The Leopard Man


The Leopard Man (1943)



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Movie Info

Adapted from the Cornell Woolrich novel Black Alibi, The Leopard Man is a lesser but still fascinating psychological-horror effort from producer Val Lewton. Someone has been killing off the citizens of a small New Mexico town, and the most likely suspect is a huge leopard, purchased for a local nightclub act by press agent Jerry Manning (Dennis O'Keefe), which has escaped from its cage. Neither Manning nor his star Clo-Clo (Margo) are totally convinced that the big cat is responsible.The haunting finale takes place during the annual "Day of the Dead" festivities. The opening sequence of Leopard Man, atmospherically detailing the last few moments of murder victim Teresa Delgado (Margaret Landry), is so powerful that the rest of the film seems anticlimactic. Long available only in its 59-minute reissue form, the film was restored to its original 65-minute running time in the mid-1980s.

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Dennis O'Keefe
as Jerry Manning
as Clo-Clo
Jean Brooks
as Kiki Walker
James Bell
as Dr. Galbraith
Margaret Landry
as Teresa Delgado
Abner Biberman
as Charlie How-Come
Richard Martin
as Raoul Belmonte
Tula Parma
as Consuelo Contreras
Ben Bard
as Chief Robles
Kate Lawson
as Senora Delgado
Russell Wade
as Man in Car
Jacques Lory
as Philippe
Ottola Nesmith
as Senora Contreras
John Dilson
as Coroner
Tom Orosco
as Window Cleaner
Elias Gamboa
as Senor Delgado
Betty Roadman
as Clo-Clo's Mother
Rosarita Varella
as Clo-Clo's Sister
John Piffle
as Flower Vendor
Rene Pedrini
as Frightened Waiter
Brandon Hurst
as Gatekeeper
Rose Higgins
as Indian Weaver
George Sherwood
as Police Lieutenant
John Tettener
as Minister
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Critic Reviews for The Leopard Man

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (4)

It's all confusion, in fact too much for an audience to follow.

Nov 15, 2007 | Full Review…
Top Critic

A film for lovers of pools of darkness.

Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

Half-baked efforts such as this one provoke little more than a yawn.

Mar 25, 2006 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

epending for much of its effect on a subtle and poetic nudging of the spectator's imagination, the film has a couple of sequences that are truly terrifying.

Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

The camera's tender scratch, a most graceful vision of a most predatory world

Jun 8, 2014 | Full Review…

The film has atmosphere to spare... [but] uses it like a crutch for a story that doesn't work on its own.

Oct 14, 2012 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Leopard Man


The movie starts out good, but it disappoints in the end.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer


I thought The Leopard Man was going to be a rehash of Cat People was I was pleasantly disappointed. It's another thriller out of the Val Lewton stable about a killer escaped panther, but as time goes on turns out to be something completely different. The twist at the end isn't very difficult to figure out, but The Leopard Man isn't about a clever script or so-so acting. It's about fantastic and shadowy photography and astonishing direction. Essentially any scene in this movie where someone gets murdered is a suspenseful work of art able to make even the most jaded of horror fans jump out of their seats. Even if its just a little bit.

Michael Gildea
Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

Not quite as good as Cat People. Interesting, but boring for the most part, I felt.

Tim Salmons
Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

A lesser known, but still pretty good, film from the Val Lewton crew. A leopard escapes in a small town and people start dying, but is the leopard the killer or is the truth more sinister? Some nice eerie effects, like all of Lewton's films, implied rather than shown. But the climax was a bit of a let-down for me. Luckily it's just a little more than a hour long, so I don't feel like I wasted too much time.

Cindy I
Cindy I

Super Reviewer

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