7.4/10
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Cat People (1942)

Not Rated | | 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:

The strangest story you ever tried to get out of your dreams! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

25 December 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Cat People  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$134,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$4,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

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

The film was such a hit at the box office, the releases of the next two Lewton films (I Walked with a Zombie (1943) and The Leopard Man (1943)) were delayed. See more »

Goofs

There was no "King John of Serbia" who defeated the Mamelukes as Irena claims. None of the lists of Kings/Princes of Serbia include a King John. The closest historical personage was the Holy Martyr John Vladimir [St. Jovan Vladimir], killed by Tsar Vladimir in 1015 AD. See more »

Quotes

Irena Dubrovna: You saw her, Oliver. You saw what she looked like.
Oliver 'Ollie' Reed: Oh, the Cat People. She looks like a cat, so she must be on of the Cat People. One of King John's pets.
[laughs]
Oliver 'Ollie' Reed: Oh, Irena, you crazy kid!
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

Featured in True Bond (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Kolo
(uncredited)
Traditional Serbian dance
Arranged by Roy Webb
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Frequently Asked Questions

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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 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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