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...


User Rating:
7.4/10   12,116 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 8% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
DeWitt Bodeen (written by)
View company contact information for Cat People on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 December 1942 (USA) See more »
She knew strange, fierce pleasures that no other woman could ever feel! See more »
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:
1 win & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
My favorite Lewton/Tourneur Collaboration See more (132 total) »


  (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:
73 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
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?

The opening credits end with a quote attributed to "Dr. Louis Judd," which is the name of the psychiatrist character in the movie.See more »
Continuity: 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 »
Oliver 'Ollie' Reed:[Looking down at Irena's lifeless body in the form of a panther] She never lied to us.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Seventh Victim (1943)See more »
Do, Do, Baby, DoSee more »


What is 'Cat People' about?
Did Irena really turn into a panther?
Where did the dead sheep come from?
See more »
49 out of 55 people found the following review useful.
My favorite Lewton/Tourneur Collaboration, 25 January 2005
Author: Brandt Sponseller from New York City

At the zoo, Oliver Reed (Kent Smith) sees the mysterious Irena Dubrovna (Simone Simon), who is sketching a black panther. He's intrigued by her--it seems to be love at first sight--and is surprised when she invites him into her apartment for a cup of tea. While in her apartment, he sees an odd statue of a man on horseback, holding a sword-skewered cat high in the air. Dubrovna tells him of her native Serbia, and the legend of unchristian "cat people" who were driven into the mountains. Dubrovna's behavior becomes increasingly odd, and animals often react strangely to her. Could she have something to do with the legend of the cat people?

This was director Jacques Tourneur and producer Val Lewton's first horror/thriller film together (they were to do two others together, I Walked With A Zombie (1943) and The Leopard Man (1943)), and for my money, this is the best of the three. Lewton was famous for understated, atmospheric horror that suggested more than it showed, a style that is also evident in his later collaborations with director Robert Wise (who went on to direct the infamous The Haunting (1963), which is often thought to be a pinnacle of this more "suggestive" style, although it's not a particular favorite of mine).

So what does this mean? Well, a lot of younger horror fans, for whom the oldest film that they are really familiar with in the genre is something like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) or an even more recent film, might be reluctant to call Cat People a horror film. It is "talky", doesn't contain any graphic violence, and we don't even see a horror creature/villain until just a glimpse near the very end of the film. But it is horror--the talking is centered on a captivating supernatural "myth", there are a lot of creepy, well-photographed scenes laden with heavy shadows, there are a couple exquisite chase/suspense scenes, and there is a lot of complex, dark psychological interaction.

The psychological tension is really the focus, as Lewton and Tourneur's films together are moral parables that function more as a metaphor for horror (rather than the more common flipside, where the horror is more prominent and might be a metaphor for some other kind of philosophical point). In this case, the moral and social situations are varied and complex, but are all focused on romantic relationships, ranging from quick actions taken due to lust, to emotional distancing, adultery and abuse of power. The more one watches the film, the more one is likely to get out of the subtextual messages. They remain more subtextual than they might in modern cinema because of content restrictions imposed by studios in this era (although of course those were a reaction to prevalent cultural attitudes at the time). But in retrospect, the buried nature of the themes is a benefit, at least in this case.

Occasionally, the horrific aspect of these types of films can be too understated, so that they simply become realist dramas. That's not the case here. This is a film that is rewarding on many levels.

A 9 out of 10 from me.

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Question about Dr. Judd going back to the apartment (possible spoiler) randallknox
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Where did the sheep come from? emmas_place2003
How on earth is this rated so high........... theghostofleifericson
My Great Grandmother Was in this movie! XxLiMELiGHTxX
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