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Television Tuesday bannerThe Sopranos – “Made in America”

The Sopranos Season 6 DVD

Original Air Date: June 10, 2007
Starring: James Gandolfini, Tony Sirico
Also Starring: Timmy, Tommy, Terry
Directed by: David Chase

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

Synopsis: The noteworthy final episode of the long-running HBO series finds the Soprano family facing an uncertain future.

Featured Feline: Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) is in a safe house with his companions and calls over an orange tabby cat, calling him “Baciagalup” (an Italian slang word for idiot or moron). He gives the cat part of his sandwich. When asked where the cat came from Tony explains he just showed up during the storm and that he already caught a mouse in the cellar.

The Sopranos - Made in America - Tony Soprano James Gandolfini calling to orange tabby cat

The Sopranos - Made in America - orange tabby cat eating from foil wrap

Later when a deal has been made between the mob families, Tony and his pals are able to return to the Pork Store. Paulie (Tony Sirico) is shocked to see the cat there and wants to see him gone, calling him a snake with fur.

The Sopranos - Made in America - Paulie Tony Sirico looking angrily at orange tabby cat

The Sopranos - Made in America - orange tabby cat on table

Tony has brought the cat from the safe house to catch mice and tells Paulie to “Leave him. He’s a good guy.”

The Sopranos - Made in America - Tony Soprano James Gandolfini reaching out to orange tabby cat with Paulie Tony Sirico

Still later Paulie is concerned when the cat keeps staring at a picture of Christopher on the wall. Paulie is determined to get rid of the cat and even picks up a broom to swing at the animal before Tony walks in.

The Sopranos - Made in America - close up of orange tabby cat staring

The Sopranos - Made in America - orange tabby cat staring at picture of Christopher

The Sopranos - Made in America - Paulie Tony Sirico and Walden Frank John Hughes with orange tabby cat

Tony asks Walden (Frank John Hughes) to give them some privacy. Walden takes the cat with him.

The Sopranos - Made in America - Walden Frank John Hughes holding orange tabby cat

Near the end of the episode Paulie is sitting with Tony outside the Pork Store. Paulie explains why he feels the cat is a jinx. By the end of the scene, Paulie has agreed to the job Tony has offered. Paulie is left sitting outside the store and the cat wanders in and then lies down (this shot was done using a green screen since the busy city street made it too difficult to shoot with the cat on location).

The Sopranos - Made in America - orange tabby cat on sidewalk outside store with Paulie Tony Sirico

The cat actors used for this episode were Timmy, Tommy and Terry, trained by Debbie Pearl for Paws for Effect. Many theories have been put forth to explain the deeper meaning behind the cat’s presence in this final episode but it’s for each fan of the show to come to their own conclusion.

The Sopranos - Made in America - orange tabby cat lying on sidewalk outside store with Paulie Tony Sirico

Final Mewsings: Cats are confused by sudden endings.

Many thanks to T.j. Dotson for letting us know about this cat appearance!


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Ours (2011)

Music Artist: Taylor Swift

Synopsis: A woman tolerates a day at work while looking forward to seeing her boyfriend once again.

Kitty Cameo: Taylor Swift sneaks a peek at videos on her computer and tablet of herself and her boyfriend during the day. In one shot she is watching a clip of her boyfriend (Zach Gilford) with an adorable Scottish Fold kitten on her computer (complete with kitty stickers!)

Ours - Taylor Swift - boyfriend Zach Gilford holding Scottish fold kitten

The kitten is actually Taylor’s own cat, Meredith!

Ours - Taylor Swift - boyfriend Zach Gilford still holding Scottish fold kitten

Final Mewsings: Celebrity cats are great in cameos!


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Catching Cats (1969)

British Pathé

Synopsis: Newsreel footage shows fashion models Celia Hammond and Sue Gunn trapping feral cats in London.

Reality Cats: Several stray cats are seen running around a derelict building site. The narrator explains that the RSCPA considers the cats a problem because they can spread disease.

Catching Cats - feral cats on abandoned building site

Catching Cats - feral cat in car park

Cat lovers and fashion models Celia and Sue arrive on the scene carrying cat traps, which they set up using kippers as bait. After setting the trap the girls just “happen” to find two cats sitting in an abandoned car.

Catching Cats - models Celia Hammond and Sue Gunn rescuing feral cats from car

Catching Cats - models Celia Hammond and Sue Gunn rescuing feral cats from car

Catching Cats - models Celia Hammond and Sue Gunn rescuing feral cats from car

Catching Cats - models Celia Hammond and Sue Gunn rescuing feral cats from car

It’s then explained that Celia has more than 15 cats in her London flat and is looking to move to the country to house them all.

Catching Cats - models Celia Hammond and Sue Gunn placing feral cats in basket

Catching Cats - ginger tabby inside cage

Final Mewsings: If only all feral cats were hanging around in cars just waiting to be picked up!


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Seven Days to Noon (1950)

Seven Days to Noon poster

London Film Productions
Starring:
 Barry Jones, Joan Hickson
Directed by: John and Roy Boulting

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

Synopsis: The city of London is threatened when Professor Willingdon (Barry Jones) becomes unstable, abandoning his work on atomic weapons for the government and running off with one of the bombs.

Cat Cattle Call: At one point the Professor seeks a room at a boarding house run by a woman named Mrs. Pecket (Joan Hickson). Mrs. Pecket owns numerous cats, seen around her house. We first see her slippered feet as she calls to one of the cats, a tabby which comes running into her room.

Seven Days to Noon - tabby cat running through doorway

Another multi-colored cat is sitting on the landing as she walks to open the door.

Seven Days to Noon - multi-colored cat on hallway floor

As she talks to the Professor on the doorstep she is holding yet another tabby cat named Wendy.

Seven Days to Noon - Mrs. Pecket Joan Hickson holding tabby cat while talking to Professor Willingdon Barry Jones

The multi-colored cat remains in the hall as Mrs. Pecket invites the Professor in to see the room. She puts Wendy in her room and explains, “I don’t mind the gentlemen going out but I’m a bit more particular about my young ladies. My cats, you know.”

Seven Days to Noon - multicolored cat in hallway with Mrs. Pecket Joan Hickson and Professor Willingdon Barry Jones

Seven Days to Noon - multicolored cat still in hallway with Mrs. Pecket Joan Hickson and Professor Willingdon Barry Jones

Up in the room Mrs. Pecket finds a tabby cat on the bed named Bunty. “You never know where you’re going to find her,” Mrs. Pecket notes, then claps her hand and tells Bunty to shoo. Bunty remains where she is, completely unfazed.

Seven Days to Noon - tabby cat Bunty on bed with Mrs. Pecket Joan Hickson and Professor Willingdon Barry Jones

Seven Days to Noon - tabby cat Bunty still on bed with Mrs. Pecket Joan Hickson and Professor Willingdon Barry Jones

After agreeing to let the Professor the room, Mrs. Pecket removes Bunty from the bed. She then lifts to covers to find another tabby cat. “Oh, there’s Amber,” Mrs. Pecket sighs, “She’s forever in the beds.”

Seven Days to Noon - tabby cat Amber on bed with Mrs. Pecket Joan Hickson and Professor Willingdon Barry Jones

Seven Days to Noon - Mrs. Pecket Joan Hickson lifting tabby cat Amber from bed with Professor Willingdon Barry Jones

In the middle of the night the Professor is pacing in his room. Mrs. Pecket is sitting in a chair, petting a black cat and listening to the pacing.

Seven Days to Noon - Mrs. Pecket Joan Hickson sitting and holding black cat

Seven Days to Noon - Mrs. Pecket Joan Hickson sitting and looking up with black cat

Mrs. Pecket sets the cat down and turns on the radio. Another tabby cat is eating nearby.

Seven Days to Noon - Mrs. Pecket Joan Hickson with tabby cat eating nearby

Still later Mrs. Pecket is in bed with two tabbies still worried by the pacing.

Seven Days to Noon - Mrs. Pecket Joan Hickson in bed with two tabby cats

Seven Days to Noon - Mrs. Pecket Joan Hickson getting up from bed leaving two tabby cats

Going upstairs to listen at the door, a multicolored cat approaches her feet and meows. “Sshh! Down Penny!” Mrs. Pecket scolds softly. The Professor hears this and opens the door.

Seven Days to Noon - multicolored cat Penny sitting at slippered feet

The next morning the one cat is still in the hallway. The multicolored cat is sitting outside the Professor’s room.

Seven Days to Noon - multicolored cat sitting in hallway

Seven Days to Noon - multicolored cat sitting outside door at top of landing

Seven Days to Noon - multicolored cat looking back at open door at top of landing

Kitty Cameo: Later in the film the city has been evacuated but the pets have all been left behind. A cat is seen sitting on the front steps of a home, mewing.

Seven Days to Noon - multicolored cat lying on stairs outside apartment block

Final Mewsings: Maybe the animals should build bombs and then leave all the people behind!


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Julie & Julia (2009)

Julie & Julia DVD

Columbia Pictures
Starring:
 Amy Adams, Meryl Streep, Chris Messina
Also Starring:  Terry
Directed by: Nora Ephron

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

Synopsis: Based on the true life stories of two independent women; Chef and author Julia Child (Meryl Streep) and blogger Julie Powell (Amy Adams).

Featured Feline: Julie owns a ginger tabby who is not named in the film. The cat first appears when Julie and her husband Eric (Chris Messina) are moving into their new apartment above a pizza parlor in Queens. Julie brings in a cat carrier (the cat’s paw can be seen sticking out) and opens the door. The cat jumps up onto the carrier and sits.

Julie and Julie - Julie Amy Adams with carrier and paw sticking out

Julie and Julie - Julie Amy Adams with carrier and ginger cat

The cat sits on the couch with Julie and Eric as they watch an old Julia Child cooking episode. The cat seems fascinated by what’s on the screen.

Julie and Julie - Julie Amy Adams and Eric Chris Messina on couch with Terry ginger cat

Later Julie carries a cooked chicken from the kitchen while the cat hungrily watches it pass.

Julie and Julie - Terry ginger cat eyeing cooked chicken walking by

The cat is present for Julie’s 30th birthday party.

Julie and Julie - Julie Amy Adams and Eric Chris Messina at birthday party with Terry ginger cat in background

The cat also gets very excited when Eric brings Julie the hoof of a calf for one recipe.

Julie and Julie - Julie Amy Adams and Eric Chris Messina with calf leg and Terry ginger cat

Julie and Julie - Julie Amy Adams and Eric Chris Messina with calf leg and Terry ginger cat coming closer

Julie falls asleep on the couch while waiting for a meal to cook. She sleeps through the alarm but the cat jumps up off the couch.

Julie and Julie - Julie Amy Adams sleeping on couch with Terry ginger cat

The cat sits in front of the stove as if sensing something is wrong.

Julie and Julie - Terry ginger cat standing in front of oven

Julie and Julie - Terry ginger cat sitting in front of oven

Julie comes running into the kitchen and the cat skidaddles.

Julie and Julie - Terry ginger cat in kitchen from above

In one scene Julie returns home and stops to pick up the cat.

Julie and Julie - Terry ginger cat approaches Julie Amy Adams

Julie and Julie - Terry ginger cat being picked up by Julie Amy Adams

Finally the cat is seen sitting beneath the telephone while answering machine messages play. The cat is watching Julie and Eric as they make love.

Julie and Julie - Terry ginger cat sitting up

According to director Nora Ephron during the DVD commentary the film was originally supposed to include two cats but one of the cats didn’t get out of the cat carrier in the first scene so Nora fired that second cat actor. The real Julie had three cats and a boa constrictor but Nora didn’t see how that would work out. “It’s hard enough working with one cat,” she explained. Regarding the final shot of the cat underneath the answering machine, Nora Ephron elaborated on her earlier statement by saying, “This is one of those shots that looks like nothing but it’s a complete nightmare. Trust me, you never want to put a cat in a movie. Even thought this one finally, on about the twenty-eighth take, did what we wanted her to do. Or maybe it was a him. I can’t remember.”

Julie and Julie - Terry ginger cat lying down

Actors Amy Adams and Chris Messina reminisced about working with the cat actor, whom they call Terry, in the Making Of … feature on the DVD. “I started working with Terry and I thought we had something,” Amy begins, “And then Terry started working with Chris and Chris sort of took over that relationship.” “It did come between us for a little bit,” Chris joked, “but . . . ” “We worked it out,” Amy adds, “When he’s on set, it’s all about Terry. ‘Quiet for the cat. Feed the cat.'” “And he also has this thing like he really likes it cold on the set, so we’ve been, like, freezing,” Chris adds, “But he’s a great actor and he studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute.” “He’s method,” Amy concludes.

Julie and Julie - Julie Amy Adams and Eric Chris Messina on couch with Terry ginger cat

The animal trainers on the set were Debbie Pearl and Dawn Barkan working for Paws for Effect.

Final Mewsings: Cats may not be easy to work with but they are so worth the effort.


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