The Cat and the Canary. 1927. USA. Directed by Paul Leni. Screenplay by Alfred A. Cohn, Robert F. Hill, based on the play by John Willard. With Tully Marshall, Gertrude Astor, Creighton Hale. 35mm. Silent, with musical accompaniment. Approx. 75 min.
“The director of this film was the late Paul Leni, distinguished German stage-designer and artist, and director of the film Waxworks. He was brought to Hollywood when the German invasion of the film capital was at its height and this was his first American film. Curiously enough, Leni apparently was not appointed to design the sets of The Cat and the Canary; those are attributed to Charles D. Hall. The oblique camera angles, the scene looking downward on the assembled characters, the shot through the high back of a chair were expected not only of any German director of the time but of directors in Hollywood generally. 1927 was the year of camera-angles.”