of its Karloff-Lugosi star pairing and loads of creepy atmosphere, The Black Cat is an early classic in the Universal monster movie library.

J. Hoberman
Village Voice

Wildly expressionistic, the movie has nothing to do with the Poe story from which it takes its title and everything to do with Ulmer's sense of the Nazi menace.

Full review…
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

Ulmer never again had the budgetary resources granted him by Universal (at the time, Karloff and Lugosi were two of the studio's biggest stars), and he makes the most of them.

Full review…
Philip French
Observer (UK)

This bizarre, utterly irrational masterpiece, lasting little more than an hour, has images that bury themselves in the mind.

Full review…
TIME Magazine

A dismal hocus-pocus which seems to confuse its actors as much as it fails to frighten its audience.

Full review…
Andre Sennwald
New York Times

More foolish than horrible. The story and dialogue pile the agony on too thick to give the audience a reasonable scare.

Full review…
Alan Jones
Radio Times

This timeless classic is a testimony to the craft of director Edgar G Ulmer before his career lurched into the quickie arena.

Full review…
Variety Staff

Story is confused and confusing, and while with the aid of heavily-shadowed lighting and mausoleum-like architecture, a certain eeriness has been achieved, it's all a poor imitation of things seen before.

Full review…
Tony Rayns
Time Out

Sumptuously subversive... one of the very best horror movies Universal ever made.

Full review…
Fernando F. Croce

Edgar G. Ulmer's grandest danse macabre, a magnificently sustained trance

Full review…
More reviews for The Black Cat

Flixster Audience Score: 70% Flixster User Reviews
Devon Bott
"The Black Cat" was the first film to pair the legendary stars Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, and at just 65 minutes in length, it packs quite a bit… More
David Ladd
A couple Peter and Joan Allison are joined by Dr. Vitus Verdegast (Bela Lugosi) who are on their way to a hotel, but suddenly their bus crashes during a storm.… More
Aj V
A very interesting old horror movie with two of the best old horror movie stars. A really cool movie.
Stella Dallas
it's fun to see karloff and lugosi working together. there is a black cat; other than that there's no resemblance to poe's short story. karloff… More
Greg S
A young couple find themselves caught between the machinations of a doctor bent on revenge (Bela Lugosi) and a mad engineer (Boris Karloff) in the latter's… More
Pierluigi Puccini
Boris Karloff plays the leader of a bunch of satanists, and is willing to sacrifice a married couple, who are unexpectedly protected by none other than Bela… More