Synopsis: Unused and unissued newsreel footage of a cat show at Shepherd’s Bush, London.
Reality Cats: The newsreel begins with a couple of takes of two women, Irene Ashton and Diana Morrison, looking into a basket to find some Siamese kittens.
Several shots of the show cats are then seen. What’s interesting about this footage is it gives you an idea of how these segments were shot, with an interesting variety of sounds being made to get the cats to look up for the cameras.
Final Mewsings: Cats must wonder why people make such weird noises when cameras are around.
Starring: Candice Bergen, Diane Keaton Directed by: Bill Holderman
Cat Out of the Bag Alert! This review contains some spoilers for this film!
Synopsis: A group of woman in their late 60’s decide to spice up their monthly book club meetings by reading the 50 Shades of Gray Trilogy.
Featured Feline: One member of the club is Federal Judge Sharon Myers (Candice Bergen) who is also a divorcee. As the introductory segment explains, when her marriage ended she bought a cat. A photo of the white Persian cat as a kitten is shown.
The cat, whose name is Ginsburg (presumably named for Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg) is seen several times throughout the film, including when Sharon starts reading the first book.
In one scene Sharon takes Ginsburg to the vet (Ravi Kapoor). There is some confusion when Sharon starts talking about her own maladies instead of the cat’s.
Later Sharon tries to entice Ginsburg to go outside but the cat stays put. This corresponds with Sharon’s lack of recent dating, which she changes when she signs up at a singles website.
As Sharon starts dating again, Ginsburg seems more willing to go outside.
Late in the film Sharon is seen picking up a lethargic Ginsburg and holding her. There’s really no explanation given for the cat’s behavior, except for the fact that Sharon has pulled away from the dating scene again.
In the end Sharon decides to reconnect with one of her computer dates and Ginsburg seems more perky.
Final Mewsings: Cats can sense our moods!
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Synopsis: Many cats are showcased at the National Championship Cat Show, Olympia in 1969.
Reality Cats: A newsreel segment from British Pathé shows many lovely cats featured in the show, which drew more entries that year than ever before. First shown is a Seal Point Siamese Champion named Redleaf Benni.
Two Devon Rex cats are then then showcased.
Champion White Persian Coylum Marcus is then seen. The cat was worth 2,000 pounds, winning a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the most expensive, and even had his own security guard.
Some Persian kittens are then seen being held and petted.
Finally a “well-preserved” nineteen year old cat is shown, the oldest cat at the show.
Final Mewsings: Every cat is a champion in their own way.
Walt Disney Productions
Starring: Ken Berry, Sandy Duncan, Harry Morgan, McLean Stevenson, Roddy McDowell, Ronnie Schell Directed by: Norman Tokar
Synopsis: A space ship makes an emergency landing on Earth. The occupant, a cat from another planet, has only a short amount of time to make repairs and rendezvous with the mother ship, but his craft is taken by the military, under the orders of General Stilton (Harry Morgan) to a Army scientific research compound. The cat, named Jake (voiced by Ronnie Schell), decides to trust a scientist named Frank (Ken Berry) who comes the closest to understanding the truth behind the ship’s propulsion engine. Along the way they also need to trust fellow scientists Link (McLean Stevenson) and Liz (Sandy Duncan) who help them overcome some daunting obstacles. And just to make matters even worse, a spy named Mr. Stallwood is spying on them and reports back to his boss, Mr. Olympus (William Prince) who wants Jake’s collar, the source of his powers.
Cinema Cats: Zunar-J-5/9 Doric-4-7 (aka Jake) was reportedly played by two Abyssinian cats, a male and a female. There is also a white Persian cat which played the part of Lucybelle, Liz’s cat and Jake’s love interest. This film was undoubtedly an attempt to cash in on the space themed megahits of the time (i.e. Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind.) While Jake is a pleasure to watch, the special effects leave a lot to be desired (with the wires showing clearly both on Jake’s collar when it glows and on the actors when they are “levitating”, not to mention the obviously stuffed cats used in parts of the plane sequence.) There is also a scene where Jake is accidentally sedated and one questions whether or not this was done to the actual cat actor for the subsequent scenes in which he remains asleep even when carried around. Sadly the overall film falls far short of the usual classic Disney standards (particularly with the lack of any notable musical score.)
Final Mewsings: There is intelligent life in space … and on Earth. And it’s not humans.