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Lady in a Cage (1964)

Olivia de Havilland , James Caan , Walter Grauman  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)

Price: $30.93 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Olivia de Havilland, James Caan, Jennifer Billingsley, Rafael Campos, William Swan
  • Directors: Walter Grauman
  • Writers: Luther Davis
  • Producers: Luther Davis
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: March 29, 2005
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007KIFRS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #268,547 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Lady in a Cage" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Destroying her well-oriented world, the elevator, nine feet from the floor, becomes a torture chamber--a cage. Unable to escape, her situation becomes desperate when the emergency alarm attracts a drunken derelict (James Caan) and his boozy prostitute friend, both bent on robbery

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Past Look At A Scary Future. July 7, 2002
By Hillary
Format:VHS Tape
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.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By Donato
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sadly overlooked gem was way, way ahead of its time! September 13, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
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.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An extremely disturbing film. December 21, 2010
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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Movie
This movie will have you on your seat! I used this movie for one of my classes when we were discussing human nature. Excellent movie!
Published 1 month ago by Elizabeth
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by LT
In Lady in a Cage, Olivia de Havilland (who was Errol Flynn's Maid Marion in The Adventures of Robin Hood) is teamed in this 1964 lurid thriller with James Caan, who leers and... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Don McGregor
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Flic!
I saw this when I was in jr high, what a kick! I was a voracious reader and movie goer, my mom would take me to the "adult" movies of the time, that time being in the... Read more
Published 7 months ago by S. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Lady on a Cage
I love a lot of the older movies. This was definitely one of them. After watching this movie, I had to pull out another one of my dvd with Olivia De Havilland. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Female 61
3.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS JAMES CAHN PERIOD...
Published 17 months ago by WILLIAM FROEHLICH
5.0 out of 5 stars Old Favorite is Still Good
It was a day to celebrate when "Lady in a Cage" was finally released on DVD. This timeless classic features Olivia deHavilland in 1964 - still a great actress and gorgeous... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Ann Sherry
2.0 out of 5 stars Unacceptable and Repulsive
Echoing what many of the others have said about "Lady In A Cage", I'd like to add 2 words: UNACCEPTABLE and REPULSIVE. Read more
Published 22 months ago by argytunes
5.0 out of 5 stars Is life better inside or outside the cage?
Luther Davis wrote and produced this dark, doom-laden 1964 movie. For me it works on two levels. In many ways it resembles a Hitchcock suspense movie. Read more
Published on September 23, 2012 by John Austin
5.0 out of 5 stars It was worth it!
This item was like it was described. It played well. It even arrived a few days early which I appreciated. Thanks for being a good seller!
Published on March 2, 2011 by 1scuba
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