Cat Dancers - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Cat Dancers Reviews

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April 17, 2013
Brilliant and touching. A bit slow at the start but the intriguing individuals and their compelling story make this well worth it.
½ February 6, 2013
Not very good ballet dancers Ron & Joy turn into not very good cat entertainers. They add another dude named Chuck to their act & become a 3some- on stage and supposedly in the bedroom. The tale is narrated by Ron, and while likely embellished, is still fascinating.
May 1, 2012
Amazingly haunting documentary. Sometimes love doesn't fit into conventional roles and who should ever question that? The tragedy in the movie is one everyone can relate to whether they agree with the relationship or not. It is beautifully produced. The use of archival film and music is moving and draws the viewer in. This is an absolute must see.
July 31, 2011
This is the weirdest documentary I have seen. Id never even heard of these cats before! This film is not for everyone, but I have an interest in almost any lifestyle and this is one interesting life style.
April 8, 2011
A tragic documentary. Ron Holiday bears his soul in this story of love, passion and misadventure.
December 3, 2010
If you are a performer, animal lover, or a lover this movie will change your life. It's best watched multiple times.
August 25, 2010
Don't watch this because it's (1) a kitschy story about a trio who live with and train tigers & leopards, (2) a kinky story about their on-going three-way, and (3) a sad story about a white tiger that kills Ron's wife Joy after six weeks earlier killing their shared young lover Chuck.

Rather, watch it to puzzle over the many subtle, unanswered questions about what did (or did not) actually happen.

Ron's quite vague and/or conflicting on what should be straightforward, basic facts. Who first initiated the sexual trifecta, Ron or Joy? Who first wanted it? Who was there, the first time?

Joy was liquored up at twice the legal limit at death; Ron changes up his explanation half-a-dozen times.

What does Ron remember about Joy's attack? Only seeing her fly through the air.

And Ron's plenty of odd duck that adds to the puzzle. He's teaching teenagers to train cats - by rambling on about Oriental tiger-pecker soup and his dead wife's breast implants. Hmmm.

His house is filled with nearly-naked pictures/portraits of he and Joy, but none of Chuck.

After the attack on Chuck, he doesn't want the cat put-down; after the attack on Joy, he demands it on-the-spot. Later, when he can't afford them, he has the rest of the cats put-down, instead of donating them away. These, the cats he loves so very very much.

And just how did Ron feel about Joy when, after Chuck died, she stopped eating, lost 30 pounds and (according to Ron) "prayed to die?" Well, he turned away IVs and hospitalization, instead suggesting a stroll with the cats (in her feeble condition) would do her good.

It didn't.

RECOMMENDATION: For the truly intellectual viewer, there's a boatload of between-the-lines here to ponder over popcorn. And for such, well recommended.
½ October 4, 2009
Quite a story! I found it to be exciting, with unexpected twists. Recommended!
½ August 18, 2009
tigers will EAT you, dum-dum.
April 21, 2009
If you like eccentric, this movie has that in spades. Also, big ass cats! The Vegas-style act seems from a bygone era even though it lasted up until the late 90's. Most interesting is the 3-way marriage between the performers and of course the inevitable tragedy. Especially fascinating for sexual minorities at how older generations coped with their nature. See it!
January 16, 2009
Wow. These people were eccentric, to say the least. This just reinforces my belief that wild animals belong in the wild, no matter how beautiful they may be.
January 2, 2009
½ January 1, 2009
The story, as told by Ron Holiday, becomes a twisted tale of life behind the stage curtain. The historical footage and TV clips add depth to Holiday's story. I can't help but think it was Holiday who created the circumstances that resulted in the tragic ending.
December 31, 2008
I happened to find this by accident when flipping though channels. I was completely mezmerized. WOW.
December 27, 2008
There is a fascinating quality to this documentary, perhaps it's the great and extensive archival footage of the circus act this film archives, or perhaps it's the sheer freakiness of the toupee'd bisexual circus vet, Ron Holiday who narrates the tragic wacky story of his career. Starting as a dance duo, Ron and Joy Holiday obtain a black panther cub from actor William Holden and thus begin an illustrious circus career as the "Cat Dancers", adding more and more cats to the act as it's popularity rose and eventually adding a handsome young assistant to not only their act, but their marriage as well. The new assistant Chuck Lizza would eventually be the one in charge of a white tiger cub, added to the act from professional pressures on Ron and Joy to compete with Las Vegas headliners Siegfried and Roy. In some tragic events outlined herein the notoriously inbred white tiger would eventually kill Lizza as well as Joy Holiday. This is a riveting documentary if not for the glimpse in how fabulously different circus folk. particularly a 40 year vet like Holiday, truly are. This is a bizarre and tragic tale but shot with enough cinematic pathos to make it unforgettable.
½ December 23, 2008
A compelling documentary - the archival footage is really nice. The filmmaker did a commendable job overall interspersing the footage and the present-day interview, and I'd like to see more from him.

However, I've got to say that the movie just makes me angry; and the pity I feel is for the animals. I don't doubt that Ron thought he loved his cats. But, their ultimate fate shows exactly what's wrong with the hubris that makes people think that they can and should train wild animals to perform for human pleasure. What he should be doing is spending his time telling people NOT to do what he did instead of teaching at a place that encourages more of the same.
½ December 23, 2008
Fascinating documentary about a life-long entertainment couple that become huge in raising big wild cats and incorporating them into their vegas style act. Interesting people, beautiful and dangerous animals and horrific death. What else do you need?
December 17, 2008
Don't read the description of the film, just see it! This is a story that can't be made up. As it unfolds you'll want to rewind the scenes because you can't believe what you see or hear is real. Best documentary of the year. Now playing on HBO On Demand 12-08.
December 15, 2008
no thanks not my thing
½ October 12, 2008
A most interesting and enlightening documentary about people I had never heard of before. However, they did have a very viable career indeed, first as 'simple' dancers, then adding exotic cats to their act, training them and touring with them. A candid narration interspersed with actual interview footage of Ron Holiday as well as scenes from four decades worth of performance and their private lives away from the limelight. Ron Holiday now passes on his experience of working with a variety of big cats to the next generation so they may not make the same mistakes he, his wife and their protege learnt the hard way.
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