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The Independent Critic

James Franciscus, Karl Malden, Catherine Spaak, Pier Paolo Capponi
Dario Argento
Dario Argento, Luigi Collo,Dardano Sacchetti
112 Mins.
Arrow Films

 Argento's "Cat O' Nine Tails": Gets Arrow Blu-Ray Release 
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The fine folks at U.K.-based distributor Arrow Films are starting off 2018 in a mighty fine fashion with this special limited edition release of Dario Argento's The Cat O' Nine Tails, a 1971 film that followed up Argento's successful The Bird with the Crystal Plumage. To be released on January 28th, The Cat O' Nine Tails benefited from a terrifically expanded budget and a much more devoted marketing campaign when it was originally released. 

In the film, Karl Malden (Patton, One-Eyed Jacks) plays a blind puzzle-maker named Franco Arno who overhears an attempt to blackmail a scientist at a secretive genetics institute shortly before the institute experiences a break-in. He teams up with a reporter, Carlo Giordani (James Franciscus, Beneath the Planet of the Apes), in an effort to solve the case. Before long, however, bodies start to pile up and it's clear even their own lives may be at risk. When Lori (Cinzia De Carolis, Cannibal Apocalypse), Franco's niece, attracts the attention of whoever is responsible, the two must do whatever they can to solve the case before the young girl's life is in peril. 

While some consider The Cat O' Nine Tails to be the weakest of what is known as The Animal Trilogy, the film is an entertaining and involving reminder of why Argento has long been recognized as one of the masters of the giallo thriller. The film has always been an under-rated gem and you're not likely to find better packaging than Arrow has offered the film. The Cat O' Nine Trails features yet another of Ennio Morricone's remarkable scores, a score that amps up the film's suspense and helps to turn it into a high quality thriller. With a fine ensemble cast, The Cat O' Nine Tails is a terrific choice for any fans of giallo and certainly any fans of Argento. It's difficult to watch the film without flashing back to many of the marvelous Karl Malden's extraordinary performances. Rated 12A in the U.K., The Cat O' Nine Tails should be a safe view for anyone from the teens on up. For more information on the Arrow release, visit the Arrow website linked to in the credits. 


Brand new 4K restoration of the film from the original camera negative
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
• Original mono Italian and English soundtracks (lossless on the Blu-ray Disc)
• Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
• New audio commentary by critics Alan Jones and Kim Newman
• New interviews with co-writer/director Dario Argento, co-writer Dardano Sacchetti, actress Cinzia De Carolis and production manager Angelo Iacono
• Script pages for the lost original ending, translated into English for the first time
• Original Italian and international theatrical trailers
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Candice Tripp
• Double-sided fold-out poster
• 4 lobby card reproductions
• Limited edition booklet illustrated by Matt Griffin, featuring an essay on the film by Dario Argento, and new writing by Barry Forshaw, Troy Howarth and Howard Hughes

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic