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The Cat's-Paw (1934)

 -  Comedy  -  7 August 1934 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 722 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 6 critic

Naive Ezekial Cobb, brought up by his missionary father in China returns to America to seek a wife. Corrupt politicians enlist him to run for mayor as a dummy candidate with no chance of ... See full summary »


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(story), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Cat's-Paw (1934)

The Cat's-Paw (1934) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Complete credited cast:
Una Merkel ...
Pat Pratt
George Barbier ...
Jake Mayo
Nat Pendleton ...
Grace Bradley ...
Dolores Doce
Alan Dinehart ...
Mayor Ed Morgan
Silk Hat McGee
E. Alyn Warren ...
Tien Wang (as Fred Warren)
Warren Hymer ...
'Spike' Slattery
J. Farrell MacDonald ...
Shigley (as J. Farrell Macdonald)
James Donlan ...
Red - the Reporter
District Attorney Neal
Frank Sheridan ...
Dan Moriarity - Police Commissioner
Fuzzy Knight ...
Stuttering Gangster
Vince Barnett ...
Wilks - a Gangster (as Vincent Barnett)


Naive Ezekial Cobb, brought up by his missionary father in China returns to America to seek a wife. Corrupt politicians enlist him to run for mayor as a dummy candidate with no chance of winning. Their plan backfires as he wins and embarks upon a reform crusade. Written by Herman Seifer <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Everything new but these [eyeglasses]




Approved | See all certifications »




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Release Date:

7 August 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Cat's-Paw  »

Box Office


$617,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The delay that followed Harold Lloyd's last picture Movie Crazy (1932) was partly due to the fact that he could find no suitable story. He bought The Cat's Paw when Author Clarence Budington Kelland had finished only the first chapter, offered suggestions to make the part more to his taste. When the story was finished Lloyd was amazed to find that none of the antics which his private staff of "gagmen" usually arrange for him seemed to fit the plot. He finally accepted the advice of his director, Sam Taylor, to make the picture without his customary comedy inventions. See more »


Ezekiel Cobb: A cordial greeting, my worthy friend!
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I'm Just That Way
(1934) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Akst
Lyrics by Roy Turk
Performed by Grace Bradley
See more »

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User Reviews

Bogus mayor cleans up corrupt town...
20 April 2009 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

HAROLD LLOYD is a young man brought up in China who returns to the U.S. where his naive and bumbling ways lead him into a den of corrupt citizens who want to use him for their own purposes. He turns the tables on them by deciding that honesty is his best policy, winning an election he was supposed to lose.

Chief among the crooked politicians is GEORGE BARBIER, whom I had only seen in supporting roles in Warner comedies like IT'S LOVE I'M AFTER (as Olivia de Havilland's father) and a number of other screwball comedies where he played a befuddled gentleman. Here he is, just as befuddled as ever, in a larger role than usual, but he soon adopts some of Lloyd's philosophy and helps him rid the city of corruption.

The final act is bound to stir controversy today, dealing as it does with Chinese justice by the sword. NAT PENDLETON is amusing as a man who clearly doesn't want to die by the sword (or lose his head), and ALAN DINEHART and others give Lloyd fine support.

Not quite as funny as intended, it does pass the time quickly in spite of its rather long running time for a comedy of this sort. It should please Harold Lloyd fans who may forgive the lack of chemistry between him and UNA MERKEL, who is nobody's idea of a leading lady. She plays her usual wisecracking dame.

Alfred Newman's busy background score is more apparent than usual in a film of this vintage.

Don't expect the usual slapstick gags to liven up the satire. It's the sort of story Frank Capra or Preston Sturges would work wonders with later on.

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