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(aka "Il gatto a nove code" or "Cat o' Nine Tails' or 'Die neunschwänzige Katze' or 'Le chat à neuf queues' or 'The Cat o' Nine Tails")

 

directed by Dario Argento
Italy/France/West Germany 1971

 

While walking home with his adopted daughter Lori (Cinzia de Carolis), blind former journalist-turned-crossword puzzle designer Franco Arno (Karl Malden) overhears two people in a car discussing blackmail (he gets Lori to take a surreptitious look at the car but she can only make out one of the men) on the same night that someone breaks into the Terzi Institute and makes off with some genetic research. When one of the men Dr. Calabresi (Carlo Alighiero) meets a mysterious death in front of a train and Lori identifies him to Arno from a newspaper picture, Arno approaches journalist Carlo Giordani (James Franciscus) about looking into the connection between the death and the break-in at the institute where the dead man worked. When they discover that a photograph taken of the victim reveals a hand pushing him in front of a train (and the photographer is subsequently murdered), Giordani starts to take Arno seriously. His investigations into the Terzi Institute introduce him to Anna Terzi (Catherine Spaak), the director's adopted daughter/perhaps mistress, who reveals that the genetic research has to do with the chromosome that denotes psychopathic behavior. Arno and Giordani realize that Calebresi was blackmailing someone connected with the institute who is now out to quiet any one else who might know his or her secret. A hastily-made follow-up to the success of Argento's THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE, CAT O'NINE TAILS was critically-panned at the time of its release and tended to be overlooked between BIRD, the elusive FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET and Argento's genre quantum leaps DEEP RED and SUSPIRIA (the fact that CAT was only subsequently available on panned-and-scanned tapes of the cut TV version and bootlegs of the widescreen Japanese-subtitled laserdisc probably kept it from being revisited until it was released on DVD). More recently (and not just in light of some of Argento's more recent flops), CAT has started to earn a better reputation. Franciscus and Arno are engaging leads (with more chemistry than Franciscus and Spaak but it might be argued that she is supposed to be icy rather than wooden) and the mystery fairly diverting (although it is predicated on the notion of chromosomal imbalance causing psychosis) and amusing (including a Hitchcockian comic car chase and some other humorous bits). While Enrico Menczer's cinematography is not as visually striking (although the Techniscope compositions are nicely composed) as Argento's work with other cinematographers, the murders are striking and Ennio Morricone's main theme "Lullaby in Blue" is a nice compliment to his work on the previous Argento film.

Eric Cotenas

 

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 21st, 1994

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Arrow - Region FREE - 4K UHD

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Arrow - Region FREE - 4K UHD
Runtime 1:51:45.907        
Video

2.35:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD

Disc Size: 91,279,576,878 bytes

Feature: 76,757,211,264 bytes

Video Bitrate: 84.86 Mbps

Codec: HEVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate 4K Ultra HD:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1078 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1078 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
* DTS-HD Master Audio Italian 1045 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1045 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Arrow

 

2.35:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD

Disc Size: 91,279,576,878 bytes

Feature: 76,757,211,264 bytes

Video Bitrate: 84.86 Mbps

Codec: HEVC Video

 

Edition Details:

4K Ultra HD disc

• Audio commentary by critics Alan Jones and Kim Newman
New interviews with co-writer/director Dario Argento (15:37), co-writer Dardano Sacchetti (34:46), actress Cinzia De Carolis (11:00) and production manager Angelo Iacono (15:12)
Script pages for the lost original ending, translated into English for the first time (3:09)
Original Italian and international theatrical trailers (1:48, 1:54 + 1:40)
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


4K Ultra HD Release Date: August 23rd, 2021
Black 4K Ultra HD Case inside slipcase

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray and 4K UHD captures were taken directly from the respective discs.

ADDITION: Arrow 4K UHD (July 2021):  Arrow's have transferred Dario Argento's "The Cat o' Nine Tails" to 4K UHD (3840 X 2160.) This is the second entry in his so-called “Animal Trilogy”. Like The Bird With the Crystal Plumage, the Arrow 4K UHD presentation is in Dolby Vision - HDR10 compatible and is a "new 4K restoration from the original negative." Like Arrow's 2018 4K-restored Blu-ray (compared HERE) the 4K UHD maintains the significantly darker and richer appearance but has warmer flesh tones. It has more than double the bitrate of the older Blu-ray carrying brilliant grain, and an up-tick in color tightness. It looks spectacular and better than I have ever seen the film look on digital... by a wide margin. The authentic darker appearance suits the film's thriller and suspense tropes. 

It is likely that the monitor you are seeing this review is not an HDR-compatible display (High Dynamic Range) or Dolby Vision, where each pixel can be assigned with a wider and notably granular range of color and light. Our capture software if simulating the HDR (in a uniform manner) for standard monitors. This should make it easier for us to review more 4K UHD titles in the future and give you a decent idea of its attributes on your system. So our captures may not support the exact same colors (coolness of skin tones, brighter or darker hues etc.) as the 4K system at your home. But the framing, detail, grain texture support etc. are, generally, not effected by this simulation representation.

NOTE: 50 more more full resolution (3840 X 2160) 4K UHD captures, in lossless PNG format, for Patrons are available HERE

We have reviewed the following 4K UHD packages to date: The Bird With the Crystal Plumage (software uniformly simulated HDR), Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (software uniformly simulated HDR), Perdita Durango (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Django (software uniformly simulated HDR) Fanny Lye Deliver'd (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, (NO HDR applied to disc),  Rollerball (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Chernobyl  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Daughters of Darkness (software uniformly simulated HDR), Vigilante (software uniformly simulated HDR), Tremors (software uniformly simulated HDR), Cinema Paradiso (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Bourne Legacy (software uniformly simulated HDR), Full Metal Jacket (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Psycho (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Birds (software uniformly simulated HDR), Rear Window (software uniformly simulated HDR), Vertigo (software uniformly simulated HDR) Spartacus (software uniformly simulated HDR), Jaws (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Invisible Man, (software uniformly simulated HDR), Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds (software uniformly simulated HDR), Lucio Fulci's 1979 Zombie  (software uniformly simulated HDR),, 2004's Van Helsining (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Shallows (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Bridge on the River Kwai (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Deer Hunter (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Elephant Man (software uniformly simulated HDR), A Quiet Place (software uniformly simulated HDR), Easy Rider (software uniformly simulated HDR), Suspiria (software uniformly simulated HDR), Pan's Labyrinth (software uniformly simulated HDR) The Wizard of Oz, (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Shining, (software uniformly simulated HDR), Batman Returns (software uniformly simulated HDR), Don't Look Now (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Man Who Killed Hitler and then The Bigfoot  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Bram Stoker's Dracula (software uniformly simulated HDR), Lucy (software uniformly simulated HDR), They Live (software uniformly simulated HDR), Shutter Island (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Matrix (software uniformly simulated HDR), Alien (software uniformly simulated HDR), Toy Story (software uniformly simulated HDR),  A Few Good Men (software uniformly simulated HDR),  2001: A Space Odyssey (HDR caps udated), Schindler's List (simulated HDR), The Neon Demon (No HDR), Dawn of the Dead (No HDR), Saving Private Ryan (simulated HDR and 'raw' captures), Suspiria (No HDR), The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (No HDR), The Big Lebowski, and I Am Legend (simulated and 'raw' HDR captures).

Audio duplicates the 2018 Blu-ray - is transferred via DTS-HD Master mono tracks at 1000 kbps (24-bit) in the option of Italian or English languages (seamlessly-branched opening credit sequence.) Effects are discreet with another giallo score by the iconic Ennio Morricone (Luna, A Bullet for the General, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, U Turn, Stay As You Are etc. etc.) establishing and supporting the film's appealing style. It's authentically flat, buoyant and clean. There are optional English (SDH) and English (for Italian) subtitles and like all 4K UHD discs it is  region FREE.

Arrow also duplicate the extras from their 2018 Blu-ray - we get a same audio commentary by critics Alan Jones (author of Dario Argento: The Man, the Myths & the Magic) and Kim Newman (author of Nightmare Movies: Horror on Screen Since the 1960s) who work well together providing minutia on the film, Argento, the genre, the performers and much more. It's very good. There are the same interviews with co-writer/director Dario Argento (1/4 hour entitled 'Nine Lives'), co-writer Dardano Sacchetti (35-minutes entitled 'The Writer O'Many Tales'), actress Cinzia De Carolis (11-minutes - 'Child Star') and production manager Angelo Iacono (1/4 hour - 'Giallo in Turin') plus 3-minutes of the script pages for the lost original ending, translated into English, plus the original Italian and international theatrical trailers. The package (see below) has an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring an original essay on the film by Dario Argento, and writing by Barry Forshaw, Troy Howarth and Howard Hughes, a fold-out double-sided poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Obviously Creative plus six double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproduction artcards and it comes in limited edition packaging with reversible sleeve featuring originally and newly commissioned artwork by Obviously Creative.

Like The Bird With the Crystal Plumage, Arrow's 4K UHD release seems an upgrade in the video only as compared to their excellent 2018 Blu-ray - with the same lossless mono audio transfers (both English and Italian), commentary and extras. But it is still a notable upgrade for new adopters. This is essential Giallo and is dynamic, building thriller with abundant Argento style. Certainly a film that fans will want in this 3840 X 2160 resolution. "The Cat o' Nine Tails" deserves this upgrade (thank you Arrow!) - you deserve it - highly recommended!

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY and 4K UHD CAPTURE TO SEE IN FULL RESOLUTION

 

1) Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Arrow (English) - Region FREE - 4K UHD- MIDDLE

3) Arrow (Italian Translation) - Region FREE - 4K UHD - BOTTOM

 

 


1) 01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL  - TOP

2) Arrow  - Region FREE -  4K UHD - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE -  4K UHD - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Anchor Bay Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE -  4K UHD BOTTOM

 

 


1) 01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL  - TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE -  4K UHD - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Arrow (4K Restored) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Arrow  - Region FREE -  4K UHD - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Arrow  - Region FREE -  4K UHD - BOTTOM

 


 

More full resolution (3840 X 2160) 4K Ultra HD Captures for Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

 
Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Arrow - Region FREE - 4K UHD


 


 

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