MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 184 this week

Cat People (1942)

7.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 10,376 users  
Reviews: 127 user | 98 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.

Director:

Writer:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 46 titles
created 16 Jul 2011
 
a list of 31 titles
created 03 Aug 2011
 
a list of 47 titles
created 19 Dec 2011
 
a list of 36 titles
created 10 Feb 2013
 
a list of 30 titles
created 10 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Cat People" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Cat People (1942)

Cat People (1942) on IMDb 7.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Cat People.
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A young Canadian nurse (Betsy) comes to the West Indies to care for Jessica, the wife of a plantation manager (Paul Holland). Jessica seems to be suffering from a kind of mental paralysis ... See full summary »

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Frances Dee, Tom Conway, James Ellison
Cat People (1982)
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A young woman's sexual awakening brings horror when she discovers her urges transform her into a monstrous black leopard.

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Nastassja Kinski, Malcolm McDowell, John Heard
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A seemingly tame leopard used for a publicity stunt escapes and kills a young girl, spreading panic throughout a sleepy new Mexico town.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Dennis O'Keefe, Margo, Jean Brooks
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A woman in search of her missing sister uncovers a Satanic cult in New York's Greenwich Village, and finds that they may have something to do with her sibling's random disappearance.

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Kim Hunter, Tom Conway, Jean Brooks
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A ruthless doctor and his young prize student find themselves continually harassed by their murderous supplier of illegal cadavers.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Henry Daniell
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Dr. John Holden ventures to London to attend a paranormal psychology symposium with the intention to expose devil cult leader, Julian Karswell. Holden is a skeptic and does not believe in ... See full summary »

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Dana Andrews, Peggy Cummins, Niall MacGinnis
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

On a Greek island during the 1912 war, several people are trapped by quarantine for the plague. If that isn't enough worry, one of the people, a superstitious old peasant woman, suspects ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Boris Karloff, Ellen Drew, Marc Cramer
Bedlam (1946)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Nell Bowen, the spirited protege of rich Lord Mortimer, becomes interested in the conditions of notorious St. Mary's of Bethlehem Asylum (Bedlam). Encouraged by the Quaker Hannay, she tries... See full summary »

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Boris Karloff, Anna Lee, Billy House
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After a traumatic accident, a woman becomes drawn to a mysterious abandoned carnival.

Director: Herk Harvey
Stars: Candace Hilligoss, Frances Feist, Sidney Berger
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Martin Scorsese narrates this tribute to Val Lewton, the producer of a series of memorable low-budget horror films for RKO Studios. Raised by his mother and his aunt, his films often ... See full summary »

Director: Kent Jones
Stars: Martin Scorsese, Elias Koteas, Roger Corman
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Tom Merriam signs on the ship Altair as third officer under Captain Stone. At first things look good, Stone sees Merriam as a younger version of himself and Merriam sees Stone as the first ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Richard Dix, Russell Wade, Edith Barrett
Edit

Cast

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

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:

She Was Marked With The Curse Of Those Who Slink And Court And Kill By Night! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Val Lewton reportedly sought Simone Simon for this film after seeing her performance in The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941). See more »

Goofs

When the shepherd arrives and finds the dead sheep, there's a live sheep sitting behind him. After a brief shot of the footprints that he's examining, the film returns to a shot of the shepherd, and the sheep is gone. See more »

Quotes

Irena Dubrovna: Oh, it's alright. It's just that cats don't seem to like me.
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

Edited into The 100 Scariest Movie Moments (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
My favorite Lewton/Tourneur Collaboration
25 January 2005 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

At the zoo, Oliver Reed (Kent Smith) sees the mysterious Irena Dubrovna (Simone Simon), who is sketching a black panther. He's intrigued by her--it seems to be love at first sight--and is surprised when she invites him into her apartment for a cup of tea. While in her apartment, he sees an odd statue of a man on horseback, holding a sword-skewered cat high in the air. Dubrovna tells him of her native Serbia, and the legend of unchristian "cat people" who were driven into the mountains. Dubrovna's behavior becomes increasingly odd, and animals often react strangely to her. Could she have something to do with the legend of the cat people?

This was director Jacques Tourneur and producer Val Lewton's first horror/thriller film together (they were to do two others together, I Walked With A Zombie (1943) and The Leopard Man (1943)), and for my money, this is the best of the three. Lewton was famous for understated, atmospheric horror that suggested more than it showed, a style that is also evident in his later collaborations with director Robert Wise (who went on to direct the infamous The Haunting (1963), which is often thought to be a pinnacle of this more "suggestive" style, although it's not a particular favorite of mine).

So what does this mean? Well, a lot of younger horror fans, for whom the oldest film that they are really familiar with in the genre is something like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) or an even more recent film, might be reluctant to call Cat People a horror film. It is "talky", doesn't contain any graphic violence, and we don't even see a horror creature/villain until just a glimpse near the very end of the film. But it is horror--the talking is centered on a captivating supernatural "myth", there are a lot of creepy, well-photographed scenes laden with heavy shadows, there are a couple exquisite chase/suspense scenes, and there is a lot of complex, dark psychological interaction.

The psychological tension is really the focus, as Lewton and Tourneur's films together are moral parables that function more as a metaphor for horror (rather than the more common flipside, where the horror is more prominent and might be a metaphor for some other kind of philosophical point). In this case, the moral and social situations are varied and complex, but are all focused on romantic relationships, ranging from quick actions taken due to lust, to emotional distancing, adultery and abuse of power. The more one watches the film, the more one is likely to get out of the subtextual messages. They remain more subtextual than they might in modern cinema because of content restrictions imposed by studios in this era (although of course those were a reaction to prevalent cultural attitudes at the time). But in retrospect, the buried nature of the themes is a benefit, at least in this case.

Occasionally, the horrific aspect of these types of films can be too understated, so that they simply become realist dramas. That's not the case here. This is a film that is rewarding on many levels.

A 9 out of 10 from me.


44 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Really Bad Acting lcherner
How on earth is this rated so high........... theghostofleifericson
I didn't like it. koomy
My Great Grandmother Was in this movie! XxLiMELiGHTxX
Feel a little bit silly... adam-402
Where did the sheep come from? emmas_place2003
Discuss Cat People (1942) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page