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Cat People (1982)

A young woman's sexual awakening brings horror when she discovers her urges transform her into a monstrous black leopard.

Director:

Paul Schrader

Writers:

DeWitt Bodeen (story), Alan Ormsby (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
4,595 ( 492)

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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nastassja Kinski ... Irena Gallier (as Nastassia Kinski)
Malcolm McDowell ... Paul Gallier
John Heard ... Oliver Yates
Annette O'Toole ... Alice Perrin
Ruby Dee ... Female
Ed Begley Jr. ... Joe Creigh
Scott Paulin ... Bill Searle
Frankie Faison ... Detective Brandt
Ron Diamond Ron Diamond ... Detective Ron Diamond
Lynn Lowry ... Ruthie
John Larroquette ... Bronte Judson
Tessa Richarde Tessa Richarde ... Billie
Patricia Perkins Patricia Perkins ... Taxi Driver
Berry Berenson ... Sandra
Fausto Barajas Fausto Barajas ... Otis
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Storyline

The Cat People originated way back in time, when humans sacrificed their women to leopards, who mated with them. Cat People look similar to humans, but must mate with other Cat People before they transform into panthers. Irene Gallier was raised by adoptive parents and meets her older brother Paul for the first time since childhood. We follow brother and sister - who seem to be the only ones of their kind left. Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

An erotic fantasy for the animal in us all. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 April 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La marca de la pantera See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,617,636, 4 April 1982, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$7,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Heard (Oliver) revealed how he almost turned down the role because he believed it was a porno movie. He also recalled that he felt very awkward, particularly during the nude scenes. See more »

Goofs

Paul juggles with three balls. He throws the yellow one to Irena. She catches a blue one. Then he throws the yellow ball a second time. See more »

Quotes

Paul Gallier: Long ago, our ancestors sacrificed their children to the leopards. The souls of the children grew inside the leopards, until the leopards became human. We were gods then.
Paul Gallier: We are a incestuous race. We can only make love with our own, otherwise we transform. And before we can become human again, we must kill.
Paul Gallier: Welcome home.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the theatrical version, the song "Sunday Kind of Love" by Ella Fitzgerald plays in the background during a dinner scene. In the syndicated television version, the song "Faraway Places" by Bing Crosby plays. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pop Culture Beast's Halloween Horror Picks: Feast (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

What's New Pussycat?
(uncredited)
Written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David
Sung by Ed Begley Jr.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not as good as the original but still worth watching
7 May 2004 | by sol1218See all my reviews

****SPOILERS**** Paul Schrader's remake of the 1942 horror classic "Cat People" this time set in New Orleans La. not in New York City. Irena Gallier, Nastassja Kinski, comes to live with her older brother Paul, Malcolm McDowell, in the hot and sweltering southern city. Feeling for the first time in her life wanted Irena was orphaned at the age of four when her parents killed themselves. She spent her formidable years in and out of orphanages and it wasn't until her brother tracked her down that she fond a home of her own in Louisiana. It turns out later in the movie that what Paul wants from her is more then what Irena is willing to give him.

Nastassja Kinski in one of her most sexiest roles is both seductive and innocent as Irena and gives the film the electricity that keeps the movie going even though the cast has trouble keeping up with her performance at times. Malcolm McDowell is both creepy and unnerving as Irena's older brother Paul who's like a Tom-Cat in heat during the entire movie having no trouble getting women for his sexual pleasures. Paul also ends up murdering them because of his submerged animal instincts that those affairs bring to the surface. John Heard, Oliver Yates, is very good as the zoo curator and Irena's frustrated lover who Irena, who loves him, avoids having an affair with Oliver in order not to be forced to kill him. Annette O'Toole, Alice Perrin, is also very good in a small but important role as Oliver's co-worker in the New Orleans Zoo. Alice later becomes the focus of Irena's jealousy and resentment for being the woman who's standing between Oliver and her.

The movie recreates a number of scenes from the 1942 version with the cat-like woman coming up to Irena at a bar, in the first film it was at Irena's wedding party, and greets her in a foreign language calling her "My sister" or, what it obviously meant, fellow cat person. There's also the classic indoor swimming pool scene with Alice. This time around with Alice being topless which of course she couldn't have been in the 1942 version due to the censorship of nude scenes by the Hollywood Watchdog Hayes Commision. Alice taking a swim in the indoor swimming pool has the lights suddenly shut off and what seemed to be some kind of big cat in the shadows hounding her in the dark.

Unlike the original movie the new version of "Cat People" has a number of extremely gory scenes that are really shocking. With the black leopard in the movie who both Irena and Paul turn into being so horrific and terrifying that he makes the villains in horror/slashers movies today look as scary as Pee Wee Herman in comparison. With his eerie green eyes and ferocious and deadly fangs and claws you just cringe with fear every time the big cat comes on the screen. There's a blood splattered sequence where the enraged leopard grabs the zoo-keeper's Joe Creigh's, Ed Bagley Jr, arm between the bars of his cage. The sight of the big cat, who was really Paul, going wild when as saw Joe together with Irena, his sister, was one of the most terrifying scenes I've even seen in a motion picture. Joe foolishly tried to settle the leopard down with an electric prong as the dangerous feline suddenly and cat-like grabbed and ripped Joe's arm off with the ease as if it was attached to his body with just a rubber band. The frighting thing about the leopard's actions is that, unlike the killers in most horror films, it was so realistic knowing that a big dangerous jungle cat like that can do that in real life just like in the movies.

Even though Paul Schrader's "Cat People" doesn't in any way measure up to the original the ending was more interesting and innovative with Irena not being killed and Oliver ending up together with her instead of leaving Irena for Alice like Oliver did in the 1942 movie. In the end of the movie we see that Oliver finally accepts Irena for what she is with the knowledge that the only way he can be with her is between the bars that separate them.


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