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The Cat's-Paw (1934)

Not Rated | | Comedy | 7 August 1934 (USA)
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 »

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(story), (screen play)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Jake Mayo
...
Strozzi
...
Dolores Doce
...
Mayor Ed Morgan
...
Silk Hat McGee
E. Alyn Warren ...
Tien Wang (as Fred Warren)
...
'Spike' Slattery
...
Shigley (as J. Farrell Macdonald)
James Donlan ...
Red - the Reporter
...
District Attorney Neal
...
Dan Moriarity - Police Commissioner
...
Stuttering Gangster
...
Wilks - a Gangster (as Vincent Barnett)
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Storyline

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 <alagain@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Everything new but these [eyeglasses]

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

7 August 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Sündenbock  »

Box Office

Budget:

$617,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

Jake Mayo: Where you from, son?
Ezekiel Cobb: China.
Jake Mayo: China? You mean where them laundry men come from?
See more »

Soundtracks

The Stars and Stripes Forever
(1896) (uncredited)
Music by John Philip Sousa
Played at the Good Government League meeting at the City Club
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Yes, Harold Lloyd Can Talk
5 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film would be considered controversial today, but is still very funny. The racial stereotyping is done from the view of humor & not hate. This film strips off & shows how corrupt politicians already were in the early 1930's. This film proves it started before the 1970's & beyond when it has accelerated in the United States. Lloyd is still in his typical genre here, even though his character was raised in China.

The meaning of a Cat's Paw in this instance is a person who is running for political office but is being used by the established political machine to advance their agenda. In other words, they think this guy (Lloyd)is harmless when he runs for office. Then when he gets elected, he surprises them.

This same theme is used later in James Stewarts film Mr. Smith goes to Washington. Stewarts is more famous & has a stronger message. This film is more clever & subtle which are Harold Lloyds trademarks.

There is still the heart of romantic comedy hidden with the facade of the movie but today's mainstream audiences would still appreciate the political humor & the ending is absolutely priceless. I wish someone could beat today's political system in this way. I was surprised how much I enjoyed this film & find myself wishing Harold had done more like it during the 1930's.

At least we have this one. I think the person who is quoted most in the movie is fictional Ling Po. I always thought Confusicus was the wise one but this one makes me believe the wisdom of China was not limited to him & is a vast field of comedy Lloyd mined in this movie.


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