Tales of Terror is a 1962 horror film starring Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, and Basil Rathbone. Billed as a “Trilogy of Shock and Horror,” it consists of three short sequences based on Edgar Allan Poe stories: “Morella”, “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar”, and “The Black Cat.”
In 1961 an open audition was held in Hollywood to find the perfect cat for “The Black Cat.” There were miles of cats…and their persons.
- Vincent Price as Fortunato/Valdemar/Locke
- Maggie Pierce as Lenora Locke
- Leona Gage as Morella Locke
- Edmund Cobb as Driver
- Debra Paget as Helene Valdemar
- David Frankham as Valdermar’s physician
- Peter Lorre as Montresor Herringbone
- Joyce Jameson as Annabel Herringbone
- Basil Rathbone as Mr. Carmichael
Unfortunately, no credit for the cat who won the audition.
Montresor Herringbone (Peter Lorre) hates his wife Annabelle (Joyce Jameson) and her black cat. One night on a ramble about town, he happens upon a wine-tasting event and challenges the world’s foremost wine taster, Fortunato Luchresi (Vincent Price), to a contest. Herringbone becomes drunk. Luchresi escorts him home and meets his wife. Time passes, and Annabelle and Luchresi become intimate. The cuckolded Herringbone then inters them alive in an alcove in the basement. The authorities become suspicious and two policemen (John Hackett and Lennie Weinrib) visit the house to investigate. Hearing screeching behind a basement wall, they knock the wall down to discover the dead lovers — and Annabelle’s black cat, which Herringbone had accidentally walled up with the lovers. Cast includes Wally Campo as bartender Wilkins and Alan DeWitt as the Wine-Tasting Chairman. (Wikipedia)
Credit for these wonderful black cat audition photographs goes to Ralph Crane and Life Magazine.