MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 421 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 10,356 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 28 titles
created 12 Sep 2011
 
a list of 38 titles
created 27 May 2013
 
a list of 36 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 31 titles
created 9 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:

A Kiss Could Change Her Into a Monstrous Fang-and-Claw Killer! 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

R.K.O. gave Val Lewton only $150,000 to make the film, resulting in "creative" producing. 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 was only visible in the office and zoo cage. See more »

Goofs

When Irena does not show up at her apartment when Dr. Judd, Oliver, and Alice are waiting for her, they leave. Dr. Judd hides cane in apartment to give him an excuse to borrow Oliver's key and go back in for it, after when he leaves the door unlocked so that he can sneak back in, something hidden from Oliver and Alice. Yet after Oliver and Alice are threatened in the office, they call the apartment to warn Dr. Judd that Irena is definitely dangerous and that he should leave. 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 closing credits] "But black sin hath betrayed to endless night. Holy world, both parts and both parts must die."- "Holy Sonnets"- John Donne See more »

Connections

Referenced in The 100 Greatest Scary Moments (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Maybe even the greatest horror film ever made
3 October 2005 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

The horror genre has had many of the greatest films of all time stem from it, and Cat People is, without doubt, one of the best and most important. The film represents the first collaboration between (probably) horror's most important producer, and one of the genre's best directors. Under Val Lewton's watchful eye, Jacques Tourneur has managed to put together a film that successfully fuses a foreboding atmosphere with a terrific storyline and the result is a film with merits impossible to deny. The story starts off slowly, with Kent Smith's American gentleman meeting the Serbian beauty Simone Simon sketching a black leopard in a zoo. From there, the two fall in love amidst a backdrop of malevolence stemming from her belief that she is the victim of an ancient curse on her village that means she will transform into a black panther if emotionally aroused. The two get married anyway, but it soon becomes apparent that this curse will play a bigger part in their marriage than either of them first imagined or hoped.

There are two sides to this great movie. The first side is the technical one. Jacques Tourneur's handling of the camera is superb, and the way that the characters are manipulated into certain situations allows him to really show his talent. Consider the famous shadow-laden scene at the swimming pool, or the sequence that sees Jane Randolph being pursued by a mysterious presence. These scenes work not because of the characters or the situation; but because of the way that Tourneur captures the scene. He would go on to show this talent throughout his career, but it's done best here. The acting is typical of the forties, with much of it being soaked in melodrama. This actually helps the film because the heavy performances allow you to really get into what the film is trying to achieve and, despite the fact that the subject material is definitely 'B-class'; the acting gives it a grounding alongside the bigger budgeted films of it's day. The beautiful Simone Simon takes the lead role, and it's her persona and European origin that gives the film much of it's intrigue and mystery. Kent Smith and Jane Randolph are great in support, while Tom Conway shines like he has in several other Val Lewton films in his small but effective role as the psychiatrist.

The second side of the film concern's its story. This is the main reason why Cat People is such an enchanting piece of cinema. Soaked in mystery, the central plot - which handles themes of lust, aggression and not being able to subdue certain emotions, will always be relevant to whoever is viewing the film. While here it is portrayed in a much more extreme way than in real life, the fundamentals of what the plot is portraying exist in every person. More important than this, however, is the way that the mythology is built up around the 'cat people'. We are never really given a definite explanation as to what the curse is all about, and this allows the director to tap into the fear of the unknown, and this also allows him to keep the cards regarding the ending close to his chest throughout. Obviously, due to the time in which it was made; Cat People wasn't allowed to show shocking violence, but it implies brilliantly; and despite the fact that we never really see anything - it is easy to believe otherwise. The simple plot really helps the film as it allows it to convey what it needs to convey without getting tangled up in sub-plots and other non-essential elements; and this piece of pulp poetry really shows that you don't need an epic running time to create a successful film. I really can't recommend this film highly enough.


23 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

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

Contribute to This Page