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Cats (1998)

Not Rated | | Musical | 27 October 1998 (USA)
1:47 | Trailer

On Disc

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"Jellicle" cats join for a Jellicle ball where they rejoice with their leader, Old Deuteronomy. One cat will be chosen to go to the "Heavyside Layer" and be reborn. The cats introduce themselves.


David Mallet


T.S. Eliot (book)



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Elaine Paige ... Grizabella
John Mills ... Gus the Theatre Cat
Ken Page ... Old Deuteronomy
Rosemarie Ford Rosemarie Ford ... Bombalurina
Michael Gruber Michael Gruber ... Munkustrap
John Partridge John Partridge ... Rum Tum Tugger
Aeva May Aeva May ... Demeter
Geoffrey Garratt Geoffrey Garratt ... Skimbleshanks (as Geoffrey Garrat)
James Barron James Barron ... Bustopher Jones
Jo Gibb Jo Gibb ... Rumpleteazer
Drew Varley Drew Varley ... Mungojerrie
Susie McKenna Susie McKenna ... Jennyanydots
Jacob Brent ... Mistoffelees
Susan Jane Tanner Susan Jane Tanner ... Jellylorum
Phyllida Crowley Smith Phyllida Crowley Smith ... Victoria


Cats is a pop-cultural phenomenon that has been performed on stage for more than 50 million patrons in 26 countries for almost 18 years, resulting in more than two billion dollars in ticket sales. Now that Cats has finally made it to the small screen, attention must be paid not just by fans of this critic-proof show, but also by those entertainment mavens who have somehow avoided it until now. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The World's Best-loved Musical - The Memory will Live Forever See more »




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

27 October 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Macskák See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


"CATS", a musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" by T.S. Eliot, produced by Cameron Mackintosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group, opened in the West End of London at the New London Theatre on 11 May1981, directed by Trevor Nunn and the associate director - staged and choreographed by Gillian Lynne; set and costume design by John Napier and lighting by David Hersey. Andrew Lloyd Webber and his long time collaborator Tim Rice had a falling out in 1977. Webber, to show Rice that he didn't need a lyricist, set Eliot's verse to his compositions, the principal exception being the most famous memorable song from the musical, "Memory" for which the lyrics are credited to director Trevor Nunn after an Eliot poem entitled "Rhapsody on a Windy Night". Also, a brief song entitled "The Moments of Happiness" was taken from a passage in Eliot's "Four Quartets". Andrew Lloyd Webber premiered the compositions at the Sydmonton Festival in 1980. The concert was attended by T.S. Eliot's wife, Valerie Eliot and she loved the song folio that Webber had composed; giving her blessing for the songs to be adapted into a stage musical play. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Macintosh needed a theatre and a venue to start production and rehearsals. Scouting venues for their production with designer John Napier they discovered a vacant television-theatre-audience stage with an existing 36' diameter turn-table; the facility and stage had been built for and used primarily for television production. The facility had offices, dressing rooms, scene dock. The building's television studio-stage had an adequate floor (daily-game-show) audience seating area with the raised stage occupying two thirds of the building's studio-stage foot-print. The audience second floor horse-shoe ring balcony was above the floor audience section. The orchestra area was nestled beneath the upper horse-shoe audience-balcony's left side. The set that John Napier designed for the theatre venue comprised an enormous mound of over-scaled scenic elements comprising automobile parts, rubber tires, architectural elements, and typical discarded household trash items. With no house curtain, the audience arrived, sitting in their seats, staring at this huge mound of JUNK piled in front of them. As the overture started, the house lights dimmed to complete total darkness, embedded in the scenic eight foot high alley trash hedge of junk, cat's eyes started blinking, through-out a scenic mountain of trash. Slowly, the turntable rotated revealing the empty central stage area; performers dressed in camp 80s punk feline fur-patched costumes crept out of the trash pile crevices, an automobile back-end trunk 'bonnet' lid lifting, felines pouncing onstage from the set's over-sized crates, barrels, pipes and card board crumpled box lids into the performance's opening: the cats gather on stage and explain the Jellicle tribe and their purpose "Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats", explaining how the different cats of the tribe are named, which signals the beginning of the "Jellicle Ball"- the night they make what is known as "the Jellicle choice" and decide which cat will ascend to the heaven-side layer and come back to a new life. Due to the Eliot estate asserting that they write no script and only use the original poems as the text, the musical had no identified plot during the rehearsal process causing many actors to be confused about what they were actually doing. An unusual musical in terms of production construction, the overture incorporates a fugue; there are occasions when the music accompanies spoken verse. The musical-play is completely told through music with virtually no spoken dialogue in between the songs. Dance is the major key element in the musical especially during the opening 10-minute Jellicle Ball dance sequence. "CATS" played a total of 8,949 performances in London. The final performance was on its 21st birthday, 11 May 2002, and broadcast on a big screen in Covent Garden to the delight of fans who could not acquire a ticket for the small theatre."CATS" held the record as London's longest running musical until 8 October 2006, when it was surpassed by "Les Miserables". "CATS" has been produced and staged in twenty-six countries. See more »


In the Macavity song with Demeter and Bombalurina, Demeter's left legging changes from being pulled up or down by her ankle between shots. See more »


Rum Tum Tugger: You ought to ask Mr. Mistoffoles, the original conjuring cat. There can be no doubt about that. Please, listen to me and don't scoff. All his inventions are off his own bat.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the credits, when it lists additional song voices, Jemima is spelled as Jemmima. See more »


Referenced in Tropic Thunder (2008) See more »


Gus: The Theatre Cat
Written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and T.S. Eliot
Performed by John Mills and chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

Love it, love it, love it!
19 April 2004 | by blackberrybabeSee all my reviews

When I found out that my all-time favorite musical was coming to video, I flipped. I could not believe it. And when they closed, I was thrilled to have my own copy to relive the memory whenever I wanted. The video version is great. It shows the beautiful costumes and makeup and all the dancing! I always wondered how they did it. Tons of shots of my favorite cat, Munkustrap, along with the Rum Tum Tugger and Mistoffolees.

The only complaint I have is that they cut 'Growltiger's Last Stand' from the video. This is one of the funniest numbers, and it is missing. On the other hand, they do have 'The Aweful Battle of the Pekes and Pollices,' which is missing off the original cast recording. Unfortunately, there is not a complete American version of this show.

For anyone who loves the musical, get a copy. Who knows if this beloved show will return to the stage? At least the magic will live forever.

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