The Shadow of the Cat (1961)

79m, 7110 feet
35mm, black and white
mono, English

A British horror film directed by John Gilling. The film was made by BHP , a company created by George Baxt, Richard Hatton and Jon Penington who took the project to Hammer Film Productions for financing. Though Hammer wasn't directly involved in the production of the film, it was shot at the company's studios in Bray and using their regular team of technicians.

Plot Summary

A rich old woman is murdered by her relatives for her money. But her pet cat decides to take and begins to orchestrate the killings of all those involved.


* = uncredited

Directed by: John Gilling
© MCMLXI [1961] by B.H.P. Films Ltd.
BHP Films present a Jon Penington production [opening credits] A B.H.P. film [closing credit]
Produced by: Jon Penington
Written by: George Baxt
Director of Photography: Arthur Grant
Camera Operator: Len Harris
Supervising Editor: James Needs
Editor: John Pomeroy
Music Composed and Conducted by: Mikis Theodorakis
Sound Recordists: Jock May, Ken Cameron
Wardrobe Supervisor: Molly Arbuthnot
Make-up Artist: Roy Ashton
Hair Stylist: Frieda Steiger
Special Effects: Les Bowie
Production Designer: Bernard Robinson
Produced at Bray Studios, England

André Morell (Walter Venable)
Barbara Shelley (Beth Venable)
William Lucas (Jacob Venable)
Freda Jackson (Clara, the maid)
Conrad Phillips (Michael Latimer)
Richard Warner (Edgar Venable)
Vanda Godsell (Louise Venable)
Alan Wheatley (Inspector Rowles)
Andrew Crawford (Andrew, the butler)
Kynaston Reeves (grandfather)
Catherine Lacey (Ella Venable)
Henry Kendall [doctor] *
Vera Cook [mother] *
Angela Crow [daughter] *
Howard Knight [son] *
Rodney Burke [workman] *
John Dearth [Constable Hamer] *
George Doonan, Fred Stone [ambulance men] *
Charles Stanley [Dobbins] *
Kevin Stoney [father] *

Alternative Titles

Kissan varjo – Finland
L'ombra del gatto – Italy
Schatten einer Katze – West Germany
Le Spectre du chat – France
O tromos tis mavris skias – Greece



  • The Daily Cinema no.8448 (24 April 1961) p.8 – review
  • The Daily Cinema no.9022 (1 February 1965) p.9 – note (General Releases – North London)
  • The Daily Cinema no.9025 (8 February 1965) p.5 – note (General Releases – North London)
  • The House That Hammer Built no.3 (June 1997) pp.149-151 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • Kine Weekly no.2795 (27 April 1961) p.40 – review
  • Mad Movies no.1 (June 1972) p.unpaginated – credits, review
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.28 no.329 (June 1961) p.85 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Variety 3 May 1961 – credits, review


  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.145-146 – credits, review
  • Creature Features Movie Guide Strikes Again by John Stanley p.344 – credits, review
  • English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.6, 108, 109, 331
  • Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby p.127
  • Hammer Complete: The Films, the Personnel, the Company by Howard Maxford pp.732-733 – credits, synopsis, review
  • The Hammer Story: The Authorised History of Hammer Films by Marcus Hearn & Alan Barnes 58-59; 186
  • by Walt Lee p.431 – credits
  • Sixties Shockers by Mark Clark and Bryan Senn pp.355-356
  • Uneasy Dreams: The Golden Age of British Horror Films, 1956-1976 by Gary A. Smith pp.193-194