6.9/10
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84 user 47 critic

The Leopard Man (1943)

A seemingly tame leopard used for a publicity stunt escapes and kills a young girl, spreading panic throughout a sleepy New Mexico town.

Director:

Jacques Tourneur

Writers:

Ardel Wray (screenplay), Edward Dein (additional dialogue) | 1 more credit »
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dennis O'Keefe ... Jerry Manning
Margo ... Clo-Clo
Jean Brooks ... Kiki Walker
Isabel Jewell ... Maria - Fortune Teller
James Bell ... Dr. Galbraith
Margaret Landry Margaret Landry ... Teresa Delgado
Abner Biberman ... Charlie How-Come
Tuulikki Paananen ... Consuelo Contreras (as Tula Parma)
Ben Bard ... Roblos - the Police Chief
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Storyline

At the encouragement of her manager, a nightclub performer in New Mexico (Kiki Walker) takes a leashed leopard into the club as a publicity gimmick. But her rival, angered by the attempt to upstage, scares the animal and it bolts. In the days that follow, people are mauled and the countryside is combed for the loose creature. But Kiki and her manager begin to wonder if maybe the leopard is not responsible for the killings. Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Don't Be Afraid To Know the Truth about the Monster That Killed For a Thrill! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

25 June 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El hombre leopardo See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the Summer of 1952, RKO reissued this film as a double feature with King Kong (1933). RKO "cashed in", as young theatergoers, due to this film's title, were expecting to see a second "creature" film. See more »

Goofs

In a few scenes, Clo-Clo uses her castanets to augment her conversation, but the sound she produces by using only one castanet is actually the sound of two castanets. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Kiki Walker: It may sound like music to her. I can do better with my teeth in a cold shower.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Some older TV prints of "The Leopard Man" run 59 minutes. See more »

Connections

Featured in Shadows in the Dark: The Val Lewton Legacy (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Las Mañanitas
(uncredited)
Traditional Mexican birthday song
Performed by Fely Franquelli and Ottola Nesmith
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Someday you'll try on my coffin and I hope it fits you just perfect.
13 August 2010 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Horror supreme producer Val Lewton teams up for the third and last time with director Jacques Tourneur to bring us The Leopard Man. Set in New Mexico, the story sees Jerry Manning (Dennis O'Keefe) hire a black leopard as a publicity stunt for his night-club performing partner, Kiki (Jean Brooks). Her rival, Clo Clo (Margo), is not impressed and promptly scares the animal into running away into the night. Pretty soon there is a panic threatening as the cat appears to be mauling people to death. However, Manning & Kiki, driven by guilt, join the hunt for the rogue animal; but Manning is starting to believe the killings are not of the animal's doing.....

Based on the book "Black Alibi" written by Cornell Woolrich, The Leopard Man's only crime is that it's not as great as its two predecessors, Cat People & I Walked With A Zombie. Rest assured, tho, this is still a quality Lewton/Tourneur production. As a story it's simple and straight, with a running time of just over one hour keeping it lean and devoid of pointless waffle, but the piece positively thrives on its atmosphere; dealing in murky shadows and unease inducing periods of silence. While it also boasts a number of sequences that linger long in the memory; be it blood seeping under a door, the bend of a tree branch or the dark under belly of a railway bridge, for such a short sharp shock of a movie there's so much to enjoy. The work of cinematographer Robert De Grasse (Vivacious Lady/The Body Snatcher) is top class and worthy of indulgence from the film noir loving crowd.

What you don't see is more effective on account of the eerie sense of dread that Messrs Lewton/Tourneur/De Grasse have built up. A fine film showing that classic spookers could be made from relatively small budgets. 7/10


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