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Cat People (1942)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 10,734 users  
Reviews: 128 user | 99 critic

An American man marries a Serbian immigrant who fears that she will turn into the cat person of her homeland's fables if they are intimate together.

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Title: Cat People (1942)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Kent Smith ...
Tom Conway ...
...
...
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Storyline

Irena Dubrovna, a beautiful and mysterious Serbian-born fashion artist living in New York City, falls in love with and marries average-Joe American Oliver Reed. Their marriage suffers though, as Irena believes that she suffers from an ancient curse- whenever emotionally aroused, she will turn into a panther and kill. Oliver thinks that is absurd and childish, so he sends her to psychiatrist Dr. Judd to cure her. Easier said than done... Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

LOVELY WOMAN...GIANT KILLER-CAT...THE SAME "PERSON"!...IT'S SUPER-SENSATIONAL! (1954 re-release poster) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

25 December 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La marca de la pantera  »

Box Office

Budget:

$134,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$4,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmed in 18 days. See more »

Goofs

When Irena is alarmed by the woman in the restaurant, she makes the sign of the cross left-to-right, as a Western Catholic would. However, as a Serb, she would more likely have made it right-to-left, as Orthodox and Eastern Catholics do. And if she was Orthodox, she would join three fingers (thumb, index and middle finger) to make the sign of the cross, not use the whole hand. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Louis Judd: Why would she wish to harm you?
Alice Moore: Because I'm in love with her husband.
See more »

Crazy Credits

[From the opening credits] "Even as fog continues to lie in the valleys, so does ancient sin cling to the low places, the depression in the world consciousness."- "The Anatomy of Atavism"- Dr. Louis Judd See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cat People: An Intimate Portrait by Paul Schrader (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Do, Do, Baby, Do
Traditional French folk lullaby
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A man called Oliver Reed falls in love with quirky and timid woman who fears an old curse inside her
6 October 2013 | by (Santander Spain) – See all my reviews

An American man (Kent Smith) marries a Serbian immigrant called Irena Dubrovna (Simone Simon) , a shy woman who fears that she will turn into the cat person of her homeland's fables if they are intimate together . Dubrovna believes she carries the Serbian curse of the panther . As strange Irena knew strange, fierce pleasures that no other woman could ever feel . She was marked with the curse of those who slink and and court and kill y night . Oliver then sends Irena for treatment with psychiatrist Dr. Louis Judd (Tom Conway) . Meanwhile , Reed finds consolation with his colleague Alice Moore (Jane Randolph) and then jealousy and envy crop out . Later on , rampages take place through community .

Over-the-top classic picture filled with thrills , intrigue , drama , a loving triangle , some moments of shock and results to be pretty entertaining . Atmospheric goings-on dominate this typically tasteful horror study from director Tourner . Suspense , tension and horror is exposed lurking , menacing , harassing in rooms , stairs , doors and a menagerie . Cinematography by Nicholas Musuraca is magnificent , plenty of lights and dark originating an eerie and creepy scenario . The movie was produced by RKO and its most known and famed producer , Val Lewton , the biggest producer of horror classics (I walked with a Zombie , Leopard man , Bedlam , Ghost ship ), plus he produced for director Mark Robson (in Cat people he works as an editor) numerous films (Isle of the dead , seventh victim) with similar technicians and artists . R.K.O. gave Val Lewton only $150,000 to make the film , resulting in "creative" producing . In fact ; because of the incredibly tight budget, sets from Orson Welles' The Magnificent Amberson were re-used . This forced many of the scenes requiring special effects to be done in shadows which many believe increased the suspense of the film . When studio execs insisted that more footage of the panther be included in the movie, Lewton was able to maintain the budget and the suspense of the film by limiting how many scenes the panther could be visibly seen and told the cinematographer to "keep the panther in the shadows" . Thus the panther called Dynamite appeared in another film by the same producers/directors: 'Leopard man' and was only visible in the office and zoo cage .

RKO usual musician , Roy Webb , creates a fine score with the habitual musical director Bakaleinikoff . Excellent and evocative set design at charge of Albert D'Agostino . The picture was stunningly directed by Jaques Tourneur , being filmed in 18 days . The film was such a hit at the box office, the releases of the next two Lewton films I walked with a Zombie and Leopard man were delayed . Torneur knew the imagination was stronger than anything filmmakers could show visually and played on it with breathtaking results . Addicts to RKO horror should no account miss this movie . The flick will appeal to classic cinema moviegoers . Followed by a sequel titled ¨Curse of the cat people¨ by Robert Wise with similar cast as Simone Simon , Kent Smith and Elizabeth Russell . And an inferior remake (1982) by Paul Schrader with Natassja Kinski , John Heard , Malcolm McDowell , Scott Paulin and Ed Begley


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