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The Cat's Meow (2001)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  3 May 2002 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 6,634 users   Metascore: 63/100
Reviews: 119 user | 102 critic | 34 from Metacritic.com

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Claudia Harrison ...
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James Laurenson ...
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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. 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

Taglines:

A Triangle... A Murder... A Secret... Don't Tell. See more »

Genres:

Drama

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:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$3,176,936 (USA) (14 June 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

The movie is set in 1924. One of the characters mentions The Lady of the Harem which wasn't released until 1926. 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 ...
[...]
See more »

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

Version of The Hearst and Davies Affair (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

La Boheme (Che Gelida Manina)
(1896)
Composed by Giacomo Puccini
Published by Associated Production Music/Sonoton Music Library (ASCAP)
See more »

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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!)


17 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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