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Cat's Meow
     

The Cat's Meow

3.3 3
Director: Peter Bogdanovich, Kirsten Dunst, Eddie Izzard, Edward Herrmann

Cast: Peter Bogdanovich, Kirsten Dunst, Eddie Izzard, Edward Herrmann

 

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Kirsten Dunst stars in director Peter Bogdanovich's The Cat's Meow. The film is presented in a stunningly nice looking 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. With bright bold colors and solid black levels throughout (and hardly any imperfections marring the image), this transfer should please any and all fans of the film. The soundtrack is presented in Dolby

Overview

Kirsten Dunst stars in director Peter Bogdanovich's The Cat's Meow. The film is presented in a stunningly nice looking 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. With bright bold colors and solid black levels throughout (and hardly any imperfections marring the image), this transfer should please any and all fans of the film. The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround in English and sounds marvelous. While a few directional effects can be found on this track, overall the surround sounds are focused on the music score and old time songs of the roaring '20s. All aspects of the mix are free and clear of any excessive hiss or distortion. Also included on this disc are English and Spanish subtitles. Lion's Gate has packed this disc full of extra features, starting with a behind-the-scenes documentary titled "Anatomy of a Scene: The Cat's Meow." This very informative feature includes interviews with actors Kirsten Dunst, Eddie Izzard, and Edward Herrmann, among others. A short film by Charlie Chaplin titled Behind The Screen is included in a rough looking black and white full frame version which should please old time movie fans. A commentary track by director Peter Bogdanovich provides a ton of production information about the making of the film, including the music and the factual and fictional aspects of the screenplay. Finally there is a second featurette that also focuses on the making of the film (and the natural disaster encountered during the shoot), a few random interviews, some very old looking newsreel footage, and a theatrical trailer for the film.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Stuart Gazzo
After a nine-year hiatus from directing feature films, Peter Bogdanovich (The Last Picture Show) revisits Hollywood Babylon in The Cat's Meow. The story retells a favorite Tinseltown legend: the mysterious death of silent-film pioneer Thomas Ince after a birthday cruise on William Randolph Hearst's yacht. (It is familiar territory for Orson Welles biographer Bogdanovich, as Hearst was the inspiration for the central character in Welles's landmark Citizen Kane.) The film begins with a swell party aboard Hearst's fabulous ship that turns sour when the paranoid host (Edward Herrmann) suspects that notorious womanizer Charlie Chaplin (Eddie Izzard) has eyes for his mistress, actress Marion Davies (Kirsten Dunst). All aboard for the floating fete are Elinor Glyn (Joanna Lumley), Hearst columnist Louella Parsons (Jennifer Tilly), and Ince (Cary Elwes) -- who has been attempting to revitalize his career with Hearst's help. At once a Hollywood history book and an Agatha Christie-style mystery, The Cat's Meow's main attraction is its ensemble of actors, a fine crew distinguished by the tender relationship between Herrmann's surprisingly human Hearst and Dunst's inexorably engaging Davies, an unflappable flapper who Charlestons through every scene.
All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
The Cat's Meow is that increasingly rare American film, a classically composed movie narrative that uses an intriguing "what if" scenario to delve into complex matters of character and the heart. Captivated by the Hollywood Babylon legend regarding Thomas Ince's untimely demise ever since friend/idol/mentor Orson Welles mentioned it to him, film history buff Peter Bogdanovich frames the action aboard the Hearst yacht in assured, unobtrusive long takes that let moods of bright public hysteria and private conflicted anguish tellingly coexist. Though the idea of Hollywood venality is nothing new, Bogdanovich's sensitivity for the Hearst-Davies relationship and the consequences of hubris, unsurprisingly, enable Edward Herrmann's W.R. and Kirsten Dunst's incandescent Marion to be complicated, sympathetic figures rather than period caricatures. Eddie Izzard's lascivious Chaplin, Cary Elwes' scheming Ince, and Joanna Lumley's humorously tart Elinor Glyn also inject the tale with broad, energetic life. Jennifer Tilly's grating Louella Parsons is not so fortunate. Though The Cat's Meow is a well-crafted amusement, whether anyone outside of devout cineastes will care enough about a collection of deceased jazz age icons to return Bogdanovich to Hollywood's good graces after nearly a decade remains questionable.
Rolling Stone - Peter Travers
Elegant, funny and unexpectedly touching, this whodunit...represents a bracing comeback for Peter Bogdanovich.
Washington Post - Michael O'Sullivan
An elegant drama about power and its frightening uses, The Cat's Meow is the bee's knees.
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert

The film is darkly atmospheric, with Herrmann quietly suggesting the sadness and obsession beneath Hearst's forced avuncular chortles. Dunst is as good, in her way, as Dorothy Comingore in Citizen Kane in showing a woman who is more loyal and affectionate than her lover deserves.
Chicago Reader - Jonathan Rosenbaum
If it speaks with a quieter voice than many of Bogdanovich's early pictures, what it has to say seems substantially more personal and thoughtful.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/20/2002
UPC:
0031398809920
Original Release:
2001
Rating:
PG-13
Source:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
1:52:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; 16x9 widescreen (1.85:1); 5.1 Dolby Digital; Behind-the-scenes footage; Director commentary; Restored 1916 Chaplin short "Behind the Screen"; "Seein' Stars" newsreel from 1919; English & Spanish subtitles; Trailer; Interactive menus; Scene access; "Anatomy of a Scene" courtesy of Sundance Channel

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kirsten Dunst Marion Davies
Eddie Izzard Charlie Chaplin
Edward Herrmann William Randolph Hearst
Cary Elwes Thomas Ince
Joanna Lumley Elinor Glyn
Jennifer Tilly Louella Parsons
James Laurenson Actor
Chiara Schoras Actor
Claudie Blakley Actor
Ronan Vibert Joseph

Technical Credits
Peter Bogdanovich Director
Julie Baines Producer
Ernie Barbarash Co-producer
Sarah Beardsall Casting
Kim Bieber Producer
Caroline de Vivaise Costumes/Costume Designer
Bruno Delbonnel Cinematographer
Carol Lewis Producer
Dieter Meyer Producer
Edward Norris Editor
Michael Paseornek Executive Producer
Steven Peros Screenwriter
Jean-Vincent Puzos Production Designer
Wieland Schulz-Keil Executive Producer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. How It All Began [4:38]
2. San Pedro Harbor [6:18]
3. Gossip and the Tramp [4:50]
4. The Guests Assemble [4:39]
5. The Plot Thickens [4:09]
6. Ain't We Got Fun [5:48]
7. Business and Pleasure [4:19]
8. Private Party [5:34]
9. The Liberal Minded [4:39]
10. Lighting the Flame [4:57]
11. Snopping Around [5:24]
12. Confessions [5:58]
13. Happy Birthday [6:18]
14. Trust and Sharing [2:52]
15. Shattered Faith [2:29]
16. The Mystery Unfolds [3:21]
17. Cover Up [4:54]
18. Arousing Suspicions [4:23]
19. Eliminating Evidence [3:34]
20. Lasting Ties [3:41]
21. Setting the Record [4:03]
22. They Part Ways [6:19]
23. A Dark Reunion [5:44]
24. End Credits [4:46]

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The Cat's Meow 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why would ANYONE give this 3 or 2 stars?  One of my favorite films that I watch over and over. Can't wait for the Blu-Ray.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago