Cat People (1942)
Critic Consensus: Influential noir director Jacques Tourneau infused this sexy, moody horror film with some sly commentary about the psychology and the taboos of desire.
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as Irena Dubrovna Reed
as Ollie Reed
as Dr. Louis Judd
as Alice Moore
as Miss Plunkett
as The Cat Woman
as Street Cop
as Mrs. Agnew
as Whistling Cop
as Mounted Cop
as Bus Driver
as Sheep Caretaker
as Taxi Driver
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Critic Reviews for Cat People
Cat People wasn't frightening like a slasher movie, using shocks and gore, but frightening in an eerie, mysterious way that was hard to define; the screen harbored unseen threats.
More a film about unreasoning fear than the supernatural, this work demonstrates what a filmmaker can accomplish when he substitutes taste and intelligence for special effects.
First in the wondrous series of B movies in which Val Lewton elaborated his principle of horrors imagined rather than seen, with a superbly judged performance from Simon.
Ladies who have such temptations -- in straight horror pictures, at least -- should exercise their digits a bit more freely than does Simone Simon in this film.
Audience Reviews for Cat People
Based on the Edgar Allan Poe short story of the same name, "The Black Cat" has a plot that many will not pay attention to. The real draw is having Bela Lugosi (Dracula) and Boris Karloff (Frankenstein) onscreen, together, portrayed as foes. Read more at http://www.bluefairyblog.com/reviews/2015/4/28/double-feature-the-black-cat-and-cat-people
I've always wanted to see this because I enjoyed the 1982 version of the same movie. I liked the '82 version more. This movie creates the setting that the scary parts are in your mind, not using visual blood and gore on screen. But the story seemed quite simplistic (maybe because I knew the story already??)
Oliver meets Irena at the zoo drawing pictures of the black panther, and the two strike up a quick friendship. Back at her place, she explains she comes from a cursed village in Serbia, where men turn into great cats whenever their passions rise. Even though Oliver finds the story odd, he still romances Irena and soon the two are getting married. Irena however, will not so much as kiss her new husband, for fear the curse will strike her and she'll murder him in the heat of the moment. Is it just a matter of time before Oliver finds himself spending more time with his assistant Alice (Jane Randolph), the sweet, american girl who has already professed her love for him? Cat People was filmed on a very low budget and this lead to great economic measures at the time. Director Jacques Tourneur makes great use out of his "lack" of available lighting, creating dark alleyways and spooky office buildings that have been closed up for the night. And let's not forget the pool scene, as Alice hears the growl of a jungle cat reverberate off the walls of the pool, but can see only shadows reflecting off the water. And what is the underlying message here? Is it about the dangers of sex or the dangers of abstinance? A woman who can't fulfill her wifely duties isn't really a wife at all, or a man who can't control his passions will find them blowing up in his face. It's a bit of weird 1940s fetish-ism.
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