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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
Despite the fact that Charles Chaplin actually had bright blue eyes, Eddie Izzard wore dark contact lenses to keep with the public perception of Chaplin as dark featured. Most have only seen or remember him in black and white films, and assume he had dark eyes. See more »
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 »
Man in crowd:
Stop pushing! Stop pushing!
[unintelligible yells from crowd]
Man in crowd:
Please, calm down!
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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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 »
An interesting semi-fictional tale of Hollywood folklore
The Cat's Meow is a semi-true story of a murder that occurred on William Randolph Hearst's yacht one evening in 1924. While much of the screenplay is presumably speculation, it is interesting to see the effects the murder on some of his other guests, like Marion Davies, Hearst's mistress, Charlie Chaplin and Luella Parsons, among others.
This film couldn't fail for me its subject matter involves William Randolph Hearst, a foe of my main obsession Orson Welles, and it contained one of my favorite entertainers in the cast, Eddie Izzard as Charlie Chaplin. However, while watching the film I had to consider whether the movie was a well-written drama or simply too slow in its development, making the climax more of a let-down than anything. If the film wasn't book-ended by compelling writing that made you both look deeply into the subject matter from the beginning, then reflect on the past events at the conclusion, I would have said the latter was true. And while Eddie Izzard was fantastic as Chaplin, and Kirsten Dunst wasn't her usual irritating self as Davies, it was Joanna Lumley who I thought was the breakout star of the film. Her role was small, but integral to the progression of the film acting as narrator, analyst and the film's conscience.
While not a fast paced, action filled film, The Cat's Meow is pleasant to experience based on its dramatic merits. Bogdanovich is more of an actor as of late than a director, but this film's character-driven dramatic elements harkens back to his best known classic, The Last Picture Show. If you are a fan of film history as I am, you will find this film interesting and thought-provoking.
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