I haven't seen as many Jacques Tourneur films as I would have liked, but I've seen a handful, and I dig the way he's able to pull a thrilling, frightening, beautiful film out of a collection of could-have-been-bad acting and scenes. C[i]at People[/i] (1942) is one that I had always heard of, and wanted to see badly. It's an excellent film not because the moments of horror are genuinely horrifying, but rather because it offers much more than that. The story [that some might find perfunctory] isn't just window dressing for the spooks, but rather interesting, engaging and thoughtful. Granted, the performances feel dated today (the husband seems to cluck the wife on the chin a lot, all the while saying things like "oh you crazy little thing, you"), and the movie is short and fast. Some might feel the film wears its sexual symbolism and meaning on its sleeve a little too heavily (when, oh when will she let that panther out of its cage!?), but I found it all works rather well in the end. Given time to set up and lay the groundwork only amplifies the terrific scares, of which there are surprisingly few. They work like lightning though, illuminating the thougtful and clever interior.
[color=red][b]3.5[/b] out of [b]4[/b][/color]