Serbian national Irena Dubrovna, a fashion sketch artist, has recently arrived in New York for work. The first person who she makes a personal connection with there is marine engineer Oliver Reed. The two fall in love and get married despite Irena's reservations, not about Oliver but about herself. She has always felt different than other people, but has never been sure why. She lives close to the zoo, and unlike many of her neighbors is comforted by the sounds of the big cats emanating from the zoo. And although many see it purely as an old wives' tale, she believes the story from her village of ancient residents being driven into witchcraft and evil doing, those who managed to survive by escaping into the mountains. After seeing her emotional pain, Oliver arranges for her to see a psychiatrist to understand why she believes what she does. In therapy, Dr. Judd, the psychiatrist, learns that she also believes, out of that villagers' tale, that she has descended from this evil - women ...Written by
[From the opening credits] "Even as fog continues to lie in the valleys, so does ancient sin cling to the low places, the depression sin the world consciousness." - "The Anatomy of Atavism" - Dr. Louis Judd See more »
A horror classic. Hugely influential and still as enjoyable as ever.
'Cat People' was the first collaboration between director Jacques Tourneur ('Curse Of The Demon') and producer Val Lewton, and is still one of their greatest achievements, and one of the most influential horror movies ever made. It's arguably the best horror movie made between the Universal classics of the 1930s and the beginning of Hammer studios in the 1950s. So many subsequent film makers from Hitchcock on down have been influenced by this movie and yet it rarely gets the respect it deserves. 'Cat People' pretends to be a monster movie but is really something more complex, and relies on atmosphere and suspense rather than explicit shocks or gore (there is virtually none of the latter). Fans of Hitchcock and film noir will probably appreciate it more than hardcore gorehounds. Simone Simon is very well cast as the mysterious and troubled Irena and the rest of the cast range from adequate to very good. The acting is probably one of the weakest links in the film but not enough to spoil your enjoyment (I think 1940s acting is an acquired taste and I can see how a modern viewer who expects more realistic and natural performances could sometimes find them a bit hard to swallow). 'Cat People' is a horror classic and is highly recommended to anyone interested in the genre.
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