Monthly Archives: December 2015

Chaplin (1992)

Chaplin poster

Carolco Pictures
Starring:
 Robert Downey Jr., Geraldine Chaplin, Paul Rhys
Directed by: Richard Attenborough

Synopsis: The life story of silent film’s most beloved clown, Charlie Chaplin (Robert Downey Jr.) from the poverty of his childhood to his success in Hollywood to his eventual banishment from the United States.

Purr Blur: Chaplin is seen returning to England for the opening of The Kid and just as he arrives in London he receives some devastating news.  He is hailed as a hero by his countrymen but when he enters a pub he is ridiculed by one man.  Depressed, Chaplin wanders the snowy London streets.  As he approaches a short walkthrough a tuxedo cat is seen running away in front of him.  After Chaplin walks through you can barely see the cat enter back the way he’d come.

Chaplin - tuxedo cat running through walkway

Final Mewsings: Cats are indifferent to the hardships of comedy legends.


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Rage in Heaven (1941)

Rage in Heaven DVD

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Starring:
 Robert Montgomery, Ingrid Bergman, George Sanders
Directed by: W.S. Van Dyke II

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

Synopsis: Philip Monrell (Robert Montgomery) returns to England and bumps into long time friend Ward Andrews (George Sanders), bringing him home to his mother’s estate where both men fall for her new secretary, Stella (Ingrid Bergman).  Unfortunately Philip is more than a bit unhinged.

Featured Feline: Ward and Stella go out riding one morning and when they return Stella has an adorable tabby-striped Maine Coon kitten in her arms.  She says Ward found it lost in the woods and gave him to her as a present.

Rage in Heaven - Maine Coon kitten in Ingrid Bergman's arms

After Ward leaves the Monrell estate, Philip and Stella realize they love each other and so they get married.  Months later we see Philip and Stella sitting together at an outside table having breakfast.  Stella holds the kitten lovingly in her lap.

Rage in Heaven - Maine Coon kitten in Ingrid Bergman's arms at table

Rage in Heaven - Maine Coon kitten in Ingrid Bergman's arms close

Philip is jealous of Stella’s previous connection with Wade and unfortunately the kitten (which Philip refers to as “Wade’s kitten”) is a constant reminder.

Rage in Heaven - Maine Coon kitten in grass at Robert Montgomery's feet

We next see Philip in his office.  The kitten is seen poking its head out of his briefcase.  Philip takes a call from his wife who says the kitten is missing and asks Philip if he has seen him.  Philip lies and says he hasn’t.

Rage in Heaven - Maine Coon kitten poking head out of briefcase

Kitty Carnage Warning! Of course by this time we realize the kitten is doomed.  We last see it walk across Philip’s desk.  Fortunately the kitten’s death is not shown on screen but is explained when the chauffeur tells Stella he found the poor animal near the road by the factory with his neck broken.

Rage in Heaven - Maine Coon kitten on Robert Montgomery's desk

Final Mewsings: Jealous lunatics need to leave the cats out of it!


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Zoo – “First Blood”

Zoo Season One DVD

Original Air Date: June 30, 2015
Starring: James Wolk, Kristen Connolly, Billy Burke
Directed by: Brad Anderson

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

Synopsis: Several people in different parts of the world start to notice an increase in animal attacks which may signal the beginning of an all-out animal war on mankind.

Kitty Cameo: The opening theme song includes some shots of a black cat, up close and sitting on a lawn in front of a house.

Zoo - First Blood - close up of black cat's eyes

Purr Blur: In an early scene of this first episode, two men are walking into an alley in downtown Los Angeles.  An orange tabby runs across the alley in front of them.

Zoo - First Blood - cat running across alley

Cat Cattle Call: Later reporter Jamie Campbell (Kristin Connolly) is called to a location near Brentwood by Mitch Morgan (Billy Burke), a veterinary pathologist with whom she has been consulting.  Jamie had told him about a large number of missing cat cases in Brentwood which the residents have assumed were cases of cat stealing.  Mitch has done some investigating and walks Jamie over to a tree, shining his flashlight upwards to reveal a couple of cats.

Zoo - First Blood - two cats in tree

He then shines his flashlight across the tree revealing more and more cats gathered in the branches.

Zoo - First Blood - several cats in tree

The tree is located in a schoolyard which is due to open as a summer camp the next day, making the treeful of waiting cats quite ominous.

Zoo - First Blood - numerous cats in tree

Final Mewsings: We’ve heard of cat trees before, but this is ridiculous!


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The Home Front (1943)

Warner Bros.
Starring:
 Mel Blanc
Directed by: Frank Tashlin

Synopsis: Private Snafu (voiced by Mel Blanc) is depressed in his freezing cold outpost, imagining that everyone back home is having fun, that is until his Technical Fairy, First Class, shows him the truth about the homefront war efforts.

Cartoon Cat: When Snafu is imagining how cozy things are back home a black cat with a ribbon around his neck can be seen briefly sleeping in front of the house.

Private Snafu - The Home Front - black cat in ribbon sleeping in front of house

Later when Snafu learns about his family’s efforts, his mother is seen ploughing a victory garden.  The cat skips through the freshly ploughed ground throwing seeds.

Private Snafu - The Home Front - black cat in ribbon throwing seeds

The cat then calls back to the horse.

Private Snafu - The Home Front - black cat in ribbon stops to call to horse

At the end Snafu sees all of his loved ones as they sing to him that they are working in the old home town.

Private Snafu - The Home Front - black cat in ribbon singing with family

The cat breaks off for a low note solo, ending up bent outside the screen.

Private Snafu - The Home Front - black cat in ribbon singing solo

Final Mewsings: Even cats can do their part!


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A Clever Dummy (1917)

Keystone Film Company
Starring:
 Ben Turpin, Chester Conklin, Claire Anderson
Directed by: H. Raymaker

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

Synopsis: A building custodian (Ben Turpin) is in love with the daughter of an inventor whose assistant is her fiancé.  Ben takes the place of their invention, a mechanical man (who looks suspiciously like Turpin) and ends up on a vaudeville stage.

Cat Burglars (Scene Stealers): The inventor’s daughter (Claire Anderson) is introduced as one who trains animals, although it is never explained what she’s training them for.  In her introductory scene she is with a group of kittens; four white ones and one black.

A Clever Dummy - four white kittens and one black kitten

She isn’t training them as much as playing with them.

A Clever Dummy - Claire Anderson playing with kittens

The daughter is shown holding one as she hears a noise in the other room.

A Clever Dummy - Claire Anderson holding white kitten

Later when the custodian is taking out the trash we see some of the kittens on the windowsill above.  The black kitten is climbing on a bottle of milk.

A Clever Dummy - black and white kittens on windowsill with milk bottle

Moments later the black kitten knocks the bottle of milk off the ledge and onto the custodian’s head.

A Clever Dummy - black kitten knocks milk bottle off windowsill

After her father and fiancé are done with their tests on the robot the girl takes her fiancé into the room to show him one of the white kittens.

A Clever Dummy - Claire Anderson holding up white kitten

During the next scene the white kitten is seen sitting on her lap.

A Clever Dummy - Claire Anderson with white kitten on lap

Final Mewsings: Cats have been knocking things off windowsills and onto comedians’ heads since the early days of film!


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