Monthly Archives: May 2015

Catfood (1967)

Directed by: Joyce Wieland

Synopsis: A cat is seen eating a variety of fish to a background of ocean sounds.

Cinema Cat: The star of this short film is a beautiful tabby cat which is seen eating fish.

Cat Food - tabby cat eating fish head

Quite a few fish.

Cat Food - tabby cat eating another fish head

Filmmaker Joyce Wieland does a wonderful job of capturing every angle and nuance of the cat eating the fish.

Cat Food - tabby cat eating yet another fish head

It’s little wonder that this was one of the original art films shown in Pola Chapelle’s groundbreaking cat film festival Intercat ’69!

Cat Food - tabby cat lying behind fish head

Final Mewsings: No more sushi, thanks.  I’m full!


Relevant Links:

IMDb logo

To discuss this film and other cats in movies and on television, join us on
Facebook and Twitter.



The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo DVD

Columbia Pictures
Starring:
 Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer
Also starring: Scotty
Directed by: David Fincher

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

Synopsis: The American film version of Stieg Larsson’s popular first installment of the Millennium series.  Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) is a bold journalist who is hired by a wealthy man to learn the truth behind his daughter’s disappearance which took place forty years before.

Featured Feline: Unlike the Swedish film version, the American film includes the stray cat from the original book.  The tabby cat actor playing the part is Scotty (although some online sources state his name was Roscoe . . . there was likely more than one cat working on the film which may account for the two names.)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - tabby cat Scotty sitting

When Mikael arrives at the cottage on Henrik Vanger’s estate on the island, he sees a cat outside his window.  He opens the window and allows the stray cat to come in.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - tabby cat Scotty comes in through window

The cat is seen several times during the film, sitting on a chair or table, mostly minding his own business.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - tabby cat Scotty eating food in background

The highlight of the cat’s appearances is one scene where Mikael awakens one morning.  The cat is sleeping on the bed right next to Mikael’s head.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - tabby cat Scotty in bed with Blomkvist

When Mikael sits up he pulls the covers closer around him.  The cat reacts by pouncing on the moving sheets, causing Mikael to pull back, startled.  The cat quickly jumps off the bed.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - tabby cat Scotty grabbing for bedclothes

Kitty Carnage Warning! Unfortunately the cat becomes a victim of the killer whom Mikael and Lisbeth (Rooney Mara) are seeking.  As Mikael steps outside the door of the cottage for a smoke lets out an expletive and we see the cat has been dismembered and left in front of the door as a warning.  Lisbeth takes pictures of the poor cat for evidence.  Director David Fincher assures any worried viewers that Scotty the cat was miles away when the fake dismembered cat was staged for this scene.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - tabby cat Scotty dismembered outside cottage

Roscoe’s trainer was Bettina Browne Weld from Hollywood Animals, who also worked as the trainer on the film Drag Me to Hell.  Bettina was quoted in an article for the L.A. Times that even though cat actors typically work in teams of three, Scotty stole the show.  “He did a very good job playing all roles.  He had to come in through the window, and then jump into the cottage and run across the floor into the kitchen.”  The trainer (who admits a preference for working with big cats as opposed to the domesticated ones) went on to explain, ” . . . I definitely learned to work a cat without food, because director David Fincher likes a lot of natural action, and natural action you can’t do with food.  Scotty’s very toy-and-movement-driven.  So I learned to work him with my hand and just little subtle movements.  I had never worked with a cat in that way before, so that was fun and new.  Whenever you go on set, you never know what you’re getting into.  You just have to have that personality where you can go with the flow.”

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - tabby cat Scotty waits for Blomkvist

Director David Fincher also had nothing but praise for the cat actor, explaining on the DVD commentary how they had closed rehearsals to see what Scotty would naturally do first and then built the scenes around that.  “If you don’t expect cats to do something they’ll normally give you a very cat-like response,” Fincher explained.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - tabby cat Scotty asking to be let in through window

Final Mewsings: Cats should be careful to make sure the people they friend don’t have dangerous enemies!


Relevant Links:

IMDb logo  tcmlogo  Amazon logo  Blu Ray logo  Amazon Instant Video logo

To discuss this film and other cats in movies and on television, join us on
Facebook and Twitter.



Seems Like Old Times (1980)

Seems Like Old Times DVD

Rastar Films
Starring:
 Goldie Hawn, Chevy Chase, Charles Grodin
Directed by: Jay Sandrich

Synopsis: Writer Nicholas Gardenia (Chevy Chase) gets kidnapped and forced to rob a bank then turns to his ex-wife, big-hearted public defender Glenda Parks (Goldie Hawn) for help, much to the consternation of her district attorney husband Ira Parks (Charles Grodin).

Kitty Cameos: Glenda is not only generous with the people she defends but she has a soft spot for animals and as such her and Ira’s house looks like a kennel with six dogs and two cats.  The dogs are a major presence in the film and the cats sadly take a back seat but are seen.  The first one, a black and white tuxedo cat, is seen in the kitchen with the maid Aurora and the dogs when Glenda arrives home for the first time in the film.

Seems Like Old Times - black and white tuxedo cat on kitchen counter

Later Glenda is exhausted after working in the kitchen to make chicken pepperoni for the Governor’s visit.  She collapses on her bed upstairs and her husband has to try to rouse her to get dressed.  During this scene the dogs are once again sprawled around the bed but an orange tabby is also lying next to her on the bed.  The animals in the film were supplied by Frank Inn, Inc.

Seems Like Old Times - orange tabby cat lying on bed

Final Mewsings: Cats know to steer clear when groups of dogs run rampant.


Relevant Links:

IMDb logo  tcmlogo  Amazon logo

To discuss this film and other cats in movies and on television, join us on
Facebook and Twitter.



The Hard Guy (1930)

The Vitaphone Corporation
Starring:
 Spencer Tracy, Katharine Alexander, Arch Hendricks
Directed by: Arthur Hurley

Synopsis: A long unemployed man (Spencer Tracy) struggles to provide for his wife and little girl but a bleak future may push him to desperate means.

Purr Blur: In one scene a policeman taps on the sidewalk outside the man’s flat to summon a fellow officer.  When the policeman turns his back to the camera, a cat runs across the screen behind him.

The Hard Guy -  cat running quickly across screen

Final Mewsings: Cats don’t like their sidewalks being tapped.


Relevant Links:

IMDb logo  tcmlogo  Amazon logo

To discuss this film and other cats in movies and on television, join us on
Facebook and Twitter.



Advise & Consent (1962)

Advise and Consent DVD

Otto Preminger Films
Starring:
 Henry Fonda, Charles Laughton, Don Murray
Directed by: Otto Preminger

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

Synopsis: A complex political exposé in which a Senate committee investigates the background of Secretary of State nominee Robert A. Leffingwell (Henry Fonda) which leads to what could be scandalous revelations that could destroy people’s political and personal lives.

Cat Cattle Call: At one point the head of the committee, Brigham Anderson (Don Murray) tries to get to the bottom of some blackmail threats, which leads him to looking for a former Army acquaintance named Ray.  His search leads him to the apartment of a man named Manuel (Larry Tucker).  Manuel invites Anderson to sit down as Anderson presses him as to where he can find Ray. Manuel’s apartment is filled with cats.

Advice and Consent - Anderson in Manuel's apartment full of cats

As the men talk and Manuel prepares and serves tea, the cats linger around them.  It is insinuated that Manuel’s apartment is a local meeting place for homosexuals.  Finally Manuel explains that Ray may be found at a particular club.

Advice and Consent - Anderson in Manuel's apartment full of cats 2

Final Mewsings: Men don’t mind making love in an apartment full of cats?


Relevant Links:

IMDb logo  tcmlogo  Amazon logo  Amazon Instant Video logo

To discuss this film and other cats in movies and on television, join us on
Facebook and Twitter.