Monthly Archives: September 2014

The Twilight Zone – “Cat and Mouse”

The Twilight Zone seasons 2 and 3 DVD

Original Air Date: March 4, 1989
Starring: Pamela Bellwood, Page Fletcher, Gwynyth Walsh
Directed by: Eric Till

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

Synopsis: Andrea Moffitt (Pamela Bellwood) is a lonely, shy woman who shuns real-life romance.  She is holding out for a lover of the caliber she reads about in dime-store novels.  One day a black cat enters her home.  She is shocked to learn the cat is actually a lothario named Guillaume de Marchaux (Page Fletcher) who has been cursed to become a cat by day and proceeds to sweep Andrea off her feet.

Featured Feline: The black cat in this piece is simply gorgeous and shows up far too little throughout the story.

The Twilight Zone - Cat and Mouse black cat drinking milk

This is a fun episode of this later incarnation of Rod Serling’s classic show with a great twist ending which we won’t give away here!  (Note: The ending is revealed in the photo gallery below!)

The Twilight Zone - Cat and Mouse black cat

Final Mewsings: Forget the man, we’ll take the cat!

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The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

The Great Mouse Detective DVD

Walt Disney Pictures
 Barrie Ingham, Vincent Price, Val Bettin
Directed by: Ron Clements and John Musker

Synopsis: Dr. David Q. Dawson (voiced by Val Bettin) comes across a lost little girl named Olivia (voiced by Susanne Pollatschek) who is looking for her kidnapped father.  She seeks the help of the great mouse detective, Basil of Baker Street (Barrie Ingham) who realizes that Olivia’s case is connected with his arch nemesis, Professor Ratigan (deliciously voiced by Vincent Price.)

Bad Kitty: Professor Ratigan heads a crime organization made up of mice and becomes infuriated if anyone insinuates he, himself, is a rat.  When he wants to eliminate someone, Ratigan simply rings a little bell which summons his enormous pet cat Felicia.  By the looks of it, Ratigan must get angry often and Felicia never goes hungry.

The Great Mouse Detective Felicia and Ratigan

Felicia is involved in Ratigan’s dastardly plan to take over Buckingham Palace and is looking forward to munching on the Mouse Queen herself!  Fortunately Toby, the bassett hound, shows up in time to chase Felicia away.  She thinks she outsmarts Toby by climbing a wall out of his reach, but gets her comeuppance when she hops down to the other side . . . right into the Royal Guard Dogs enclosure.

The Great Mouse Detective Felicia prepares to eat the Queen

Final Mewsings: Further proof that cats can be trained when the right incentives are offered.

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Le chapeau de Max (1915)

Max Linder DVD

English Title: Max’s Hat
Pathé Frères
 Max Linder
Directed by: Max Linder

Synopsis: Max (Max Linder) takes great care dressing and crowns his attire with his top hat.  Once he leaves the house his hat meets with an unfortunate accident and he spends the day trying to replace it, only to have something happen to every one he purchases.

Kitty Cameo: After buying his second new hat, Max walks down the street.  A cat is sitting on a windowsill by a flower pot and when Max pauses beneath the cat knocks the flower pot off onto his head, smashing the hat.

Max's Hat cat and flower pot

The cat then jumps (or is rather thrown) from above and lands on Max before running off.  Thank goodness Max successfully breaks the cat’s fall!

Max's Hat cat lands on Max

Final Mewsings: Cats and flower pots: a dangerous combination.

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The Tomb of Ligeia (1964)

The Tomb of Ligeia DVD

Alta Vista Film Production
 Vincent Price, Elizabeth Shepherd, John Westbrook
Directed by: Roger Corman

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

Synopsis: Based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe, the last Poe story directed by Roger Corman.  Verden Fell (Vincent Price) is in mourning for his late wife Ligeia when he meets and falls in love with Lady Rowena Trevanion (Elizabeth Shepherd).  Unfortunately the spirit of Ligeia constantly comes between the couple . . . or is Ligeia still alive?

Bad Kitty: The black cat is so prominent in this film that it is featured on the film’s publicity posters.  From the first scene at Ligeia’s gravesite to the end scenes, the cat plays a major role in the proceedings, showing up to torment and taunt the Lady Rowena.

The Tomb of Ligiea - black cat on tomb

It becomes clear as the film goes along that the cat is meant to be the embodiment of Ligeia herself.

The Tomb of Ligiea - black cat

Kitty Carnage Warning! Not only is the cat actor thrown around a lot in this film (and we mean a lot . . . the poor thing is tossed into every other scene) but the end sequence focuses on Verden’s attempts to kill the cat, first pushing it off the body of Lady Rowena and then chasing it around a room with a whip and pike.  The cat does fight back, however, scratching Verden’s eyes out.  In the end when the abbey is burning, Verden manages to get his hands around the throat of the animal and strangles it to death.

The Tomb of Ligiea - black cat hiss

Final Mewsings: Dead women can be catty.

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Babe (1995)

Babe DVD

Universal Pictures
 James Cromwell, Christine Cavanaugh, Russi Taylor
Directed by: Chris Noonan

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

Synopsis: A small pig named Babe (voiced by Christine Cavanaugh) struggles to find his place in the world when he finds himself under the care of a loving sheepdog named Fly (voiced by Miriam Margolyes) and realizes he has a knack for sheep herding, much to the surprise of Farmer Hoggett (James Cromwell).

Bad Kitty: Duchess (voiced by Russi Taylor) is a grey Persian cat which is the spoiled pet of Farmer Hoggett’s wife, Esme (Magda Szubanski).

Babe - Duchess cat with Mrs. Hoggett

Only Duchess and the dogs are allowed inside the farmhouse, that is until Farmer Hoggett’s wife goes on a trip and the Farmer allows Babe to enter the domicile.  Duchess resents this and strikes out at Babe, scratching the poor pig’s nose.  Farmer Hoggett immediately dumps Duchess outside in the rain, which causes the cat to brood.

Babe - Duchess cat hisses

Later the cat cruelly breaks it to Babe that pigs are meant for eating and nothing more, causing Babe to run away.  The filmmakers made sure to clarify that Duchess just happens to be a particular bad cat and that most cats are nice.  Still, it’s a bit disappointing that the sole cat in this film happens to be the villain.

Babe - Duchess cat talks to Babe

Final Mewsings: Hell hath no fury like a cat scorned, especially by a pig.

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