Rent Cat People (1942)

3.6 of 5 from 109 ratings
1h 10min
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  • General info
  • Available formats
Synopsis:
Irena Dubrovna (Simone Simon), a beautiful and mysterious Serbian-born fashion artist living in New York City, falls in love with and marries average-Joe American Oliver Reed (Kent Smith). But Irena believes that she suffers from an ancient curse and whenever she is emotionally aroused she will turn into a panther and savage her victims. Oliver thinks that is absurd and sends her to psychiatrist Dr. Judd (Tom Conway) to cure her. But truth is sometimes stranger than fantasy...
Actors:
, , , , , Henrietta Burnside, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Directors:
Producers:
Val Lewton
Writers:
DeWitt Bodeen
Studio:
Odeon Entertainment
Genres:
Classics, Horror
BBFC:
Release Date:
24/03/2014
Run Time:
70 minutes
Languages:
English
Subtitles:
None
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
Colour:
B & W
BBFC:
Release Date:
26/09/2016
Run Time:
73 minutes
Languages:
English LPCM Mono
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.37:1
Colour:
B & W
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • Audio commentary from 2005 featuring film historian Gregory Mank, with excerpts from an audio interview with actor Simone Simon
  • Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows, a 2008 feature-length documentary that explores the life and career of the legendary Hollywood producer
  • Interview with director Jacques Tourneur from 1979
  • New interview with cinematographer John Bailey about the look of the film•
  • Trailer

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Reviews (2) of Cat People

Lewton Horror. - Cat People review by Steve Mason

Spoiler Alert
Updated 25/08/2021

When RKO asked Val Lewton to take charge of their new B horror unit they expected monster movies similar to those made at Universal but on a lower budget. They got a new kind of film, psychological horror, set in realistic, modern city locations. Its fears were drawn from the darkness and superstition and the unknown. Secret personal fears.

RKO gave Lewton the title: Cat People. Simone Simon is Irena Dubrovna, a commercial artist in Manhattan, who believes she has inherited a Serbian curse. If she is sexually aroused she will turn into a predator. Desire will make her bestial. Her rejected husband, Oliver (Kent Smith), encourages his wife to try psychoanalysis, but rationality proves inadequate.

This is horror noir. It was shot and lit by RKO's great noir photographer Nicholas Musuraca. DeWitt Bodeen's script is extremely imaginative and invents a rich folklore for Irena's psycho-sexual anxiety to inhabit. Irena lives in a place of darkness and foreboding. Simon is really quite moving as an outsider, tortured by her need for love but fearful of its consequences

Cat People is one of the best and most influential horror films ever made. It was a revolution, a Freudian allegory full of symbolism. This is among director Jacques Tourneur's greatest noirs. It was a huge hit and allowed Val Lewton to make another eight excellent horror films for RKO.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

A landmark horror film you can enjoy without getting too scared - Cat People review by tm

Spoiler Alert
25/01/2021

This is a very special film. It is a horror film in that there are many horror elements in it but it is also a very period exploration of sexuality, male fears about sexual vulnerability and female power.

Alternatively you could see it as a sort of psychosexual version of the noir genre.

The psychology is very dated and the reliance on pot boiler Freudianism is thick and gooey but there are so many interesting myths and ideas, so many quirky insights and observations and most of all such a unique central theme that this remains a must see film for anyone who wants to survey the landmarks of cinema.

Dated yes, but not so as it would spoil the experience of watching it.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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