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Cat People / Curse of the Cat People
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Cat People / Curse of the Cat People

5.0 2
Director: Gunther Von Fritsch, Jacques Tourneur, Robert Wise

Cast: Simone Simon

 
Handed the exploitive title Cat People, RKO producer Val Lewton opted for a thinking man's thriller -- a psychological mood piece, more reliant on suspense and suggestion than overt "scare stuff". Simone Simon plays an enigmatic young fashion artist who is curiously affected by the panther cage at the central park zoo. She falls in love with handsome Kent Smith

Overview

Handed the exploitive title Cat People, RKO producer Val Lewton opted for a thinking man's thriller -- a psychological mood piece, more reliant on suspense and suggestion than overt "scare stuff". Simone Simon plays an enigmatic young fashion artist who is curiously affected by the panther cage at the central park zoo. She falls in love with handsome Kent Smith, but loses him to Jane Randolph. After a chance confrontation with a bizarre stranger at a restaurant, Simon becomes obsessed with the notion that she's a Cat Woman -- a member of an ancient Serbian tribe that metamorphoses into panthers whenever aroused by jealousy. She begins stalking her rival Randolph, terrifying the latter in the film's most memorable scene, set in an indoor swimming pool at midnight. Psychiatrist Tom Conway scoffs at the Cat Woman legend -- until he recoils in horror after kissing Simon. If the film's main set looks familiar, it is because it was built for Orson Welles' The Magnificent Ambersons (Lewton later used the same set for his The Seventh Victim). Cat People was remade by director Paul Schrader in 1982.

Officially a sequel to Val Lewton's psychological-horror classic Cat People (1942), Curse of the Cat People is in fact an engrossing and oftimes charming fantasy, told from a child's point of view. Six-year-old Ann Carter plays Amy Reed, the lonely daughter of eternally preoccupied Oliver Reed (Kent Smith). Amy's vivid imagination and inability to get along with her schoolmates leads Oliver to worry that the girl will start exhibiting the psychopathic tendencies of his long-deceased first wife Irena (Simone Simon), the obsessive "Cat Woman" in the earlier film. Oliver's second wife Alice (Jane Randolph) and Amy's sympathetic schoolteacher (Eve March) try to help, but Amy prefers the company of elderly Julia Farren (Julia Dean), a harmlessly crazy ex-actress who lives in a forbidding mansion with her neurotic daughter Barbara (Elizabeth Russell). Insanely jealous of Amy, Barbara ultimately tries to do the girl harm, but she is thwarted in this effort by the ghost of Irena, Amy's self-appointed guardian angel. Advertised as a horror picture, Curse of the Cat People has only one genuine "shock" scene; otherwise, the most frightening moment in the film is Julia Farren's spirited rendition of "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere." Saddled with a lurid title, producer Lewton and screenwriter DeWitt Bodeen chose to offer a fascinating glimpse into the wonderfully boundless realm of a child's imagination, and in this respect the film is an unqualified success.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/04/2005
UPC:
0053939724424
Rating:
NR
Source:
Turner Home Ent
Region Code:
1
Time:
2:23:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Commentary on both movies by historian Greg Mank, with audio interview excerpts of Simone Simon; Theatrical trailers; Subtitles: English, Français & Español (Feature films only)

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Cat People/The Curse of the Cat People
1. Credits and Foreword [1:11]
2. First Real Friend [3:53]
3. Wicked Ones [4:02]
4. Animal Uproar [4:29]
5. Fairy Tales [2:19]
6. Moya Sestra [4:48]
7. Like a Leopard [3:27]
8. Dr. Judd [5:04]
9. Restless Cats [3:20]
10. What Love Is [3:20]
11. Between Mind and Soul [1:45]
12. Drifting Apart [2:26]
13. Stalking Alice [5:35]
14. Key to Evil [3:25]
15. Pool Panic [4:35]
16. Of Interest to Judd [4:16]
17. Confession of Love [2:04]
18. Unlocked Door [2:55]
19. Stalking Oliver and Alice [3:24]
20. Transformation [3:47]
21. Both Parts Must Die [2:24]
1. Credits [1:04]
2. Winged Friend [2:35]
3. Oliver's Fears [2:46]
4. Dreams and Wishes [3:32]
5. The Old House [2:50]
6. Unbelievable Story [3:22]
7. I Wish for a Friend [4:20]
8. Doesn't Fit [2:13]
9. Julia Farren [4:24]
10. Headless Horseman [5:10]
11. Siren Song [2:24]
12. Naming Her Friend [5:37]
13. Christmas Carolers [3:15]
14. Exchanging Gifts [3:06]
15. Friendship Ring [2:19]
16. Punishment [4:10]
17. Don't Leave Me [3:22]
18. Into the Woods [3:41]
19. Lost Daughters [3:03]
20. Friend to Her Rescue [4:56]
21. I See Her Too [1:29]

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Cat People / Curse of the Cat People 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Moya_Sestra More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful movie that can scares without being too violent or gory. In fact, there is very little violence at all in the story, which grasps you from the beginning. It is also full of other things that could potentially carry a movie by themsleves, the performances are that good. The psychology, which could really slow down another movie, works here, only creating more suspense as the audience tries to figure out what Irena is afraid of, and why she does not want to be kissed.
Bryan_Cassiday_author More than 1 year ago
The cat woman is doomed, and, what's more, she knows it--on account of her affliction in this film noir classic. Because she knows she's doomed, she becomes sexually repressed. If for no other reasons, disregarding its sexual suppression aspects, "Cat People" is a brilliant, scary, though understated, film because of two outstanding creepy scenes.

The first occurs when the cat woman stalks another woman down a deserted, silent street in the dead of night. The only sounds we hear are the clicking of the jeopardized woman's heels echoing through the night. At first, the cat woman's heels, too, can be heard following the targeted woman, but then, ominously, as the cat woman becomes more and more catlike, the sound of her clacking heels disappears. The eerie scene ends when a bus screams to a halt next to the woman as she looks upward and sees branches shaking above her head as if an animal is climbing the tree nearby. This scene harks back to a similar scene in "The Leopard Man," another excellent film directed by Jacques Tourneur and produced by Val Lewton.

The other masterful eldritch scene in "Cat People" involves the same woman as she is again stalked by the cat woman, this time as the woman swims in an indoor swimming pool in dim light, surrounded by foreboding, looming shadows as they play fitfully over the lapping water and along the gym room's walls. Instead of the clacking heels in the aforementioned scene, we can hear only the swimming woman's forlorn paddling in the pool, echoing tinnnily across the swimming-pool water around her and then off the walls into shrieking quiet. And we can feel it in our very bones that the cat woman is preparing to attack . . .

--Bryan Cassiday, author of "Fete of Death"