The Cat's Meow (2001)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  3 May 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 6,737 users   Metascore: 63/100
Reviews: 119 user | 103 critic | 34 from

Semi-true story of the Hollywood murder that occurred at a star-studded gathering aboard William Randolph Hearst's yacht in 1924.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Claudia Harrison ...
James Laurenson ...
Ingrid Lacey ...
Elinor's Driver


In November of 1924, a mysterious Hollywood death occurred aboard media mogul William Randolph Hearst's yacht. Included among the famous guests that weekend were, Charlie Chaplin, Hearst's mistress, starlet Marion Davies, the studio system creator, producer Thomas Ince, and feared gossip columnist, Louella Parsons. Written by Carol Lewis, Producer

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


"The Whisper Told Most Often..." See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexuality, a scene of violence and brief drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| | |


Release Date:

3 May 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Everybody Charleston  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$111,037 (USA) (12 April 2002)


$3,176,936 (USA) (14 June 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The title of the film was a popular slang phrase in the 1920s that meant the equivalent of "really cool", "great", "the best". See more »


The Walther PPK pistol was not produced until 1931, nor would it have a plastic finger extension on the magazine's base plate. See more »


[first lines]
Man in crowd: Stop pushing! Stop pushing!
[unintelligible yells from crowd]
Man in crowd: Please, calm down!
Elinor Glyn: [voiceover] In November of 1924, during a weekend yacht party bound for San Diego, a mysterious death occurred within the Hollywood community. However there was no coverage in the press, no police action, and of the fourteen passengers on board only one was ever questioned by authorities. Little evidence exists now or existed at the time to support any version of those weekend events. History has been ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Thanks to the people of Kyparissi; Captain Kostas and the crew of the yacht "Marala" See more »


References The Lady of the Harem (1926) See more »


After You've Gone
Performed by Ian Whitcomb & His Bungalow Boys
Music by Turner Layton
Lyrics by Henry Creamer
See more »

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User Reviews

Another Side Of W R Hearst For Citizen Kane Fans And That Is About Everyone
6 June 2006 | by (Richmond, Virginia) – See all my reviews

It begins with a funeral, for whom you don't know except who ever it is, he or she is getting quite a send-off to the tune of Aloha Nui played by a pair of musicians strumming ukuleles. Now if you have a photographic memory and can remember the faces of the hundreds of mourners, then perhaps it won't be a mystery as to who will be in the casket. You do know however, that someone invited to a lavish any thing goes party aboard William Randolph's Hearst's yacht the Oneida in the flash back that follows the funeral will. The movie seems to go nowhere for a while,mostly just watching fun and games of those lucky enough to be invited, even though you know the price one aboard that yacht is destined to pay for this trip. You almost forget the funeral and the mystery of what this movie is about – who is in that casket, but it is well worth the wait. Like any good mystery, the unlucky victim is one you'd least expect, though you'd think it would have been Charlie Chaplin , but we know he lived to a ripe old age. Until it gets to that point, you get to see another take on what William Randolph, child-like but likable and with some pretty quirky flaws, making one wonder how he ever became so rich. As most people have seen Citizen Kane, we already know about infatuation with Marion Davies bordering on an obsession, but probably don't know that a competition for her existed between Charlie Chaplin and Hearst and how this competition creates the mystery as to whoever is in the box got there.

The epilogue of this film was probably the most interesting of any film I ever seen. Secrets had to be kept and Hearst was willing to pay any price to see they were kept, granting all who cooperated, and apparently all did, whatever wish (and he could do it) as any genie in any bottle. If you are looking for something different and willing to give this movie a chance, this movie is for you. This movie deserves better than the 6.5 of the IMDb and I give this movie a 7.5/10.

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