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The Cat's Meow (2001)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 3 May 2002 (USA)
2:15 | Trailer

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



(screenplay), (play)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Claudia Harrison ...
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 »


Drama | Romance

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 costuming and sets were designed with as little color as possible to give the illusion of a black and white film. This was to make up for the fact that the film wasn't allowed to be filmed in black and white as originally planned. See more »


At 136:53 Marion Davies' suite, when Samsonite/Schwayer Streamlite luggage in Admiral blue is visible. Samsonite did not begin manufacturing Streamlite until the late-'30s/early-'40s. 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 Citizen Kane (1941) See more »


When I Lost You
Performed by Ian Whitcomb & His Bungalow Boys
Written by Irving Berlin
Courtesy of ITW Industries
See more »

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User Reviews

Enjoyable, flawed, and yet...
22 October 2001 | by (Los Angeles, Calif.) – See all my reviews

I went to see this movie not expecting much but was pleasantly surprised to find it was a light gaudy slightly malicious but brightly told tale of the rumored murder of Thomas Ince, It was great fun to watch, beautifully shot, with some very sharp dialogue and tasty performances.

I especially enjoyed Cary Elwes as the desperate, conniving Thomas Ince and much of Edward Herrmann's Hearst, the scenes with Elwes with their cat and mouse dialogue sparkled with wit. Kirsten I thought was quite lovable and good but still too young - I didn't believe she was Marion Davies, but more like a teenage version of Marion. Eddie Izzard was a charming, cunning, self assured Charlie Chaplin, but I didn't see the lechery that should have oozed out of him. Joanne Lumley was delicious as the jaded Elinor Gyn.

I did notice a slight frustration with some of the scenes. I wanted a bit more emphasis or drama to accent some of them, they all seemed to play at the same intensity and some of the reaction shots could had more omfph. But still I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Then the next day I started critique it more and noticed more flaws in the movie. The story didn't seem to gather momentum as it went on, but seemed too even in tone and pace. I imagined better ways to shoot some of the scenes and wished for a more mordant tone because the story is a pretty dark one after all. I thought, this seemed to have been shot with the budget and schedule of a TV movie, and was there no time or money to shoot alternative shots, or second takes for the actors?

But then something about the ending made me go back and reassess many of the scenes. Perhaps because I was caught up in the sort of flappergirl feel of the movie, that I did not see that there were secrets and competitions, all sorts of hidden things going on below the gaiety.

It's kind of like Memento, maybe you don't know quite what you are seeing. I wish I could watch it again, because I'm not sure if it's my imagination or if there is re

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