122 user 103 critic

The Cat's Meow (2001)

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

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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 »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Deeply (2000)
Drama | Fantasy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A reclusive woman's unpublished story about a curse, told to a grieving girl, turns out to be something other than a fairy tale.

Director: Sheri Elwood
Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Lynn Redgrave, Julia Brendler
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A younger boy falls in love with a tragic girl who flirts with, and manipulates, her older suitors in 1800's Russia.

Director: Reverge Anselmo
Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Julie Walters, Geraldine James
Nickelodeon (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

This homage to the childhood days of the motion pictures starts in 1910, when the young attorney Leo Harrigan by chance meets a motion picture producer. Immediately he's invited to become a... See full summary »

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Ryan O'Neal, Burt Reynolds, Tatum O'Neal
Noises Off... (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A travelling theater group find so much action going on behind-the-scenes, they almost ruin the performances.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Michael Caine, Carol Burnett, Denholm Elliott
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  

Called up for jury duty, Richard Dice finds his first crush and only real, but unrequited love, on trial for murder. Richard desperately tries to prove Mollys innocence while untangling a ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Rob Lowe, Colleen Camp, Kenneth Mars
Targets (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An elderly horror-film star, while making a personal appearance at a drive-in theatre, confronts a psychotic Viet Nam War veteran who's turned into a mass-murdering sniper.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Boris Karloff, Tim O'Kelly, Arthur Peterson
Saint Jack (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Compelling character study, revolving around Jack Flowers (Ben Gazzara), an American hustler trying to make his fortune in 1970s Singapore in small time pimping. He dreams of building a ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Ben Gazzara, Denholm Elliott, James Villiers
Levity (2003)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The film philosophical approach at redemption. The protagonist Manual Jordan has gotten parole from a life sentence for the murder of Abner Easley, and returns to the city he lived in to ... See full summary »

Director: Ed Solomon
Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Morgan Freeman, Kirsten Dunst
Daisy Miller (1974)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

In this comedy of manners, Frederick Winterbourne tries to figure out the bright and bubbly Daisy Miller, only to be helped and hindered by false judgments from their fellow friends.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Cybill Shepherd, Barry Brown, Cloris Leachman
Texasville (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The summer of 1984: 32 years after Duane Jackson captained the high school football team and Jacy Farrow was homecoming queen, the small town of Anarene, Texas prepares for its bicentennial... See full summary »

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, Timothy Bottoms
Musical | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

This film was Peter Bogdanovich's homage to musical comedies of the 1930s. A millionaire named Michael Oliver Pritchard III and a singer named Kitty O'Kelly meet and fall in love. Meanwhile... See full summary »

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Burt Reynolds, Cybill Shepherd, Madeline Kahn
Luckytown (2000)
Drama | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

Kirsten Dunst plays a young woman (Lidda), who is searching for her father (James Caan). She finds herself at odds with her boyfriend who wants nothing but a carefree lifestyle.

Director: Paul Nicholas
Stars: Kirsten Dunst, James Caan, Vincent Kartheiser


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 same true events also inspired the plot of Sunset (1988), starring James Garner and Bruce Willis. See more »


The recording of Al Jolson singing "Avalon" that is heard over the opening credits is not his 1920 version, but rather from 1946. 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 Yolanda (1924) See more »


Aloha Oe (Farewell to Thee)
Performed by Fred Sokolow, Rick Cunha and Ian Whitcomb
Written by Queen Liliuokalani (as Queen Lilioukalan)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Peter Bogdanovich is back, folks
15 May 2005 | by (Niceville, Flordia) – See all my reviews

I have to say, I thought the Cat's Meow was the cat's pajamas. Peter Bogdanovich has made a story out of an event whose outcome is still unexplained. What's more, it feels like it actually could've happened. The interactions between the characters leading up to the act are given much more screen time than the actual act itself. So when it happens, it doesn't seem preposterous at all.

The story concerns newspaper honcho William Randolph Hearst (Edward Herrmann) and company celebrating the birthday of Hollywood producer Thomas Ince (Cary Elwes) on Hearst's yacht. That company includes Hearst's lover/actress Marion Davies (Kirsten Dunst), Charlie Chaplin (Eddie Izzard), author Elinor Glyn (Joanna Lumley), gossip columnist for Hearst's newspaper Louella Parsons (Jennifer Tilley), and Tom's lover. Tom hopes to negotiate a contract with W.R. Hearst for Marion to star in his next few films, but Hearst is more concerned about the attraction between Marion and Chaplin. Elinor is nearby to dispense advice, while Louella unsuccessfully attempts to mingle. There's also a pair of party girls on board attempting to have a raucous time as possible.

The Cat's Meow has an eclectic ensemble with a Robert Altman-esquire taste to it. Edward Herrmann's role may be the most challenging, because he has to juggle eccentric, warmth, and jealousy as W.R. Hearst. Joanna Lumley is wonderfully dry. And for those like me who only remember Eddie Izzard for his droll stand-up work, he's surprising in this film. He's quite good as Charlie Chaplin. Kirsten Dunst is the biggest name on the cast. She's very fetching in the Cat's Meow, and this represents a change of pace from her dearth of Hollywood-oriented films.

As good as the cast is, this is really just as much Peter Bogdanovich's film. After the excellent Last Picture Show, he sort of faded away and made smaller films (The Thing Called Love, for example). Although The Cat's Meow will not make him a household name, hopefully maybe his work will garner more attention again. His direction is very good here.

Oh, I should also mention the costume design and music here. The production values in general are excellent in imitating the feel of that era. I was reminded a little of Woody Allen's Bullets Over Broadway (and not just the Jennifer Tilly connection). Anyways, The Cat's Meow is a good movie with interesting characters and thoughtful direction.

25 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Marion Davies/Dunst mystangrocks05
Worst movie ever! ricaniusrhubarb
Eddie Izzard? abuzzed
Tom Ince rajax
the accent cosmo111687
Black + White msfoxwoods
Discuss The Cat's Meow (2001) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: