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The Cat from Outer Space
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The Cat from Outer Space (1978) More at IMDbPro »

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The Cat from Outer Space -- An extraterrestrial cat crash-lands his spaceship on Earth.


User Rating:
5.9/10   2,996 votes »
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Up 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Ted Key (written by)
View company contact information for The Cat from Outer Space on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
9 June 1978 (USA) See more »
Mysterious visitor with unknown powers on our planet for supplies.... A six-pack of tuna? See more »
A UFO is stranded on earth and impounded by the US government. Its pilot, a cat with a collar that has special powers... See more » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Close Encounters of the Purred Kind… See more (26 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Ken Berry ... Frank

Sandy Duncan ... Liz

Harry Morgan ... General Stilton

Roddy McDowall ... Mr. Stallwood

McLean Stevenson ... Link
Jesse White ... Earnest Ernie

Alan Young ... Dr. Wenger

Hans Conried ... Dr. Heffel

Ronnie Schell ... Jake - voice / Sgt. Duffy

James Hampton ... Capt. Anderson
Howard Platt ... Col. Woodruff (as Howard T. Platt)

William Prince ... Mr. Olympus
Ralph Manza ... Weasel
Tom Pedi ... Honest Harry

Hank Jones ... Officer

Rick Hurst ... Dydee Guard
John Alderson ... Mr. Smith
Tiger Joe Marsh ... Omar
Arnold Soboloff ... NASA Executive
Mel Carter ... 1st Soldier

Dal McKennon ... Farmer (as Dallas McKennon)
Alice Backes ... Farmer's Wife
Henry Slate ... Sandwich Man
Roger Pancake ... Red
Roger Price ... 1st E.R.L. Expert

Jerry Fujikawa ... 2nd E.R.L. Expert
Jim Begg ... Dydee Driver
Peter Renaday ... Bailiff (as Pete Renaday)
Rickie Sorensen ... Technician (as Rick Sorensen)
Tom Jackman ... Army Engineer
Fred L. Whalen ... Sarasota Slim
Joseph G. Medalis ... Sucker (as Joe Medalis)

Gil Stratton ... 1st NASA Scientist
Jana Milo ... 2nd NASA Scientist
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Sorrell Booke ... Presiding Judge (uncredited)
Jackson Bostwick ... Additional Voices (uncredited)

Directed by
Norman Tokar 
Writing credits
Ted Key (written by)

Produced by
Ron Miller .... producer
Norman Tokar .... co-producer
Jan Williams .... associate producer
Original Music by
Lalo Schifrin 
Cinematography by
Charles F. Wheeler (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Cotton Warburton 
Art Direction by
E. Preston Ames  (as Preston Ames)
John B. Mansbridge 
Set Decoration by
Norman Rockett 
Makeup Department
Lola Kemp .... hair stylist
Robert J. Schiffer .... makeup artist
Production Management
John D. Bloss .... production manager (as John Bloss)
Christopher N. Seiter .... unit production manager (as Christopher Seiter)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Bill Carroll .... second assistant director (as William Carroll)
Gene Sultan .... assistant director
Arthur J. Vitarelli .... second unit director
Art Department
Eric A. Hulett .... set dresser (uncredited)
Bob McLing .... assistant property master (uncredited)
Sound Department
Ben Hendricks .... sound editor (as Ben F. Hendricks)
Bud Maffett .... sound mixer
Herb Taylor .... sound supervisor
George Fredrick .... sound editor (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Art Cruickshank .... special effects
Danny Lee .... special effects
Eustace Lycett .... special effects
Gary D'Amico .... special effects (uncredited)
Mike Edmonson .... special effects technician (uncredited)
Allen Hurd .... special effects crew (uncredited)
Hans Metz .... special effects supervisor (uncredited)
Mike Reedy .... special effects technician (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Harrison Ellenshaw .... matte artist (as P.S. Ellenshaw)
Jerry Brutsche .... stunt player (as Gerald Brutsche)
Fred Dale .... stunt player
Bob Harris .... stunt player
Julie Ann Johnson .... stunt player
Carey Loftin .... stunt player
Regis Parton .... stunt player (as Reg Parton)
Walter Robles .... stunt player
Tom Steele .... stunt player
Jack Verbois .... stunt player
Dick Warlock .... stunt coordinator (as Richard Warlock)
Camera and Electrical Department
Rexford L. Metz .... photography: second unit (as Rexford Metz)
Dan Delgado .... best boy (uncredited)
Peter McEvoy .... lighting technician (uncredited)
Louis Niemeyer .... first assistant camera: second unit (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Chuck Keehne .... costumes
Emily Sundby .... costumes
Music Department
Jack Hayes .... orchestrator
Evelyn Kennedy .... music editor
Other crew
Gary Bertz .... pilot
Rudy Cowl .... animal trainer
Thomas H. Friedkin .... pilot (as Tom Friedkin)
James W. Gavin .... pilot (as Gavin James)
Frank L. Pine .... pilot (as Frank Pine)
Ross Reynolds .... pilot
Don Spinney .... animal trainer
Frank Tallman .... pilot
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
104 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Photophone Sound Recording)

Did You Know?

Ronnie Schell, who provided the voice of the title feline, was also given the small part of an army sergeant. In post-production, it was decided that his voice was too easily recognizable, so the on-screen role was re-dubbed by another. An unidentified and anonymous actor.See more »
Continuity: The amount of candy in the big jar on the bar changes after Frank floats.See more »
Jake - voice:My name is Zunar J 5 Slash 9 Doric 4 7.
Frank:Uh, Z-Zunar...
Jake - voice:...Let's just stick with 'Jake', okay?
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Making a 'Splash' (2004) (V)See more »


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14 out of 15 people found the following review useful.
Close Encounters of the Purred Kind…, 8 September 2004
Author: soymilk from East Anglia, UK

Wow, now this is certainly a rarity – a talking animal flick that doesn't rely on that moving-mouth-n-lip-synch gimmick which has really been dogging the genre of late (bad pun on my part, I know). Sure, the only thing we can attribute this merit to is its age – as others round here have already pointed out, were this movie shot in this day and age the overused and overplayed technique would have undoubtedly been employed. I also imagine that, at some point during the running time, they'd have Jake spit up a big slimy hairball, mark his territory over some sucker's flowerbed, and stick a leg in the air so he can lick at his crotch – along with any other animal bodily function they could swipe a gag out of. It's one of those reasons why, for all its skimpy production values, 'the Cat from Outer Space' is now such a refreshing blast from the past – in an era swamped by crude, flashy animal movies made exclusively for the under-12 market, this is comes across as quite a pleasant piece of nostalgia, harking back to the good old days when the humour was always clean, and any critter who wanted to wrap their tongue around the English language did so the conveniently telepathic way. (Yikes, I'm starting to sound like a right old whinger here, which really I'm not, but that's just how jaded I am).

As a stand-alone film, TCFOS is very much a cheesy but warm-hearted affair and, for fans of all things sublime n' feline like myself, this was a childhood classic growing up in the 1980s. Back then, it always qualified as my runner-up pick for Disney's coolest live action feature, second only to the original 'Incredible Journey' (yeah, I *did* watch Mary Poppins', but never really got much further than the animated sequences – it just got boring after that). I happened to come across it on my shelves recently, having left it undisturbed for several years, and decided it was time for a revisit.

The worst thing about it is inevitably the title (which just screams 'B Movie!', don't it?), only just managing to pip some of the flat and, quite frankly, irritating human characters on display to the post, who've more-or-less accepted that churning out even Oscar-worthy performances ain't gonna spare them from being upstaged by the four-legged favourite. Sandy Duncan in particular portrays a bimbo so staggering it'll make your jaw drop that she even made it into the paranormal research department (plus, she believes all of Frank's lame excuses – yikes, how dumb is she?). Then there's that spy character who insists on speaking with such loathsome smarminess not seen since 'the Shop Around the Corner', you could break your TV screen trying to sock him one in the mouth.

The best things about TCFOS, oddly enough, owe a lot to the retrospectives we have after 26 years. Jake is definitely entitled to feel smug that he was getting himself stranded on planet Earth, amongst all the typically hostile folks, and making his human ally's bicycle fly *four freakin' years* before ET showed up on the scene (is that uncanny or what?). Not to mention the casually conniving fashion in which Jake goes about trying to secure his way back home, somehow managing to involve rigged sports games along the way; ethics so dodgy by today's standards that really you gotta love it. And the special effects are now so crude and outdated that, well, they're cute! Jake is undeniably the star of this vehicle, churning out all the better lines of dialogue, and this is such an endearing story deep down that it's all too bad that the script never delves particularly deeply into his friendship with Frank (after all, ET's major trump card was always his lump-in-the-throat relationship with Elliot), choosing instead to skim through the character interactions at such a pace that the film never really has the chance to deliver any true emotional wallop.

I did also get a kick out of reading the previous comment concerning the body language of the feline double act playing Jake, and will verify it all the way – pay close attention to the climax in particular, and note that the poor kitty currently on the scene looks positively bewildered!

Sure, it's imperfect and now that I'm older I can see where the faults lie a lot more than I used to – but still, it's a likable and evocative romp, and personally I'd much rather be subject to this than to recent animal conspiracy theory trash like 'Cats and Dogs' or 'Good Boy!', any day. A real treat for cat lovers everywhere.

Grade: B-

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