6.4/10
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The Cat's Meow (2001)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 3 May 2002 (USA)
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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(screenplay), (play)

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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

In November of 1924, a mysterious Hollywood death occurred aboard media mogul William Randolph Hearst's yacht. Among the famous guests that weekend were: film star Charlie Chaplin; starlet Marion Davies (who was also Hearst's mistress at the time); silent-film producer Thomas H. Ince (known for creating the first Hollywood-studio facility and for creating an "assembly line" system for filmmaking); and feared gossip columnist, Louella Parsons. Written by Carol Lewis, Producer

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| | |

Language:

Release Date:

3 May 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Everybody Charleston  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$111,037 (USA) (14 April 2002)

Gross:

$3,209,481 (USA) (20 June 2002)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While shooting the exteriors in Greece the crew were cursed with bad weather. It went from sunny to rainy and back again at the drop of a hat which caused major problems with continuity. The whole crew decided that it was the ghost of William Randolph Hearst who was at the bottom of it, unhappy that they were making such a film about him. On set, each time the weather changed for the worst someone would shout "That's Hearst!!". See more »

Goofs

When he looks up Ince's address, Hearst's address book shows two-letter state abbreviations (CA). These did not come into use until some fifty years later. Further, the address book displays at least one ZIP code, introduced in 1963. See more »

Quotes

[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 ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

The characters, entities, and events depicted and the names used in this motion picture are ficticious. Any similarities to any actual persons living or dead or to any actual entities or events is entirely coincidental and unintentional. See more »

Connections

Referenced in By Bogdanovich (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Wild Cat Blues
(1923)
Performed by Clarence Williams' Blue Five (featuring Sidney Bechet (as Sydney Bechet))
Written by Fats Waller (as Thomas "Fats" Waller) and Clarence Williams
Courtesy of Columbia Records Published by MCA By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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User Reviews

 
An overlooked Gem that was snubbed by the Oscars
9 February 2004 | by (Oslo, Norway) – See all my reviews

I am abhorred that the Oscars could ignore this film for all the categories it so well deserved:

Best Actress (Kirsten Dunst) Best Actor (Edward Herrmann) Best Costume Design Best Cinematography

And those are just the obvious ones!

Peter Bogdanovich is one of my favorite Directors. He has an amazingly vast Encyclopedia of knowledge about Hollywood during this time. He was good friends with the master Orsen Wells and even did the Commentary for Citizen Cane in Wells' place. He was unquestionably the perfect Director for putting this story to screen.

Kirsten Dunst is remarkable playing 24 year-old Marion Davies at only 18. She does a superb job in the role and deserved a lot more attention than she was awarded.

I strongly disagree with comments that the supporting cast was bad. Everybody was perfect for their role! The sax player WAS a sax player (not an actor) from Berlin (where most of the movie was filmed) and he did fantastic! (He only had one line for goodness sake!)

Though I would concur that Jennifer Tilly played Louella Parsons a bit unlike we would expect, I support her decision to treat her this way for the sake of this film. She lightened up the film with her bumbling silliness. So what if Lolly wasn't like that in real life? It worked well for the movie.

My only (slight) complaint was the decision to have one of the flappers briefly flash us (show her chest) during a party scene with her, the other flapper, the sax player and Chaplin. It was unnecessary and felt out of place with an otherwise clean movie. My guess is this was the reason for the PG-13 rating.

There is hardly any language - in fact Bogdanovich changed the film's only F-word to "screw" to clean it up even more than the original script. This works much better for the period than filling it with 21st century language.

Anybody interested in the 20's, William Randolph Hearst or 'The Golden Age of Hollywood' MUST see this movie!

8½ out of 10. (I can't decide between 8 and 9!)


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