Wednesday, December 31, 2008


The Cat and the Canary

When I was in college, back when I was just a young whippersnapper, I owned a full Super8 print of Paul Leni's 1927 silent comedic murder mystery, "The Cat and the Canary." Okay, let's be totally honest. I still own it. It's here in my closet, along with my 8mm projector.

Since midnight figures into the plot somewhat significantly (the old man's will is read at midnight twenty years after his death), and since I rarely had anything to do on New Year's Eve, I developed a habit of watching "The Cat and the Canary" on New Year's Eve. I would start it just at the right time so that midnight in the movie would strike at midnight on New Year's Eve.

For the last five or ten years, Chip and I have gone to the Embarcadero to watch fireworks on New Year's Eve, so I don't perform my ritual exactly the same as I used to. But I still try to watch "The Cat and the Canary" close to New Year's, just out of personal habit (though now I watch the DVD, rather than go through the ritual of setting up the projector, the screen, picking out music for the soundtrack, etc.).

Of course, there's also that other classic New Year's Eve movie: "The Poseidon Adventure," wherein the cruise ship, SS Poseidon, is hit by a tidal wave and capsizes exactly at midnight on New Year's Eve:

Poseidon Adventure

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