The Cat and the Canary (play)

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The Cat and the Canary is a stage play by John Willard, adapted at least four times into feature films, in 1927, 1930, 1939, and again in 1979. The original stage play opened on February 7, 1922 in New York City.


The story concerns the death and inheritance of old Cyrus West, a rich eccentric who felt that his relatives "have watched my wealth as if they were cats, and I -- a canary". He decrees that his will be read twenty years after his death, at which point his relatives converge at his old family home, now a spooky old haunted mansion.

The will reads that his most distant relative still bearing the name of West be sole heir provided they are legally sane. The rest of the night spent in the house calls into question the sanity of Annabelle West, a fragile young woman who is legally Cyrus West's heir.

Film and TV versions[edit]


  1. ^ Jim Hill. "A special what-might-have-been version of Why For". 

External links[edit]