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Cat People (1942)

Approved | | Fantasy, Horror, Thriller | 25 December 1942 (USA)
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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Cast

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Storyline

Serbian national Irena Dubrovna, a fashion sketch artist, has recently arrived in New York for work. The first person who she makes a personal connection with there is marine engineer Oliver Reed. The two fall in love and get married despite Irena's reservations, not about Oliver but about herself. She has always felt different than other people, but has never been sure why. She lives close to the zoo, and unlike many of her neighbors is comforted by the sounds of the big cats emanating from the zoo. And although many see it purely as an old wives' tale, she believes the story from her village of ancient residents being driven into witchcraft and evil doing, those who managed to survive by escaping into the mountains. After seeing her emotional pain, Oliver arranges for her to see a psychiatrist to understand why she believes what she does. In therapy, Dr. Judd, the psychiatrist, learns that she also believes, out of that villagers' tale, that she has descended from this evil - women ... Written by Huggo

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 »

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Details

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Release Date:

25 December 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Cat People  »

Box Office

Budget:

$134,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$4,000,000 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Val Lewton came very close to being fired after only three days of shooting. Lou L. Ostrow, the head of RKO's B-unit, had looked at the first three days of rushes and was not happy with what he saw. Ostrow wanted Lewton out, but was ultimately overruled by RKO chief Charles Koerner who was happy with Lewton's work and wanted him to continue. 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

Oliver 'Ollie' Reed: [Looking down at Irena's lifeless body in the form of a panther] She never lied to us.
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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 »


Soundtracks

Nothin' Else To Do
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Bernard Herrmann
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A horror classic. Hugely influential and still as enjoyable as ever.
25 March 2003 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

'Cat People' was the first collaboration between director Jacques Tourneur ('Curse Of The Demon') and producer Val Lewton, and is still one of their greatest achievements, and one of the most influential horror movies ever made. It's arguably the best horror movie made between the Universal classics of the 1930s and the beginning of Hammer studios in the 1950s. So many subsequent film makers from Hitchcock on down have been influenced by this movie and yet it rarely gets the respect it deserves. 'Cat People' pretends to be a monster movie but is really something more complex, and relies on atmosphere and suspense rather than explicit shocks or gore (there is virtually none of the latter). Fans of Hitchcock and film noir will probably appreciate it more than hardcore gorehounds. Simone Simon is very well cast as the mysterious and troubled Irena and the rest of the cast range from adequate to very good. The acting is probably one of the weakest links in the film but not enough to spoil your enjoyment (I think 1940s acting is an acquired taste and I can see how a modern viewer who expects more realistic and natural performances could sometimes find them a bit hard to swallow). 'Cat People' is a horror classic and is highly recommended to anyone interested in the genre.


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