Category Archives: Featured Feline

Half a Sixpence (1967)

Half a Sixpence poster

Paramount Pictures
Starring:
 Tommy Steele, Julia Foster
Directed by: George Sidney

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

Synopsis: Arthur Kipps (Tommy Steele) is content to slave away as an apprentice for a tough drapery store owner until he inherits a large amount of money which changes his views on life.

Featured Feline: Arthur lives in the basement of the drapery store with his co-workers who are also apprentices. In the beginning of the film Arthur wakes up and pulls down the covers from his chin to reveal a Bengal tabby cat lying on his chest.

Half a Sixpence - Arthur Kipps Tommy Steele waking up with Bengal tabby cat Edwin on his chest

The cat is Edwin and he is also employed as the store’s mouser, although Arthur points out that Edwin hasn’t been pulling his weight as he tries to rouse the sleepy tabby.

Half a Sixpence - Arthur Kipps Tommy Steele trying to wake Bengal tabby cat Edwin

Half a Sixpence - Arthur Kipps Tommy Steele trying to wake Bengal tabby cat Edwin

Half a Sixpence - Arthur Kipps Tommy Steele holding Bengal tabby cat Edwin

Edwin is seen several times throughout the film. For example, when everyone goes out after a day’s work Arthur must stay in to prepare to go to woodworking class which his boss, Mr. Shalford (Hilton Edwards) has arranged. Arthur looks down to see Edwin coming in through the front doors.

Half a Sixpence - Bengal tabby cat Edwin coming into store

Arthur picks up Edwin and puts him back outside, saying that someone has to go out that night. “And don’t be late!” he adds.

Half a Sixpence - Arthur Kipps Tommy Steele picking up Bengal tabby cat Edwin

Right after this a man barrels into the store on a bicycle. It is an actor named Harry Chitterlow (Cyril Ritchard) who demonstrates his art for the puzzled Arthur. Edwin is seen poking his head out from between some of the store’s fabrics.

Half a Sixpence - Bengal tabby cat Edwin peeking through fabrics

Later in the film when Arthur has become wealthy he comes back to visit his friends in the store. But they are not as happy to see him as he is them. His former boss comes out to greet him. Edwin can barely be seen sitting on a chair behind the man.

Half a Sixpence - Bengal tabby cat Edwin on chair behind Shalford Hilton Edwards

Arthur jumps up and greets Edwin warmly, bypassing his boss. He tells Edwin he has brought a present which is a collar with a bell on it. Edwin reacts violently, swiping at Arthur before running away.

Half a Sixpence - Bengal tabby cat Edwin on chair

Half a Sixpence - Bengal tabby cat Edwin sitting up on chair

Later Arthur’s friends gather outside on the street when news spreads that Arthur has lost his fortune. Buggins (Leslie Meadows) is holding Edward and is warned not to hold the cat but Buggins assures them Edwin is fine. Edwin seems very content, curled up in Buggins arms.

Half a Sixpence Bengal tabby cat Edwin in arms of Buggins Leslie Meadows with co-workers

Half a Sixpence Bengal tabby cat Edwin in arms of Buggins Leslie Meadows with co-workers

Half a Sixpence Bengal tabby cat Edwin in arms of Buggins Leslie Meadows with co-workers

The last time Edwin is seen is during a dream sequence in which Arthur imagines he is still rich and throwing extravagant parties for all of his friends. His wife Ann (Julia Foster) then shows up and parades those whose opinions of Arthur did not change even when he was rich, including his boss Mr. Shalford who is holding Edwin.

Half a Sixpence Bengal tabby cat Edwin in arms of Mr. Shalford Hilton Edwards in dream sequence

Half a Sixpence Bengal tabby cat Edwin in arms of Mr. Shalford Hilton Edwards in dream sequence behind Ann Julia Foster

The part of Edwin the cat was a real scene stealer even in the original productions of the musical and real cats were often used to play the part on stage.

Final Mewsings: A collar with a bell on it is about the worst present to get a cat who already can’t catch mice!

Many thanks to Nick Wale for letting us know about the cat in this musical!


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Paulie (1998)

Paulie poster

DreamWorks
Starring:
 Jay Mohr, Hallie Eisenberg
Directed by: John Roberts

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

Synopsis: A parrot named Paulie (voiced by Jay Mohr) becomes the beloved pet of a girl named Marie (Hallie Eisenberg) but when they are separated Paulie goes to great lengths to find her again.

Featured Feline: Marie’s parents are concerned about their daughter’s strong attachment to Paulie, especially when she insists the bird not only talks but understands her (which, of course, he does). Paulie is thrown for a loop when Marie’s father (Matt Craven) brings home a ginger tabby kitten for Marie one day.

Paulie - Marie's father Matt Craven holding up ginger tabby kitten

There is a bit of product placement when the kitten is introduced along with a box of Little Friskie’s cat food.

Paulie - Marie Hallie Eisenberg holding ginger tabby kitten with box of Friskies cat food

The cat (who is never mentioned by name) is next seen full grown (and long-haired). Paulie has to sit up high on a coat rack to avoid the cat.

Paulie - long-haired ginger tabby cat meowing

Paulie - long-haired ginger tabby cat on couch

Paulie calls down to the cat and tells it to go outside. But instead of going out the door, the cat focuses on the bird.

Paulie - long-haired ginger tabby cat looking up

Paulie - long-haired ginger tabby cat standing on floor looking up

The cat climbs up on a chair next to a set table and finally leaps at Paulie on the coat rack, knocking it down and throwing them both onto the table.

Paulie - long-haired ginger tabby cat on chair by table

Paulie - long-haired ginger tabby cat meowing on chair by table

Paulie - long-haired ginger tabby cat leaping towards coat

There is a bit of cartoonish business here where the cat flies across the table under a salad bowl (a fake cat tail was used for this). Jumping off the table, the cat takes chase after Paulie and ends up slipping on a rug and hitting a plate glass door. This action is not extremely harsh, though, and it would appear the cat just lightly bumped against the glass.

Paulie - long-haired ginger tabby cat about to jump off table with onion on ear

Paulie - long-haired ginger tabby cat bumping into glass door

Paulie - long-haired ginger tabby cat turning from glass door

The cat manages to place a paw on Paulie’s tail when Marie arrives and rescues the bird, scolding the cat and telling it to shoo. This scene was achieved by using blue screen to replace the bird trainer’s hand with the cat actor’s paw.

Paulie - long-haired ginger tabby cat with paw on Paulie parrot's tail

Paulie - long-haired ginger tabby cat sitting and looking up

Later the cat is seen beneath Marie’s window as she is trying to coach Paulie to fly. Paulie suggests Marie show him how and as she crawls out of the window she knocks a flower pot down. The cat scurries out of the way as the pot hits the ground. Paulie congratulates Marie on almost hitting the cat.

Paulie - long-haired ginger tabby cat far below window

Paulie - long-haired ginger tabby cat below window

Final Mewsings: Cats don’t care for wise-cracking parrots.


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En man som heter Ove (2015)

A Man Called Ove poster

English Title: A Man Called Ove
Nordisk Film
Starring:
 Rolf Lassgårdm, Bahar Pars
Also Starring:  Magic, Orlando
Directed by: Hannes Holm

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

Synopsis: Based on the popular novel by Fredrik Backman. Ove (Rolf Lassgårdm) is a cantankerous older man who has reached the point where life doesn’t seem worth living until the people around him see more in him than he sees in himself.

Featured Feline: Ove lives in a housing development with strict association rules which he enforces, even though he is no longer president. He spends much of his time walking around the grounds, taking justice into his own hands when he sees a violation. As he walks around the complex, a female Ragdoll cat often follows him. He tries to scare the cat away but it does not seem to deter the animal. In the book the cat is referred to as “The Cat Annoyance”.

A Man Called Ove - Ragdoll cat sitting on path

A Man Called Ove - Ragdoll cat sitting in foreground with Ove Rolf Lassgårdm in background

A Man Called Ove - Ove Rolf Lassgårdm trying to scare away Ragdoll cat

While Ove does not like the cat, he still comes to the rescue when a woman with a dog (whom he also despises) is caught throwing stones at the poor thing. Ove chases the woman away. He even comes back outside with some food and looks for the cat but it is gone.

A Man Called Ove - Ragdoll cat crouched next to house

One of Ove’s new neighbors is a pregnant woman named Parvaneh (Bahar Pars) who takes a liking to the man even though he is initially very rude to her and her husband. Parvaneh is with Ove when she finds the cat injured outside his door.

A Man Called Ove - Ragdoll cat being picked up by Parvaneh Bahar Pars with Ove Rolf Lassgårdm

Against Ove’s wishes, she insists they take the cat inside his home and that Ove find something to keep the cat warm. At that point a neighbor named Jimmy (Klas Wiljergârd) comes in and takes his shirt off, warming the cat against his chest. When both Parvaneh and Jimmy say they can’t take the cat because of allergies (Parvaneh’s children and Jimmy remembers he himself is allergic) it is clear the care of the cat will fall to Ove.

A Man Called Ove - Jimmy Klas Wiljergârd holding Ragdoll cat against bare chect with Parvaneh Bahar Pars

A Man Called Ove - Jimmy Klas Wiljergârd holding Ragdoll cat against bare chect with Ove Rolf Lassgårdm

Ove reluctantly takes on the responsibility and over time the cat becomes a constant companion.

A Man Called Ove - Ragdoll cat being held by Ove Rolf Lassgårdm

A Man Called Ove - Ragdoll cat lying on floor and looking up

A Man Called Ove - Ragdoll cat lying on bed

Ove even takes the cat with him to visit his wife’s grave.

A Man Called Ove - Ragdoll cat being held by Ove Rolf Lassgårdm at cemetery

Ove also becomes close to many of the residents of the community, helping them when they need him.

A Man Called Ove - Ragdoll cat being watching Ove work

A Man Called Ove - Ragdoll cat watching Ove Rolf Lassgårdm fix bicycle

He even lets a young man named Mirsad (Poyan Karimi) move in with him when he has nowhere else to go.

A Man Called Ove - Mirsad Poyan Karimi feeding Ragdoll cat

Now others, including the cat, follow Ove on his rounds.

A Man Called Ove - Ragdoll cat being and friends following Ove Rolf Lassgårdm on his rounds

A Man Called Ove - Ragdoll cat being and friends following Ove Rolf Lassgårdm on his rounds

Near the end of the film, Parvaneh and her husband find that Ove has passed in his sleep, the cat lying forlornly on the man’s chest.

A Man Called Ove - Ragdoll cat lying on Ove's Rolf Lassgårdm chest with Parvaneh Bahar Pars

The part of the unnamed cat was played by cats Magic and Orlando who were not trained cat actors. According to online sources, Magic’s specialty was the ability to not be scared away easily, a must for this role opposite the frustrated Ove. Orlando was brought in when the cat character needed to stay in one place for a period of time. The cats were so similar that the wrong one was often taken to the set for the wrong actions! In an interview director Hannes Holm explained how the production company originally did not want to include the cat character in the film but he fought for the inclusion, pointing out all the fans of the book who loved the cat.

A Man Called Ove - Ragdoll cat lying on floor

A Man Called Ove - Ragdoll cat lying on bed

Purr Blur:  Just before the final scene in which Ove is found dead, he is driving one of Parvaneh’s daughters in his car. As they travel down a winding road, a black cat crosses in front of the car. Likely a hint of what’s to come.

A Man Called Ove - black cat running across road in front of car

Final Mewsings: It’s a shame that a movie with such a positive feline character felt the need to throw in a stereotypical black cat bad omen.


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Marmaduke (2010)

Marmaduke DVD

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring:
 Owen Wilson, George Lopez, Emma Stone, Lee Pace, Judy Greer, William H. Macy
Also starring: George, Mai Tai
Directed by: Tom Dey

Synopsis: Based on the long-running comic strip by Brad Anderson, Marmaduke is a gigantic Great Dane (played by George and voiced by Owen Wilson) who lives with the Winslow family. When Phil Winslow (Lee Pace) gets an opportunity to move his family to Orange County, California, to work on an ad campaign for an organic dog food company, he jumps at the chance. It’s now up to his family and Marmaduke to adjust by making new friends and finding their place in their new surroundings.

Featured Feline: Marmaduke’s best friend is the family cat named Carlos, who is played by a Balinese or Rag Doll Blue (can’t confirm which breed exactly) named Mai Tai and voiced by comedian George Lopez. I don’t remember there being a cat character in the original comic strip and I can’t confirm this beyond him being listed as such on Wikipedia. Whether or not the cat is in the original strip he certainly plays a more prominent role in this film, essentially being Marmaduke’s sidekick. There is also a Kitty Cameo by an orange tabby who is being taunted at the cool dogs’ party under the pier.

Marmaduke

Kitty Carnage Warning! While the violence in this film is strictly of the cartoonish nature, there are still some disconcerting scenes of Marmaduke treating Carlos roughly. We assume in those instances an animatronic puppet and / or CGI was utilized.

Final Mewsings: When an oriental breed of cat can play a Hispanic comic sidekick, it’s clear that racial barriers are finally being broken.


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Failing Better Now (2010)

Failing Better Now artwork

Twinpool Productions, Unconditional Love Productions
Starring:
 Lindsay Michelle Nader, Julie McNiven, Justin Allen, Joyce DeWitt
Also starring: Eizer, Melanie
Directed by: Keren Atzmon

Synopsis: A quirky little independent film about a 30-year-old aspiring writer named Mia (Lindsay Michelle Nader) who has thus-far led her life in a less-than-consistent manner, much to the chagrin of her mother (Joyce DeWitt) and her married sister Anna (Julie McNiven). While catsitting for Anna, Mia leaves a window open and the cat goes missing. She sets out to find it, meeting a musician named Ethan (Justin Allen) who helps her in the search.

Featured Feline: The cat that goes missing is Bernard (played by Eizer), an orange and white kitty with a lot of screen presence in his brief appearance(s). Also appearing is a really pretty tortoiseshell cat (played by Melanie) which Mia saves from some unscrupulous film students. Unfortunately this movie does not appear to be available on DVD at this time.

Failing Better Now

Final Mewsings: Smoking is bad for cats, especially when you leave the window open.


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