IMDb > Cat People (1942)
Cat People
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Cat People (1942) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 16 | slideshow) Videos (see all 3)
Cat People -- 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...

Overview

User Rating:
7.5/10   10,175 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
DeWitt Bodeen (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Cat People on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 December 1942 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
She knew strange, fierce pleasures that no other woman could ever feel! See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 win & 2 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(63 articles)
Man from Atlantis leads new Warner Archive Instant titles
 (From Cinelinx. 2 May 2014, 9:34 PM, PDT)

Spell of the Cat People
 (From Filmmaker Magazine. 18 April 2014, 6:00 AM, PDT)

Ann Carter, Former 1940s Child Actress, Dies at 77
 (From Variety - Film News. 6 February 2014, 5:01 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
Absolutely amazing... See more (127 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Simone Simon ... Irena Dubrovna Reed
Kent Smith ... Oliver Reed
Tom Conway ... Dr. Louis Judd

Jane Randolph ... Alice Moore

Jack Holt ... The Commodore
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Henrietta Burnside ... Sue Ellen (uncredited)
Alec Craig ... Zookeeper (uncredited)
Eddie Dew ... Street Policeman (uncredited)
Elizabeth Dunne ... Mrs. Plunkett (uncredited)
Dynamite ... The Panther (uncredited)
Dot Farley ... Mrs. Agnew (uncredited)
George Ford ... Whistling Cop (scenes deleted) (uncredited)
Bud Geary ... Mounted Policeman (scenes deleted) (uncredited)
Mary Halsey ... Blondie (uncredited)
Theresa Harris ... Minnie (uncredited)
Charles Jordan ... Bus Driver (uncredited)
Donald Kerr ... Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Connie Leon ... Neighbor Who Called Police (uncredited)
Murdock MacQuarrie ... Sheep Caretaker (uncredited)

Alan Napier ... Doc Carver (uncredited)
Leda Nicova ... Patient (scenes deleted) (uncredited)
John Piffle ... Café Proprietor (uncredited)
Betty Roadman ... Mrs. Hansen (uncredited)
Elizabeth Russell ... The Cat Woman (uncredited)
Stephen Soldi ... Organ Grinder (uncredited)
Create a character page for: ?

Directed by
Jacques Tourneur 
 
Writing credits
DeWitt Bodeen (written by)

Produced by
Val Lewton .... producer
 
Original Music by
Roy Webb 
 
Cinematography by
Nicholas Musuraca (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Mark Robson 
 
Art Direction by
Albert S. D'Agostino 
Walter E. Keller 
 
Set Decoration by
A. Roland Fields (set decorations) (as Al Fields)
Darrell Silvera 
 
Costume Design by
Renié (gowns)
 
Makeup Department
Mel Berns .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Doran Cox .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
John L. Cass .... recordist
 
Special Effects by
Vernon L. Walker .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Linwood G. Dunn .... photographic effects (uncredited)
 
Music Department
C. Bakaleinikoff .... musical director
John Leipold .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Leonid Raab .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Richard C. Craven .... humane representative (uncredited)
Mel Koontz .... animal trainer (uncredited)
Lou L. Ostrow .... supervisor (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
Create a character page for: ?

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
73 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Finland:K-16 (1978) | Netherlands:18 (original rating) (1952) | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (re-release) (1999) | UK:PG (video rating) (1998) | USA:Approved (PCA #8693) | West Germany:12 (video rating)

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:
Continuity: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Do, Do, Baby, DoSee more »

FAQ

How does the movie end?
Did Irena really turn into a panther?
Why did Dr Judd purposely "forget" his walking stick?
See more »
56 out of 69 people found the following review useful.
Absolutely amazing..., 31 January 2004
Author: MovieAddict2014 from UK

More often than not, it's much better to show nothing than anything at all. Hitchcock knew this, and that's how he essentially became known as The Master of Suspense. Had he shown Norman's "mother" from "Psycho" killing the girl in the shower in greater detail, the horror of the scene would have been more greatly ineffective as compared to just how haunting it is today.

Jacques Tourneur obviously understood this idea and used it to his advantage in "Cat People." An experienced director of cult horror films from the 30s and 40s, Tourneur's story of a woman with a mysterious background still works as a pinnacle thriller sixty years later. Movies like this aren't made anymore--and I mean that in a literal sense. A more modern director would use bad CGI effects to reveal the "cat woman" for what she is, and I can only imagine how an idea like this would translate to the screen nowadays. But the key to "Cat People" is that we never even see the cat people. We don't see anything. We don't want to see anything.

"A Kiss Could Change Her Into a Monstrous Fang-and-Claw Killer!" boasted the tagline in 1942. Of course, this is an ancient filmmaking technique for that age--symbolic of the loss of one's virginity, the essential background of the tale is rooted deeply in the nature and misconceptions of sexuality at the time.

The monogamy of it all is very subtle and, at first glance, nonexistent--but the deeper you look into the hints the clearer the signs appear. Irena is not allowed to kiss a man or she changes into a monstrous beast. A metaphor for loss of virginity and the result stemming from this is old folklore, and the film's use of Irena's background is more than just an explanation for her genetic traits--it is a way of creating the central idea that she lives in fear of her own background of sexuality. It's as subtle and effective as the entire film's approach to horror.

Irena Dubrovna (Simone Simon) is a fashion artist living in New York City. Born from a Serbian background, she lives under the impression that her own family's roots lie in an ancient curse of the "cat people" that were thrown out of a city in Serbia hundreds of years before.

Animals do indeed react strangely to her. She is unable to enter into a pet store, because the squawks of scared birds and the barks of sensitive dogs drown out the entire area. It is almost as if she is truly an animal. When she is given a pet kitten, she takes it back and exchanges it for a bird. The bird dies from fright weeks later.

When she meets Oliver Reed (Kent Smith) downtown in the city, she falls desperately and hopelessly in love, but the depression of her own fear of unleashing the cat within prevents her from coming in close contact with her own boyfriend--and eventual husband.

Left untouched by his own wife, Oliver eventually turns to his co-worker Alice Moore (Jane Randolph) for satisfaction (only lightly hinted at by the film), which ends up sparking a terrifying anger and hatred within Irena. Hounded by a curious psychiatrist (Tom Conway) and feeling like an outcast around her own husband, Irena's inner cat is indeed released and wreaks brief havoc upon those around her.

We never see the cat, and we never see Irena's transformation into another species. But, as I said before, it's much better--and certainly more effective--this way, as the suspense and mystery of the film propels it towards repeat viewings. The movie is even a bit like "Ginger Snaps," in a way, only it's certainly more moody and suspenseful. And there aren't any fake-looking dog puppets in this version of the tale.

It's always pleasant to watch classic movies late at night on a Friday or Saturday night. No one cares about them anymore--cheap straight-to-video movies air on television earlier than the classics. But these are the staples of every existing genre--specifically horror, when it comes to films like "Cat People." These types of films should be appreciated much more than they have been in the past, say, sixty years.

"Cat People" is an amazing achievement with a distinct sense of classic horror and a good dose of suspense. If you like horror--or if you don't--this is a must-see film, and it is certainly one of the most memorable cult horror classics of all time, led by some great performances and a very talented director behind the camera. What a treat.

5/5 stars.

- John Ulmer

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (127 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Cat People (1942)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
I've just gotta mention this. hotmomoko
I didn't like it. koomy
My Great Grandmother Was in this movie! XxLiMELiGHTxX
How on earth is this rated so high........... theghostofleifericson
So, Irena and Oliver never kissed? Cali7
The cat story OutOfTimeMan
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Cat People The Postman Always Rings Twice The Grudge King Kong Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Horror section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.