Purr Blur Thursday bannerRoom at the Top (1959)

Room at the Top DVD

Romulus Films
Starring:
 Laurence Harvey, Simone Signoret
Directed by: Jack Clayton

Synopsis: Joe Lampton (Laurence Harvey) is an ambitious accountant who finds himself having to choose between love for an older woman or a marriage for position to the boss’ daughter.

Purr Blur: As a car drives away in the very last shot of the movie a cat can barely be seen sitting on the sidewalk to one side.

Room at the Top - cat sitting on sidewalk as car passes

The cat remains in place while the words “The End” come and go and stays sitting all the way through to the final fade.

Room at the Top - cat sitting on sidewalk next to road

Final Mewsings: Cats know how to crash final shots.


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Neko to Shôzô to futari no onna (1956)

Shozo, a Cat and Two Women DVD

English Title: Shôzô, a Cat and Two Women
Toho Film Company
Starring:
 Hisaya Morishige, Isuzu Yamada, Kyôko Kagawa
Directed by: Shirô Toyoda

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

Synopsis: Based on the book Neko to Shozo to Futari no Onna (A Cat, A Man and Two Women) by Jun’ichirô Tanizaki, this dark comedy follows a man named Shozo (Hisaya Morishige) whose older first wife Shinako (Isuzu Yamada) and younger second wife Fukoko (Kyôko Kagawa) are both jealous of the affection he shows for his cat, Lily.

Cinema Cat: Shozo is a milquetoast of a man who lives with his mother despite being married. Not only does the mother-in-law drive Shinako mad but Shozo has a strange obsession with his white and calico cat Lily.

Shozo, a Cat and Two Women - Shozo Hisaya Morishige looking at white and calico cat Lily on beach

Shozo, a Cat and Two Women - Shozo Hisaya Morishige looking at white and calico cat Lily sitting at table

Shozo can display affection openly for Lily, something he does not readily do with his wives.

Shozo, a Cat and Two Women - Shozo Hisaya Morishige looking at white and calico cat Lily on beach

Shozo, a Cat and Two Women - Shozo Hisaya Morishige looking at white and calico cat Lily meowing animated gif

Unable to take it any more, Shinako leaves him. Shozo then marries Fukoko, a much younger woman who is flighty and flirty, only she is even more opposed to sharing a home with Lily.

Shozo, a Cat and Two Women - Fukoko Kyôko Kagawa with white and calico cat Lily on stomach while sleeping

Shozo, a Cat and Two Women - Fukoko Kyôko Kagawa and friend looking at white and calico cat Lily

Lily is seen throughout the movie, sharing loving moments with Shozo, although the way Shozo carresses the cat and squeezes her too hard shows a rather unhealthy fascination. Shozo also laments the fact that Lily is getting older and isn’t as spry as she once was.

Shozo, a Cat and Two Women - Shozo Hisaya Morishige fishing on boat with white and calico cat Lily

Shozo, a Cat and Two Women - white and calico cat Lily

The rift between Shozo and Fukoko grows when she makes the effort to make mackerel and he feeds some to Lily. Fukoko insists that Shozo give Lily to his ex-wife and arranges for it to happen without his knowledge.

Shozo, a Cat and Two Women - Shozo Hisaya Morishige feeding white and calico cat Lily at table with Fukoko Kyôko Kagawa watching

Shozo, a Cat and Two Women - Shozo Hisaya Morishige feeding white and calico cat Lily at table with Fukoko Kyôko Kagawa watching

When Shozo finds out Lily is being sent away he races after her to say goodbye, asking her to memorize the way back to him.

Shozo, a Cat and Two Women - Shozo Hisaya Morishige hugging white and calico cat Lily

Shinako is thrilled when Lily arrives but takes her frustration out on the cat, tethering Lily to a lamp so she can’t run away, which she does anyway.

Shozo, a Cat and Two Women - Shinako Isuzu Yamada holding white and calico cat Lily

Shozo, a Cat and Two Women - Shinako Isuzu Yamada dancing with white and calico cat Lily

Shozo, a Cat and Two Women - white and calico cat Lily tethered to lamp

Amazingly Lily returns to Shinako and she is thrilled, saying she will treasure her. In reality Shinako is just using Lily to lure back Shozo.

Shozo, a Cat and Two Women - Shinako Isuzu Yamada holding up white and calico cat Lily

Shozo, a Cat and Two Women - Shinako Isuzu Yamada lying with white and calico cat Lily

When Shozo finally visits Shinako he finds Lily standoffish and is concerned.

Shozo, a Cat and Two Women - white and calico cat Lily hiding from Shozo

Shozo, a Cat and Two Women - Shozo Hisaya Morishige holding white and calico cat Lily

Realizing her plan won’t work, Shinako takes her anger out on Lily, who runs away. Shozo goes after the cat and finds her at their place on the beach, soaked in the rain.

Shozo, a Cat and Two Women - Shinako Isuzu Yamada laughing with Shozo Hisaya Morishige holding white and calico cat Lily

Shozo, a Cat and Two Women - white and calico cat Lily running away in the rain

Shozo, a Cat and Two Women - white and calico cat Lily wet from the rain

Shozo and Lily are last seen walking away on the beach in the rain with nowhere to go.

Shozo, a Cat and Two Women - Shozo Hisaya Morishige holding white and calico cat Lily in rain

Shozo, a Cat and Two Women - Shozo Hisaya Morishige holds white and calico cat Lily in rain animated gif

Kitty Carnage Warning:  What should have been a delightful and entertaining film is sadly marred by some absolutely appalling treatment of the cat actor (or actors) playing Lily. In numerous scenes both Shinako and Fukoko roughly pick up the cat and throw her violently or throw items at the poor cat. There is no cutting or fake animals used, these throws are done in real time and with the real cat.

Shozo, a Cat and Two Women - white and calico cat Lily

Shozo, a Cat and Two Women - white and calico cat Lily running away from Shinako Isuzu Yamada

Incredibly enough the cat actor not only seems to weather this treatment as best as possible but also comes back in one scene after being thrown, albeit timidly and likely with food being the primary motivation.

Shozo, a Cat and Two Women - Shozo Hisaya Morishige and Fukoko Kyôko Kagawa with white and calico cat Lily hiding under table

There are moments when Lily seems to cry out while Shozo is holding her as well. It’s hard to tell if she is being squeezed too hard or what.

Shozo, a Cat and Two Women - Shozo Hisaya Morishige hugging white and calico cat Lily as she cries out

Despite the treatment, Lily is the star of the show, stealing every scene and putting up with a lot of insanity and scary behavior. Thankfully filmmakers are more sensitive to their feline thespians these days. But considering this is a comedy, the treatment of Lily is particularly unfunny, no matter how dark the material is supposed to be.

Shozo, a Cat and Two Women - white and calico cat Lily in doorway meowing

Shozo, a Cat and Two Women - Shozo Hisaya Morishige with white and calico cat Lily close

Shozo, a Cat and Two Women - Shozo Hisaya Morishige holding white and calico cat Lily in rain

Kitty Cameo:  In one scene Shozo hears a cat meowing outside and thinks it is Lily returning to him. When he looks out he sees a black tom and tells the cat that Lily isn’t there.

Shozo, a Cat and Two Women - black cat on fence

Final Mewsings: We don’t ever want to see any cat actor treated this badly again!


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Around the World in 80 Days (1956)

Around the World in 80 Days poster

Michael Todd Company
Starring:
 David Niven, Cantinflas
Directed by: Michael Anderson

Synopsis: Based on the novel by Jules Verne. Phileas Fogg (David Niven) makes a bet that he can circumnavigate the globe in 80 days and takes along his new valet, Passepartout (Cantinflas).

Purr Blur: At the beginning of the film, members of a men’s club are seen sitting around a room. The men are easily agitated, as is demonstrated when the butler is called over to a table where two men are playing chess. One points behind him as an orange tabby cat is passing by. “Must we have that confounded animal around here stamping its feet?” the man complains.

Around the World in 80 Days - orange tabby cat walking past

While not confirmed there is a chance this could be cat actor Orangey, which would make him yet another celebrity in this star-studded film.

Around the World in 80 Days - orange tabby cat walking past animated gif

Final Mewsings: It would be hard for cats to walk any quieter.

Thanks to John Cawley of Hollywood Danes for spotting the cat in this film!


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Bob – “Terminate Her”

Bob DVD

Original Air Date: October 23, 1992
Starring: Bob Newhart, Carlene Watkins
Directed by: Dick Martin

Synopsis: Bob (Newhart) offers the job of colorist to his daughter Trisha (Cynthia Stevenson) only to find that Harlan (John Cygan) has given the position to his inept girlfriend (Cristine Dunford).

Featured Feline: Otto returns in another quick spot at the opening of the show. Bob enters the house to find Otto sitting in his chair.

Bob - Terminate Her - Bob Newhart enters house to see cat Otto on chair

Bob encourages Otto to move to the couch, saying, “Be a good boy.”

Bob - Terminate Her - cat Otto on chair

Bob - Terminate Her - Bob Newhart trying to coax cat Otto from chair to couch

When Otto refuses to budge, Bob sits on the couch himself and says, “Am I a good boy or what?”

Bob - Terminate Her - cat Otto on chair

Bob - Terminate Her - Bob Newhart trying to coax cat Otto from chair to couch

Final Mewsings: You can’t move a comfortable cat.

Many thanks to Stevie Holcomb for letting us know about Otto in this series!


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Le paysagiste (1976)

English Title:  Mindscape
National Film Board of Canada (NFB)s
Directed by:
 Jacques Drouin

Synopsis: A mesmerizing pinscreen animation about an artist who paints an ever-changing landscape and then steps into his own creation.

Kitty Cameo: In one of the landscapes a black cat is seen sleeping under a tree, wagging its tail as the picture changes around it.

Mindscape - black cat under tree

Mindscape - black cat under tree

Mindscape - black cat under tree

Final Mewsings: Cats are right at home in art.


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