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The Leopard Man (1943)

Approved  |   |  Horror, Thriller  |  8 May 1943 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 2,909 users  
Reviews: 73 user | 42 critic

A seemingly tame leopard used for a publicity stunt escapes and kills a young girl, spreading panic throughout a sleepy new Mexico town.

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(screenplay), (additional dialogue), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Leopard Man (1943)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dennis O'Keefe ...
Margo ...
Clo-Clo
Jean Brooks ...
Kiki Walker
...
Maria - Fortune Teller
James Bell ...
Dr. Galbraith
Margaret Landry ...
Teresa Delgado
Abner Biberman ...
Charlie How-Come
Tuulikki Paananen ...
Consuelo Contreras (as Tula Parma)
Ben Bard ...
Roblos - the Police Chief
Edit

Storyline

At the encouragement of her manager, a nightclub performer in New Mexico (Kiki Walker) takes a leashed leopard into the club as a publicity gimmick. But her rival, angered by the attempt to upstage, scares the animal and it bolts. In the days that follow, people are mauled and the countryside is combed for the loose creature. But Kiki and her manager begin to wonder if maybe the leopard is not responsible for the killings. Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A shriek in the night--another victim torn to pieces by claw and fang! Is it man-like beast or beast-like man that picks only beauty as prey--and why? See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

8 May 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El hombre leopardo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the Summer of 1952, RKO reissued this film as a double feature with King Kong (1933). RKO "cashed in", as young theatergoers, due to this film's title, were expecting to see a second "creature" film. See more »

Goofs

The smoke from Jerry's cigarette during the conversation with Galbraith in the nightclub during Clo-Clo's dance. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Kiki Walker: It may sound like music to her. I can do better with my teeth in a cold shower.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
New Mexico After Dark
12 October 2001 | by (brighton, ma) – See all my reviews

A far better than average early film from the Val Lewton unit, The Leopard Man is as much murder mystery as horror picture. It is set in a New Mexico town where there are some weird goings on, including, among other things, big cat attacks. The photography is exceptional, moving from subjective to documentary-style objective without drastically altering the tone of the picture. What horror there is comes more from a sense of dread than anything that actually happens; also from the eerie feeling that certain places are unlucky, that some people are bound to die simply because of where they are. How true.

The star players are somewhat dull, but the supporting cast is quite good. And the merging and sometime colliding of the Anglo, Hispanic and Indian cultures is nicely presented. There is a sense of primitive feeling, of old religion, throughout the film, implied rather than stated, that is beyond the grasp of the hyper-rational lead players. We can catch this mood in fits and starts, but like the major characters, it eludes our grasp. Jacques Tourneur's direction is masterful every step of the way; and he uses music sensually yet emphatically, and the result is a fine-tuned film. It's major flaw is the revelation of the culprit, yet once Tourneur accepted the script's limitations he works superbly within them. The best thing about the movie is that its most crucial events happen mostly off-screen, leaving a good deal to our imaginations. And the minimalist script leaves a great deal in the dark, and even after the picture's florid, almost surreal climax, the air of mystery lingers. There are loose ends for sure, but Tourneur's polite, civilized touch dresses them up to appear profound and suggestive rather than threadbare, and the result is a pleasing conclusion that does not quite give the whole thing away; and we are left wanting to know just a little bit more. Tourneur was a true master.


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