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The Leopard Man (1943)

Approved | | Horror, Thriller | 25 June 1943 (USA)
A seemingly tame leopard used for a publicity stunt escapes and kills a young girl, spreading panic throughout a sleepy New Mexico town.



(screenplay), (additional dialogue) | 1 more credit »

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2 nominations. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Margaret Landry ...
Consuelo Contreras (as Tula Parma)


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


Women Alone the Victims of Strange, Savage Killer! See more »


Horror | Thriller


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

25 June 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El hombre leopardo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


There are several unidentified musical pieces used during the film. However, the unusual birthday song sung a capella to Consuela is called "Las Mananitas"; it also turns up in Subida al Cielo/Mexican Busride. See more »


In a few scenes, Clo-Clo uses her castanets to augment her conversation, but the sound she produces by using only one castanet is actually the sound of two castanets. See more »


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


Spoofed in The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror XI (2000) See more »


Las Mañanitas
Traditional Mexican birthday song
Performed by Fely Franquelli and Ottola Nesmith
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

How a Catwalk Leads to Murder
8 November 2005 | by See all my reviews

Dennis O'Keefe and Jean Brooks decide to elevate their act in New Mexico by having Brooks walk on-stage with a black leopard. The Mexican castanet dancer, Clo Clo(deliciously played by Margo), mashes the castanets menacingly at the cat, it flees, and a panic spreads amongst the people of the little village. Soon, one girl dies, then another, and another...and evidence points that a cat did it and later to something completely different. The Leopard Man is one of those rare films that is very effective with shadows and fog without showing anything. We never see any of the deaths happen "on-stage" so to speak. The imaginations of the viewers are enlisted to conjure up what might be the scene of each murder. Director Jacques Tournier and producer Val Lewton probably team up for their best collaboration. This film is laced with moody atmosphere, great pacing, quality performances, and a script worked over by the camera that enforces theme and symbolic meaning throughout. I found this film haunting, eerie, and poetic in its own way. O' Keefe, James Bell, Margo, Brooks, and the entire cast give credible turns and enforce our ability to accept what is going on.Some scenes are quite memorable: the young girl walking back home from the store is a classic scene of terror, the cemetery scene, and the procession of the monks allowed Tournier to work his magic with the lens. Tournier was always able to tell so much story with so little dialog. Though some might find the ending a bit of a letdown, I thoroughly enjoyed The Leopard Man.

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