AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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La voluntad del muerto
Alternate Title: The Cat Creeps
Director: George Melford () (Dirigida por [Dir])
Release Date:   Nov 1930
Premiere Information:   San José de Costa Rica opening: 16 Nov 1930; New York opening: 12 Dec 1930.
Production Date:   Jul--Aug 1930
Duration (in mins):   87
Duration (in feet):   7,856
Duration (in reels):   9
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Cast:   Antonio Moreno (Pablo)  
    Lupita Tovar (Anita)  
    Soledad Jiménez (Mammy)  
    Andrés de Segurola (Crosby)  
    Manuel Granado (Carlos)  
    Roberto Guzmán (Enrique)  
    Conchita Ballesteros (Cecilia)  
    María Calvo (Susana)  
    Lucio Villegas (Doctor)  
    Agostino Borgato (Hendricks)  
    Nicolás Ruiz    
    Manuel Ballesteros    
    Pablo Alvarez    

Summary: Exactly twenty years after the death of the lonely, eccentric millionaire Cyrus West, his descendents are summoned to meet one midnight in his gloomy, old mansion for a very belated reading of his will. West's closest relatives are dismayed to learn that they have been disinherited due to the fact that they believed him to be crazy. Anita, a distant relative, is revealed as the only heir to West's fortune and properties as long as her mental state remains stable. However, the subsequent disappearance of West's lawyer, an attack on cousin Pablo by a "monster" and several other inexplicable events combine to place a great strain on Anita's sanity. Eventually, the police determine that Carlos, another relative and a potential heir, is responsible for the campaign of terror. 

Production Company: Universal Pictures Corp.  
Distribution Company: Universal Pictures Corp.  
Director: George Melford (Dirigida por [Dir])
  Jay Marchant (Asst dir)
  Enrique Tovar Avalos (Dial dir)
Producer: Carl Laemmle (Presenta [Pres])
  Carl Laemmle Jr. (Producida por [Prod])
  Paul Kohner (Productor asociado [Assoc prod])
Writer: B. Fernández Cué (Guión y diálogo por [Scr and dial])
Photography: George Robinson (Operador [Cam])
Art Direction: Walter R. Koessler (Director artístico [Art dir])
Film Editor: Arthur Tavares (Editor del film [Film ed])
  Maurice Pivar (Supervisor de la edición del film [Supv film ed])
Sound: C. Roy Hunter (Supervisor de acústica [Sd supv])
Country: United States
Language: Spanish

Music:
Songs:
Source Text: Based on the play The Cat and the Canary by John Willard (New York, 7 Feb 1922).
Authors: John Willard

Physical Properties: Sd: Sistema Western Electric [Western Electric Sound System]
  b&w:

 
Genre: Mystery
 
Subjects (Major): Fear
  Heiresses
  Inheritance
  Insanity
  Millionaires
  Murder
 
Subjects (Minor): Haunted houses
  Investigations
  Lawyers
  Police
  Threats
  Wills

Note: This film was a simultaneously shot, Spanish-language version of the 1930 film The Cat Creeps , which was directed by Rupert Julian and starred Helen Twelvetrees and Raymond Hackett (see entry above). The cast and technical credits for the Spanish-language version were annotated from a studio cutting continuity. The play, The Cat and the Canary , had been filmed in 1927 in a version directed by Paul Leni and starring Laura La Plante and Creighton Hale (see entry above), and was again filmed in 1939 with Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard, directed by Elliott Nugent (see entry below) and, in 1978, as a British production directed by Radley Metzger. La voluntad del muerto was retitled La heredera de Mr. West when exhibited in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in Jul 1931. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Cinl   Nov 1930   p. 30.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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