Funny Friday bannerBreaking Away (1979)

Breaking Away poster

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Starring:
 Dennis Christopher, Paul Dooley, Daniel Stern
Directed by: Peter Yates

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains some spoilers for this film!

Synopsis: Dave (Dennis Christopher) is an aspiring cyclist from a small town in Indiana who dreams of being as great as the Italian cyclists he emulates.

Featured Feline: Dave’s family owns a tabby cat and we first see him sitting on Dave’s bed.

Breaking Away - tabby cat Fellini Jake sitting on bed

Dave is obsessed with everything Italian and even speaks Italian around home. He addresses the cat as Fellini and offers him some cat food in a Cinzano ashtray.

Breaking Away - tabby cat Fellini Jake sitting on bed with Dave Dennis Christopher

Breaking Away - tabby cat Fellini Jake standing on bed

Breaking Away - tabby cat Fellini Jake sitting on bed with Dave Dennis Christopher and food

Breaking Away - tabby cat Fellini Jake on bed with Dave Dennis Christopher holding out food

Later Dave’s dad (Paul Dooley) is sitting in the living room with the cat on his lap. He sets the cat aside when he gets up to have dinner.

Breaking Away - tabby cat on Dad's Paul Dooley's lap in background

Breaking Away - tabby cat Fellini Jake on chair in background

At one point the cat gets up at the table and the mother (Barbara Barrie) scolds the cat, calling him Fellini. The father objects, saying the cat is his and his name is Jake.

Breaking Away - tabby cat Fellini Jake on kitchen table with Mom Barbara Barrie and Dad Paul Dooley

Jake, aka Fellini, is sitting on Dave’s bed when Dave’s friend Cyril (Daniel Stern) is practicing a song on the guitar.

Breaking Away - tabby cat Fellini Jake sitting up on bed

Cyril makes the comment that he’ll make the catgut meow and strums hard, scaring away the cat.

Breaking Away - tabby cat Fellini Jake jumping from bed and running away when Cyril Daniel Stern strums guitar animated gif

Fellini / Jake is only seen once more in the film when Dave is tearing the posters off his wall.

Breaking Away - tabby cat Fellini Jake sitting on bed while Dave Dennis Christopher is tearing down posters

Final Mewsings: Cats don’t care what you call them, just don’t call them late for dinner!


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Mystic River (2003)

Mystic River poster

Warner Bros.
Starring:
 Laurence Fishburne, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon
Directed by: Clint Eastwood

Synopsis: A group of childhood friends reunite when tragedy again enters their lives.

Purr Blur: In one scene Whitey (Laurence Fishburne) and Sean (Kevin Bacon) talk to Dave (Tim Robbins) as he walks his son to school. At the end of the scene, Dave is walking away down the street. A cat be seen crossing further down the street.

Mystic River - cat crossing street ahead of Dave Tim Robbins

Final Mewsings: Cats are known to jaywalk.

Many thanks to our friend T.j. Dotson for letting us know about this Purr Blur!


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McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)

McCabe and Mrs. Miller poster

Warner Bros.
Starring:
 Warren Beatty, Julie Christie
Directed by: Robert Altman

Synopsis: John McCabe (Warren Beatty) is a gambler who teams with prostitute Constance Miller (Julie Christie) to grow several businesses in a small Old West mining town.

Kitty Cameo: In one scene the tavern proprietor named Smalley (John Schuck) spots a long-haired tabby cat sitting on the card table.

McCabe and Mrs. Miller - long-haired tabby cat on card table

Kitty Carnage Warning! Smalley picks up the cat roughly by the scruff and snarls, “How many times have I told you . . . ?” He then throws the cat down roughly on the floor.

McCabe and Mrs. Miller - Smalley John Schuck holding long-haired tabby cat roughly by scruff

McCabe and Mrs. Miller - Smalley John Schuck throwing down long-haired tabby cat roughly animated gif

Final Mewsings: Gambling is bad for cats.

Many thanks to Ted Davis for letting us know about the cat in this film!


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Magic Town (1947)

Magic Town poster

RKO Radio Pictures
Starring:
 James Stewart, Jane Wyman
Directed by: William A. Wellman

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains some spoilers for this film!

Synopsis: Rip Smith (James Stewart) is a pollster who comes up with a theory that if he can find the perfect small town that represents a microcosm of the country’s opinions he can streamline his work, and Grandview appears to be just such a town.

Cat Burglar (Scene Stealer): After the local paper prints a negative story about Rip’s arrival in town, Rip goes down to complain. The author of the article is the newspaper’s acting editor, Mary Peterman (Jane Wyman) who has a grudge against Rip for his interruption of her meeting with the city council trying to get a new civic center started. When Mary enters the newspaper office there is a tabby kitten standing on the ledge that surrounds a large model of her proposed city improvements (the kitten was not there when Rip entered the office earlier).

Magic Town - tabby kitten Panther in newspaper office with Jane Wyman and James Stewart

Mary gets everyone to gather around the model and the kitten is passed down the line of three older men who watch intently as she starts the model train using the three position signal she has brought.

Magic Town - tabby kitten Panther watches model train with Mary Jane Wyman, Rip James Stewart and old men

Mary is not happy to see Rip. She takes the kitten, whose name is Panther, and carries the kitten to a stand near her desk where she sets her down.

Magic Town - tabby kitten Panther on stand with Mary Jane Wyman

Rip leans against the stand to talk to Mary, petting the kitten as he does so.

Magic Town - tabby kitten Panther with eyes closed petted by Rip James Jimmy Stewart

Magic Town - tabby kitten Panther being petted by Rip James Stewart animated gif

Rip then tries to refer to the blurb Mary has written about him but the kitten walks on the newspaper. He has to lift Panther’s tail to read the piece.

Magic Town - tabby kitten Panther standing on newspaper with Rip James Stewart animated gif

Rip finally asks if she would consider printing a retraction. She picks up the kitten and walks away.

Magic Town - tabby kitten Panther being picked up by Mary Jane Wyman

Mary hands Panther to one of the elderly men and asks him to give her some milk.

Magic Town - tabby kitten Panther being handed to old man by Mary Jane Wyman

Panther is only seen once more near the end of the film, standing on the model of the city.

Magic Town - tabby kitten Panther on ledge by model city

Final Mewsings: Cats’ opinions should count, too!


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Alfred Hitchcock Presents – “The Orderly World of Mr. Appleby”

Alfred Hitchcock Presents Season 1 DVD

Original Air Date: April 15, 1956
Starring: Alfred Hitchcock, Robert H. Harris, Meg Mundy
Directed by: James Neilson

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains some spoilers for this episode!

Synopsis: Mr. Laurence Appleby (Robert H. Harris) is an obsessive compulsive antiques dealer who would rather kill his wives for their money than sell his precious treasures.

Kitty Cameo: After marrying the rich Martha Sturgis (Meg Mundy) to save his store, Mr. Appleby is shocked to come home one evening to find an orange tabby cat sitting in a chair.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents - The Orderly World of Mr. Appleby - orangy tabby cat Dicky on chair

Appleby’s former wife had always wanted a cat but he had forbidden it, saying they destroy everything. Mr. Appleby calls for Martha and asks her what that is. She says the cat’s name is Dicky.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents - The Orderly World of Mr. Appleby - Martha Meg Mundy holding orangy tabby cat Dicky with Appleby Robert H. Harris

Martha then goes on to explain that she won’t be giving Mr. Appleby any more money, as she’d rather have him lose the store and spend more time around the house with her.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents - The Orderly World of Mr. Appleby - Martha Meg Mundy holding orangy tabby cat Dicky with Appleby Robert H. Harris

Alfred Hitchcock Presents - The Orderly World of Mr. Appleby - Martha Meg Mundy holding orangy tabby cat Dicky with Appleby Robert H. Harris

The finally straw is when Martha says she is going to feed Dicky the cat and nonchalantly uses a china dish to do so.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents - The Orderly World of Mr. Appleby - Martha Meg Mundy holding orangy tabby cat Dicky and dish with Appleby Robert H. Harris

Final Mewsings: Cats have as much right to eat from china as people.

Many thanks to Ted Davis who spotted this Television Tabby for us!


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