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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
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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

Ezekiel Cobb: A cordial greeting, my worthy friend!
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
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User Reviews

 
Harold speaks.... Chinese... sort of...
3 September 2009 | by (the heartland) – See all my reviews

We hear so much about how the coming of sound ruined careers. This doesn't seem to be the case for Harold Lloyd, who smoothly makes the transition to talkies in 'The Cat's Paw' (1934). The story has Lloyd as missionary's son Ezekiel Cobb raised in rural China. On return to America Cobb becomes a patsy for a political machine, but to everyone's surprise gets elected mayor.

The story is entertaining even though most of the jokes fall flat. It does contain a lot of racial stereotypes and epithets, but is good natured and pretty equal-opportunity in it's treatment of various ethnic groups making it at least honest in it's portrayal of life in Depression era U.S.A.

Modern audiences may find the use of caucasian actors in Chinese roles, and the dubbing of Lloyd when he speaks Chinese in 'The Cat's Paw' as much more blatantly obvious than did audiences of the time. And while it's not as groundbreaking as Lloyd's silent film work, and there are admittedly better films from the mid 30s, as mentioned, it's entertaining and fast moving, and worth checking out if for no other reason than to see Una Merkel as savvy cigarette girl Pet and to see Lloyd transition from sight gags to speaking.


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