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The Cat's Meow
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The Cat's Meow (2001) More at IMDbPro »

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The Cat's Meow -- From acclaimed director Peter Bogdanovich comes an extraordinary look at a fateful excursion aboard William Randolph Hearst's private yacht in November 1924 that brought together some of the country's best known personalities and resulted in a still-unsolved, hushed-up killing.
The Cat's Meow -- 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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Down 32% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Steven Peros (screenplay)
Steven Peros (play)
View company contact information for The Cat's Meow on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
3 May 2002 (USA) See more »
"The Whisper Told Most Often..." See more »
Semi-true story of the Hollywood murder that occurred at a star-studded gathering aboard William Randolph Hearst's yacht in 1924. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
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(29 articles)
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User Reviews:
It was Mr Hearst, in the yacht, with the gun! See more (121 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Directed by
Peter Bogdanovich 
Writing credits
Steven Peros (screenplay)

Steven Peros (play)

Produced by
Julie Baines .... producer
Ernie Barbarash .... co-producer
Kim Bieber .... producer
Fenia Cossovitsa .... line producer: Greece
Martin Hagemann .... line producer
Carol Lewis .... producer
Iraklis Mavroidis .... line producer: Greece
Dieter Meyer .... producer
Jason Newmark .... associate producer
Michael Paseornek .... executive producer
Wieland Schulz-Keil .... executive producer
Original Music by
Ian Whitcomb 
Cinematography by
Bruno Delbonnel (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Edward G. Norris  (as Edward Norris)
Production Design by
Jean-Vincent Puzos 
Art Direction by
Christian Eisele (supervising art director)
Susanne Hopf 
Loukas Oikonomopoulos (uncredited)
Set Decoration by
Daniele Drobny (uncredited)
Costume Design by
Caroline de Vivaise  (as Caroline De Vivaise)
Makeup Department
Mark English .... hair stylist supervisor
Jacqueline Fowler .... makeup artist (as Jacqui Fowler)
Kathleen Leersen .... assistant makeup artist
Trefor Proud .... hair designer
Trefor Proud .... makeup designer
Production Management
Nestoras Katsimichas .... production manager: Greece
Hartwig König .... production manager: Greece (as Hartwig Konig)
Sevi Morou .... assistant production manager: Greece
Martin Schlüter .... unit production manager
Tom Sternitzke .... production manager: Greece
Philip Stilman .... post-production supervisor (as Phil Stilman)
Zoi Tsochla .... assistant production manager: Greece
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Tatjana Bonnet .... second assistant director (as Tatjana Jakovleski)
Gesche Carstens .... first assistant director
Art Department
Ana Montarana Alba .... assistant production designer
Marie-Jo Arnautin .... artistic painter
Friederike Beckert .... prop runner
Hubert Bock .... swing gang
Danny Burke .... prop master: Greece
Angela Dorsch .... drawer
Daniele Drobny .... set designer
Carlo Ferrante .... architect
Benjamin Forster-Baldenius .... drawer
Jens Gaube .... carpenter
Stefan Grebe .... prop buyer
Marita Götz .... constructions props
Ingeborg Heinemann .... art department coordinator
Philipp Hübner .... stand-by construction (as Paul Philipp Hübner)
Gerassimos Karvounis .... props: Greece (as Gerasimos Karvounis)
Robert Kellner .... prop runner
Claudia Kiefer .... stand-by props
Thomas Krause .... set construction
Thomas Krause .... set construction: Greece
Grit Kronacher .... set dresser
Padraic Mac Donnacha .... set construction: Greece
Natalja Meier .... construction drawing assistant (as Natalia Meier)
Christoph Merg .... prop master
Christoph Merg .... set dresser
Anne Metzen .... constructions props
Constanza Niemack .... graphics
Anja Niesler .... financial/controller: construction
Henrik Niesler .... construction manager
Jan Niesler .... construction art director
Jan Niesler .... construction supervisor: Greece
Andrea Oberlechner .... stand-by props assistant
Simon Pasiut .... set construction: Greece
Santiago Isidro Pin .... artistic painter (as Santiago Isidropin)
Christian Pralle .... set construction
Shirley Robinson .... prop buyer: London
Peter Rose .... swing gang
Ronald Rudolph .... construction runner
Markus Schroeder .... set construction: Greece (as Markus Schroder)
Marius Schroger .... architect
Roland Schwarthoff .... carpenter
John Seddal .... greens: Greece
Constanze Siedenburg .... prop designer
Holger Stark .... construction foreman
Ben Stephens .... greens: Greece
Sascha Strutz .... swing gang
Peter Stückenschneider .... set construction: Greece
Ekaterini Thomaidou .... prop buyer: Greece
Claudia Tietjen .... art department office
Christian Tircher .... set construction: Greece
Babis Triantis .... props: Greece
Günter Unterburger .... set painter foreman
Anastasis Venetis .... set construction: Greece
Tom Weber .... stand-by construction
Pete Wendler .... head of construction
Lucinda Whittle .... greens: Greece
Darius Wientzek .... architect
Philipp Hübner .... carpenter (uncredited)
Philipp Hübner .... on-set swing gang (uncredited)
Sound Department
Louis Bertini .... adr editor
Matthew C. Beville .... adr mixer: Los Angeles (as Matt Beville)
Sahin Dagdelen .... assistant sound mixer
Pam DeMetruis-Thomas .... dialogue editor (as Pam Demetruis)
Bobby Johanson .... adr mixer: New York
Robert Jäger .... sound mixer
Erik Mischijew .... sound designer
Matz Müller .... sound designer
Thomas Neumann .... foley editor
Paul Oberle .... sound mixer
Alex Raspa .... adr recordist: New York
Frank 'Talky' Regente .... boom operator
Chris Roberts .... adr: London
Günther Röhn .... foley artist
Peter Sandmann .... foley artist
Martin Schloemer .... adr recordist: Los Angeles
Simone Schulz .... foley recordist
Herbert Wüst .... boom operator
Matz Müller .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Martin Gaskell .... special effects supervisor
Camera and Electrical Department
Tobias Bauermeister .... video operator
Isabelle Casez .... first assistant camera
Birgit Dierken .... assistant camera
Nicole Dierken .... clapper loader
Gerd Domde .... studio electrician
Richard Foreman Jr. .... still photographer (as Richard Foreman)
Paul Freuer .... key grip
Harald Mellwig .... second assistant camera
Andre Poser .... electrician
Johannes Precht .... electrician
Ron Rakowski .... gaffer
Mark Ramsey .... technical supervisor: camera/grip (as Marc Ramsey)
Jorg Santjer .... electrician
Thomas Schenk .... studio electrician
Marc Spicer .... Steadicam operator
Marc Spicer .... camera operator
Danny Steinbrecher .... assistant dolly grip
Mario Suter .... studio electrician
Alexander Fischerkoesen .... director of photography: Greece, second unit (uncredited)
Jens Winkler .... assistant camera: Greece, second unit (uncredited)
Casting Department
Sarah Beardsall .... casting
Annette Borgmann .... casting: Germany
Beth Bowling .... casting: USA
Makis Gazis .... casting: Greece
Iris Müller .... extras casting
Alexandros Romanos Lizardos .... assistant casting: Greece (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Robert Isaac .... assistant costume designer
Sarah Meyer .... wardrobe
Katja Pothmann .... costume coordinator
Patricia Saalburg .... assistant costume designer
Martina Strauss .... wardrobe
Editorial Department
Jason Brodkey .... first assistant editor: New York
Nina Caspers .... first assistant editor: Berlin
Chris Houghton .... assistant editor: New York
Traudl Nicholson .... color timer
Laura Weinberg .... assistant editor: New York
Music Department
Tim Boatman .... musician: drums
Bobby Bruce .... musician: violin
Tim Emmons .... musician: double bass
James Flatto .... music editor
Joel C. High .... music supervisor
Dan Levinson .... musician: clarinet and saxophone
Tom Marion .... musician: guitar and mandolin
Geoff Nudell .... musician: clarinet and saxophone
Fred Sokolow .... musician: banjo, guitar, mandolin and Hawaiian steel guitar
Chris Tedesco .... musician: trumpet
Stephanie Lynn Urcheck .... music coordinator
Ian Whitcomb .... conductor: The KFI Radio Band
Ian Whitcomb .... musician: piano, musette, accordion, ukelele and vocals
Randy Woltz .... musician: drums, xylophone, vibraphone, bells and piano
Transportation Department
Ludger Diekämper .... transportation manager
Edgar Hainke .... production driver
Michael Kraft .... production driver
Jan Kramer .... production driver
Hubert Malouschek .... production driver
Mark Naujock .... picture vehicles: historical vehicles, F.J. Kroger
Michael Schütze .... production driver
Arndt Stepper .... driver: props
Wolfgang Werner .... production driver
Patrick Wiethoff .... driver: props
Other crew
Matthias Althaus .... tag advisor
Thodoris Athanasopoulos .... caterer: Greece
Volker Beyer .... project controller
Kim Bieber .... stage producer
Heenan Blaikie .... legal
Richard Böhringer .... assistant: Mr. Bogdanovich, Berlin
Paul Cable .... insurance
Dimitris Chalilopoulos .... production assistant: Greece
Iris Chester .... executive assistant: Mr. Bogdanovich
Emily Dische-Becker .... hospitality
Annette Drees .... continuity
Geraldine East .... legal
Christian Ebner .... assistant accountant
Renate Farber .... production coordinator
Pari Garvanos .... production assistant
Luke Golden .... assistant: Mr. Bogdanovich, New York
Peter Grossman .... legal: Lichter, Grossman, Nichols & Adler
Ralf Hartmann .... business affairs: CP Medien
Arlette Heyn .... production accountant
Sarah Hunt .... assistant accountant: UK
Claudia Kalindjian .... publicist
Sandra Lohr .... production assistant
Michael Marker .... banker: Deutsche Bank Berlin
Nickoletta Marouli .... caterer: Greece
Laurie May .... business and legal affairs: Lions Gate
Felix Neunzerling .... publicist
Yiannis Nickolopoulis .... production assistant: Greece
Olga Papada .... production secretary: Greece
Simon Pasiut .... production assistant: Greece
Georgia Passali .... hospitality: Greece
Andreas Pfitzmann .... floor manager
Viola Retzmann .... production secretary
Janine Rieger .... publicity assistant
Jean-Louis Rodrigue .... movement consultant
Marie Schwarz .... runner: assistant director
Frieder Sievert .... assistant floor manager
Natascha Skara .... production assistant
David Steinberg .... legal
Jim Sternberg .... completion bond
Dominique Thibaud .... banker: National Bank of Canada
Vana Evanthia Tsantila .... assistant production coordinator
Giorgos Tzanakis .... production assistant: Greece
Jasmin Wagner .... production assistant
Frank Weidemann .... banker: Deutsche Bank Berlin
Eric Ayzenberg .... thanks
Maureen Baker .... thanks
Dennis Bartok .... thanks
Darcy Bieber .... thanks
Arpad Bondy .... thanks
Sarah Botstein .... thanks: musician
Paul Brooks .... thanks: musician
Diana Brown .... thanks: Department of Culture
Randall Burg .... thanks
Ken Burns .... special thanks
Julio D'Angelo .... thanks: musician
Marc Elsner .... thanks
William K. Everson .... thanks: in memoriam
Jeff Freilich .... special thanks
Mrs. Georgiadis .... thanks: Radio Korasidi
Stuart Goodman .... thanks
Colin Green .... thanks: Department of Culture
Hristina Hatzaridou .... thanks
Mark Hill .... thanks: musician
Wicky Kalaitzi .... thanks (as Vicky Kalatzi)
Carvin Knowles .... thanks: musician
Myrsini Kontou .... thanks
Ann Kroeber .... thanks
Gogo Lewis .... thanks
William Lewis .... thanks
Tomasz Lipinski .... thanks: musician (as Tom Lopinski)
Rose Markisello .... thanks
Mary McDonwell .... thanks: musician
Loukas Oikonomopoulos .... thanks (as Loukas Iconomopoulos)
Marty Olinick .... thanks: musician
John Peros .... thanks
Bill Rosenfield .... thanks: musician
Dimitrios Rovatsos .... thanks
Philipas Rovatsos .... thanks
Christina Russell .... thanks: musician
Larry Spier .... thanks: musician
Jenny Sullivan .... thanks
Quentin Tarantino .... special thanks
Dimitris Theocharis .... thanks
Doctor Theodosiou .... thanks
Leuteris Vourthis .... thanks
Vasilis Vourthis .... thanks
Kevin Wang .... thanks: musician

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for sexuality, a scene of violence and brief drug use
114 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

The same true events also inspired the plot of Sunset (1988), starring James Garner and Bruce Willis.See more »
Anachronisms: The rubber-ball fenders seen as the Onida is docked are of a modern (c. 1970) design. Period fenders would have been white and cylindrical.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...
See more »
Movie Connections:
References Yolanda (1924)See more »
CharlestonSee more »


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31 out of 36 people found the following review useful.
It was Mr Hearst, in the yacht, with the gun!, 9 November 2002
Author: SilentType from Sydney, Australia

`The Cat's Meow' is a mildly enjoyable telling of a notorious tall story that has been told in Hollywood for nearly eighty years.

Super-magnate William Randolph Hearst (Edward Herrmann) invites a diverse mix of Hollywood biggest names and its oddest fringe dwellers to celebrate the birthday of famed director Thomas Ince (Cary Elwes) aboard his luxury yacht. Things begin to fall apart when Hearst suspects a guest - none other than Charlie Chaplin (Eddie Izzard), the most famous man in the world - of having an affair with his actress girlfriend, Marion Davies (Kirsten Dunst).

Although the film is entertaining, there is something underwhelming about it. Its stage origins are obvious - characters perambulate from plot point to plot point, spouting exposition, never appearing much more than caricatures, and thus failing to evoke much sympathy.

The casting of Eddie Izzard in the pivotal role of Charles Chaplin is a grave mistake, though the script saddles him with a most unsatisfactory characterisation of Chaplin to work with. Chaplin was not a serial romancer, as is implied in the film, but a serial seducer. He would have been the last person to urge a woman to run away with him on the basis of undying love. He spent his most famous years running from women who suggested exactly that, freely admitting to them that while sex was a pleasant diversion, his work came before any woman. It's a casting decision that is an obvious attempt to distance us from the Little Tramp as opposed to Chaplin the real man, but we never get a true sense of either. Ironically, Izzard actually resembles the real Thomas Ince far more than does Cary Elwes, and as a real-life cabaret performer could conceivably have brought the flamboyance and eccentricity of the real-life director to life better than Elwes does.

The film also takes an annoyingly facile view of women, perpetuating the dull cliche that all women spent the 1920s with a bad case of St Vitus' dance and addicted to laughing gas. The grating performances of Claudie Blakley and Chiara Schoras in particular throw the beautifully understated efforts of Kirsten Dunst into high relief. Dunst feels like the only real person in this cast of cartoon characters - beautiful, funny, and vital, she is the best thing in the film. Yet there is never any moment in the movie to suggest the true depth of her dedication and passion for Hearst (portrayed as a roly-poly father figure rather than the hard nosed businessman he was), nor any justification for leaving him for the roguish but uncharismatic Chaplin. Unfortunately, the more interesting conflicts in Marion's life, such as her growing alcoholism and her dissatisfaction with Hearst's insistence on casting her in leaden romances rather than the comedy to which she was so obviously suited, are only touched on lightly.

Though it could have been a thought-provoking and complex experience, as Joanna Lumley's poignant final statements imply (and like `Gosford Park' to which it has been compared), in the end `The Cat's Meow' doesn't feel much more substantial than your average game of Cluedo.

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