Monthly Archives: December 2014

Dust Be My Destiny (1939)

Dust Be My Destiny DVD

Warner Bros.
Starring:
 John Garfield, Priscilla Lane, Alan Hale
Directed by: Lewis Seiler

Synopsis: Joe Bell (John Garfield) becomes a jaded and bitter transient after serving time in prison for a crime he did not commit.  He is convinced that he can’t trust anyone until he meets Mabel Alden (Priscilla Lane), the step-daughter of the prison farm owner.  A series of circumstances cause the young couple to take it on the lam, striving to stay afloat while evading arrest.

Kitty Cameo: When Joe and Mabel settle into one city they have a small flat.  In the opening of one scene Mabel is pouring milk into a saucer on the floor for a black cat.  Sadly the cat is not seen again after this.

Dust Be My Destiny black cat on floor drinking milk

Final Mewsings: True cat lovers feed their cats even when they themselves are starving.


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Law and Order: Special Victims Unit – “Grief”

Law and Order: Special Victims Unit season 4 DVD

Original Air Date: May 2, 2003
Starring: Christopher Meloni, Mariska Hargitay
Directed by: Constantine Makris

Synopsis: The team searches for the rapist / killer of a waitress found dead outside of a club while her father takes matters into his own hands.

Kitty Cameo: At the beginning of the episode a waitress in a club goes outside to find the missing waitress.  As she steps into the back alley a noise attracts her attention.  A cat appears, startling the waitress.  The long-haired orange cat appears to have blood on its fur.  The waitress then sees her missing co-worker lying up against a wall and runs for help.

Law and Order: Special Victims Unit - cat with blood on fur

In the next scene the cat is seen in a carrier being taken away.

Law and Order: Special Victims Unit - cat in carrier

Final Mewsings: Cats seem to witness a lot of murders but are rarely called to testify.


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Mačka (1971)

Zagreb Film
Directed by:
 Zlatko Bourek

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

Synopsis: A psychedelic animated short from Croatia based on the Aesop’s fable The Cat and Venus.  A man finds a cat on his doorstep and takes it in but things take a dark turn when the Goddess Venus grants a wish to turn the cat into a woman.

Cartoon Cat: This is a beautifully animated piece set to original music and lyrics, telling its tale in a psychedelic fashion reminiscent of Yellow Submarine and / or Peter Max.

Macka - Cat face

The cat shows up on the man’s doorstep and is taken inside and loved and pampered.

Macka - Cat in doorway

When the Goddess Venus changes the cat into a beautiful woman, the man starts to lavish all that he can afford on her, then resorts to stealing and killing to provide her with more.  The Goddess Venus tests the cat by releasing a mouse and the cat, unable to curb her nature, devours the mouse.  She is then returned to the form of a cat.

Macka - Cat and man

Final Mewsings: You can’t take the cat out of the cat.


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Behind the Lens: A Camera Goes to College (1940)

The Jam Handy Organization

Synopsis: An interesting look at the use of motion picture cameras in science includes examples of time-lapse, slow motion and schlieren photography.

Slo-Mo Reality Cat: In one segment, a female tabby cat is shown held upside down by two pairs of hands.  While being filmed in slow motion, the cat is dropped from a short distance above the ground so the camera can record how she turns in mid-air to land on her feet.

Behind the Lens, A Camera Goes to College - tabby cat being dropped

She does manage to turn over and lands somewhat roughly but apparently none the worse for wear.

Behind the Lens, A Camera Goes to College - tabby cat lands on her feet

The narrator comments that cats always land on their feet and come up smiling, then a close up of the cat is shown with the cat looking serious and the narrator adds, “Or do they?”

Behind the Lens, A Camera Goes to College - tabby cat close up

Final Mewsings: Cats don’t like being made to land on their feet on demand.


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Bowery at Midnight (1942)

Bowery at Midnight DVD

Monogram Pictures
Starring:
 Bela Lugosi, John Archer, Wanda McKay
Directed by: Wallace Fox

Synopsis: Criminology Professor Brenner (Bela Lugosi) moonlights as a man named Karl Wagner who operates a soup kitchen as a front for a vicious crime ring, but his tendency to bump off his fellow criminals comes back to bite him . . . literally!

Kitty Cameo: When Wagner introduces a new hood to his ring, he orders the guy to kill his former partner.  Wagner then shows his new member the secret room where he has buried many of his previous associates.  Wagner’s dentist (Lew Kelly) is in charge of the burials, and when Wagner sees a small black cat on one of the graves he scolds the man with the unforgettable line, “Doc, how often have a told you to keep that cat from desecrating my graves?”  The only thing funnier than the line is the human voice being dubbed in saying “meow” for the cat!

Bowery at Midnight - black cat on grave

The cat is heard again later when soup kitchen worker Judy Malvern (Wanda McKay) becomes suspicious and asks Doc to show her what’s in the secret room.  She hears his cat in the room with the graves but the cat is not actually seen again.

Final Mewsings: Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.  But to a cat, sand is sand!


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