IMDb > Cat People (1942)
Cat People
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Cat People (1942) More at IMDbPro »

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Cat People -- The classic atmospheric horror film about a young newlywed who is stricken by an ancient curse that turns her into a bloodthirsty panther.
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:
7.4/10   11,378 votes »
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Down 5% 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 »
User Reviews:
Maybe even the greatest horror film ever made See more (131 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)
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)
John Piffle ... Café Proprietor (uncredited)
Betty Roadman ... Mrs. Hansen (uncredited)
Elizabeth Russell ... The Cat Woman (uncredited)
Stephen Soldi ... Organ Grinder (uncredited)

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

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 (1989) | 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:
The film was in theaters for so long that critics who had originally bashed the film were able to see it again and many rewrote their reviews with a more positive spin.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: The wadded up paper that Irena throws toward the garbage changes shape between when she throws it and when Oliver picks it up and throws it away.See more »
Quotes:
Irena Dubrovna:I like the dark. It's friendly.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Do, Do, Baby, DoSee more »

FAQ

Why did Dr Judd purposely "forget" his walking stick?
What is 'Cat People' about?
Is "Cat People" based on a book?
See more »
23 out of 31 people found the following review useful.
Maybe even the greatest horror film ever made, 3 October 2005
Author: The_Void from Beverley Hills, England

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.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Cat People (1942)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Really Bad Acting lcherner
How on earth is this rated so high........... theghostofleifericson
Cats havde 9 lives;;;;what if??? cmichal427
Where did the sheep come from? emmas_place2003
I've just gotta mention this. hotmomoko
I didn't like it. koomy
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