Customer Reviews

57
4.4 out of 5 stars
Lady in a Cage
Format: DVDChange
Price:$17.99 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2002
Walter Grauman directs star Olivia DeHavilland, as a woman who is trapped in her own home, when the power is cut on her electric elevator. She is recovering from a hip injury, and cannot reach out for help beyond screaming, and ringing an alarm hooked up the the elevator.

The story is in black and white, and this adds to the mood, like in Alfred Hitchcocks "Psycho". Sure, they could've used color for this 1964 film, but you'll see for yourself why the lack of color, matches the noir and bizarre mood here.

DeHavilland is over-dramatic, but superb too, as the "Lady" of the title, her facial expressions are so fitting of her consuming exasperation at the frustrating situation. You can feel the sweat as she swelters in the summer heat, trapped helplessly. DeHavilland also has her son Malcomb, from whom she ponders a letter while trapped. She finds out that sonny boy, whom she idolizes with a devout reverence, hates her. She agonizes over his plea "Release me from your love", leading to the great exclamation "I AM a MONSTER!"Wait, it gets even better.

As DeHavilland rings her alarm relentlessly, hoping someone will save her, she attracts the attention of an old pathetic semi-mute wino, wandering around the neighborhood. He comes into the house, ignores DeHavillands' pleas, and steals her wine cellar contents instead. He leaves, and comes back with a shady lady played by Ann Southern, who further ransacks the house. DeHavilland can't believe what's happening. That's just the start.

The nerve jangling intensity increases, upon the arrival of three beatnik punks, one geeky weirdo clownish guy, a positively filthy looking girl, and her abusive group leader boyfriend, an early role for a then 26 year old future star, James Caan. When this trio of trouble enters, the real show begins, as they let Southern and the wino know, they're in charge. All sorts of games begin, especially wild, is the psycho-sexual headgames an insidious Caan inflicts upon DeHavilland, as he enters the "cage" and starts in on her son, and the kind of mother he speculates she is. Caan is slimy, sinister and completely lacking in moral compunction, as are his two cohorts. You will watch this with a very uneasy feeling and you will be left with that feeling after viewing this as well. For a movie that was released in 1964, it is even shocking by TODAY'S standards. Way ahead of it's genre in that era, it stands up to the test of time quite well as a high quality, unique suspense thriller.

"Lady In A Cage" is a sad social commentary about isolation, cruelty, and dysfunctional sociopaths that is so far ahead of it's time, it must be seen, to be believed. The graphically gory and shocking ending, only adds to the surreal nightmarish feel of what has led up to the culmination of all the gruesome events of a horrid day. This is a definite must for anyone who wants to see a film unlike any other, and a truly shocking one in it's time, and today.
33 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2005
At least four films deserve to be enshrined in the "camp shocker" hall of fame: "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" (Davis and Crawford), "Die! Die! My Darling" (Tallulah Bankhead), "Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte" (Davis and De Havilland), and the just-released-on-DVD, "Lady in a Cage," with Olivia de Havilland. The cage is a private, in-home elevator. De Havilland is trapped between floors during a power outage, and a number of low-life characters enter her home to steal, terrorize and make our caged lady's life a living hell. The young James Caan is one of the really bad guys, and the wonderful Ann Southern is one of the exploiters who ends up being terrorized by Caan and company. The titles are 60's brilliant and the film score does the suspense proud. De Havilland is over-the-top hammy in many scenes and quite good in others; that's the beauty of these shockers when they have serious performers of a certain age and era doing a little Grand Guignol number. This one runs a tight 94 minutes and the time really flies, which is a tribute to the skill of director Walter Grauman. Here's a wonderful black and white camp shocker that is quite creepy in retrospect. De Havilland, who is around 88 today, is the only surviving female lead of the four films I mentioned above. I would have loved to see Davis, Crawford, Bankhead and De Havilland on Inside the Actor's Studio discussing these masterpieces of the macabre, because they truly don't make actresses or films like these any longer. Give "Lady in a Cage" a try. You'll be glad you did.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2000
An invalid is trapped in her private elevator while a local gang ransacks her house. Unfairly underappreciated psychological thriller was way ahead of its time, but today it serves as a painfully accurate depiction of the senseless violence that exists in our society. Acting, writing, direction, and cinematography all achieve consistently high standards; Hollywood legend Olivia de Havilland is perfection in one of her best latter-day screen roles. Ann Sothern steals just about every scene she's in as an overweight hustler, and James Caan effectively displays the animal magnetism that later helped to make him a star.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
We have all heard the phrase "Man's inhumanity to man." It is one of those expressions that causes most of us to stop in our tracks and ponder how cruel people can be to each other. Open any newspaper or listen to any newscast and you are constantly astonished at the lengths to which some individuals will go to injure other people. "Man's inhumanity to man" is also a phrase that neatly sums up the theme of director Walter Grauman's eerie 1964 feature film "Lady In A Cage". Screen veteran Olivia de Havilland stars as Cornelia Hilyard, a wealthy widow who is recuperating from a devastating injury and is still struggling to regain her mobility. Unable to negotiate the stairs Cornelia must rely instead on a recently installed cage-like elevator to transport her between the two floors of her rather plush urban homestead. Cornelia is a conniving and domineering woman who has succeeded in smothering her only son Malcolm (William Swan). We learn that Malcolm is at his wits end and has finally summoned up the courage to request his share of the estate in a note to his mother. He intends to strike out on his own and leave his mothers clutches once and for all when he returns from a business trip. As the film opens, Malcolm asks his mother not to read the note he has written until after he has departed.

Through a rather unfortunate confluence of circumstances Cornelia is suddenly thrust into a disconcerting and potentially dangerous predicament. The power line leading into her house has been damaged and the electricity cut off. Our heroine suddenly finds herself trapped in a tiny elevator that resembles a prison cell roughly nine feet above the ground. To make matters worse it is going to be a hot and humid day in the city. At first Cornelia is not too concerned because she assumes that the power is out in the entire neighborhood and will be restored in short order. But as the hours pass she comes to the frightening realization that this is not the case at all. She is reluctant to use the emergency alarm for fear of making a spectacle of herself but as the temperature continues to climb she finally decides to trigger it. The problem is that no one responds to the alarm. The camera pans the street. We see a group of teenagers passing by in a convertible and workmen going about their daily business. Pedestrians walk by and a steady stream of traffic passes. Yet the alarm continues to clang and no one bothers to respond. Are people deliberately ignoring it or are they just so wrapped up in whatever it is they are doing? No matter. Now Cornelia is becoming increasingly desperate. Finally, she hears footsteps. Someone has come to rescue her! Not so fast. The person who has invaded her home is not there to help her. He is there to take advantage of her rather unfortunate situation. He is a derelict named George L. Brady Jr. (Jeff Corey) and he intends to scoop up as many of his victims valuables as possible. Cornelia is positively petrified. George ignores her impassioned pleas for help. Instead, he grabs a toaster and a couple of other items and makes haste for a nearby hock shop. But George has a big mouth and three punk teens led by one Randall Simpson O'Connor (James Caan) overhear him describing the situation at the Hilyard home. Sensing an opportunity to wreak havoc the teens follow George back to the house. These youngsters are bitter and violent and full of hatred and are seeking to wreak vengeance on someone, anyone. Spotting the terrified Cornelia in her cage they merely snicker at her predicament and threaten to kill her. Cornelia is flabbergasted at the events that are unfolding in her own home in front of her very eyes. "What kind of animals are these?" she wonders aloud. Be prepared to have your own faith in humankind challenged as you watch this film.

"Lady In A Cage" is a splendid psychological drama that features a compelling performance by Olivia de Havilland. Her role in this film would remind you a lot of Jimmy Stewart's character in Alfred Hitchcock's classic "Rear Window". With the camera fixed on her for a substantial portion of the film viewers are afforded a unique opportunity to examine up close and personal her facial expressions and body language as she reacts to what is taking place. We are all eyewitnesses to the full range of her emotions. Meanwhile in what is the first significant role of his motion picture career a very young James Caan is thoroughly convincing as a badass teen who has spent most of his life in state institutions. Devoid of love and people who really care about him Randall Simpson O'Connor is lashing out at everyone and everything around him. It just breaks your heart to see what has become of the lad. Just before the conclusion of the film one of the other teenagers discovers Malcolm's letter and reads it aloud to Cornelia. Confronted with her own egregious sins she suddenly realizes that in many ways she is really no better than the individuals who have invaded her home. I must warn you that "Lady In A Cage" contains several extremely disturbing scenes and can be quite depressing at times. But on balance "Lady In A Cage" is a film well worth seeing and was certainly way ahead of its time when it was first released back in 1964. Highly recommended!
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2001
I remembered seeing this movie on TV when I was a kid...I think it was on one of those late-night horror movie shows. I remembered it as being one of the scariest movies I had ever seen then, and after renting it as an adult, I have to say it still packs a pretty powerful punch. Olivia DeHavilland's over-acting doesn't deter from the film's shock value. For 1964, it was a rather harsh film. Probably the most unsettling part of the movie, though, is the revelation about her son...a situation that never really resolves itself. After several viewings the message becomes clear, and may just force you to realize some harsh truths about yourself as well. The cage was a metaphor for isolation...she kept her son in a cage of sorts, and society had kept Randall and his fellow goons in a different kind of cage...all with tragic and tormenting results! Not a movie for young kids, but a movie with a much, much deeper meaning than I first realized. An underrated and underappreciated masterpiece that demands several viewings. But don't watch it alone!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 1998
Olivia de Havilland is a pampered poetess with a bad hip trapped in her private elevator during a 4th of July power outage. Her cries for help are answered by 3 brutal killers who torment her like a caged animal. The story is a fascinating character study of a spoiled woman transforming into a savage in ten sweltering hours. It is also an open social commentary on the increasing violence and carelessness of the early sixties. Like "Whatever Happened To Baby Jane," "Lady In A Cage" has a unique story, a fantastic, tortured leading lady, and an ensemble of side villains that meet surprising fates. It's better than you might have heard. Definitely recommended for horror buffs and collectors of early sixties psychological thrillers. END
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2000
Unpleasant yet always fascinating LADY IN A CAGE stars Olivia as a wealthy widow who's trapped in her home elevator while she's being terrorized by various street people and hoodlums. Considered shockingly violent and not very successful upon it's initial release in 1964, this movie has practically cult status among afficianados. James Caan is impressive as a young tough as is Ann Sothern in her role as a fat floozie.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2001
Olivia de Havilland's performance in LADY IN A CAGE, like the film, was one of the truly Oscar-worthy performances of the 1960's which has remained underacknowledged, much less underappreciated. As is often the case with groundbreaking, visionary works, LADY IN A CAGE was difficult for audiences of 1963 to accept as something worth their time and money. Too often what shocks us is that which MAKES us have to THINK (which too often people don't enjoy because it takes effort).
But LADY IN THE CAGE was truly a hint of the increasing violence and growing state of social isolation in the United States in the 1960's and 1970's, and on to the future. Really, the film has to be seen to be appreciated. Instead of describing the plot for you, let me just suggest you watch the plot unfold without reading up on the plot before watching the movie. Ms. de Havilland's character survives, but the slow, creeping terror builds from the peacefulness of a beautiful, pleasant, sunny holiday to a psychotic's circus, all due to a few small coincidences that happen everyday. The real horror is psychological because this film reminds of us of how vulnerable humans are in general, and how vulnerable we are to the dependency on and failures of technology and industry, which can put us in danger. This film could be considered one of the early disaster films (on a very small scale), because like so many disaster films, some little situation starts small and slowly builds to a terrifying crescendo. As well, just like disaster films, the character(s) have to learn how to be shrewd and resourceful in order to survive...
Hopefully, Paramount Video will re-release this title, since having been out-of-print for some time has left the number of copies in the world greatly diminished. "PLEEEEEEEESE! Paramount! PLEEEEEEEEEASE!"
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
I love this film... On one hand its quite brilliantly done... on the other hand, its morbidly sick and twisted. It is both a classic thriller, yet campy at the same time too - - ... and although the "angry juvenile deliquent", "slobbering whino", "'50s mother" and "knife wielding latino" stereotypes date it ridiculously, the disonant music and camera shots and music turn a "Donna Reed" house into the ultimate modern world gone mad... Clever "Ed Woodian" type use of stock footage, mixed in with some interesting camera shots and catchy dialogue make this a highly under-rated cult classic... The opening, seemingly disjointed sequences also let you know you're in for something quite different, though by the end they all pull together... though I missed that point the first few times I saw the film. - - Bizarre at times, yet told with the coolness of an Alfred Hitchcock film (or atleast an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents" or "the Twilight Zone") this is one film that can endure endless rewatches.... I LOVE IT !
If you like this film, one other immediately comes to mind : Whatever Happened to Baby Jane ! ! !
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2001
Only recently has the British film censor lifted the ban placed on this film in 1964, and even then, it can only be supplied to persons aged 18 or over. It is however quite a moral film showing how, as we become more and more "caged" in our own little egos, we become indifferent and hardened to the plight of others. The pursuit of materialistic consummerism results in a loss of human empathy as all values are reduced to mere commodity. Good acting and production values, as well as a score which also unsettles and disturbs, this film shocks and may offend, but it has a message we must all respond to, sooner or later.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
The Snake Pit
The Snake Pit by Olivia de Havilland (DVD - 2004)
$12.97


Bad Seed, The
Bad Seed, The by Eileen Heckart (DVD - 2011)
$4.68
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.