Monthly Archives: April 2016

Queen Kelly (1929)

Queen Kelly poster

Gloria Swanson Pictures
Starring:
 Gloria Swanson, Walter Byron, Seena Owen
Directed by: Erich von Stroheim

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

Synopsis: Prince Wolfram (Walter Byron) is engaged to the mad Queen Regina V (Seena Owen) but falls in love with an Irish lass from a nearby convent, the spunky Kelly (Gloria Swanson), causing disaster all around.

Featured Felines: The crazy Queen Regina V is introduced in the first scene of the film, shown with a white long-haired cat on her bed and another one in her arms.  Both are wearing large dark ribbons.

Queen Kelly - Queen Regina V Seena Owen in bed with white Persian cats

She holds the cat as she drinks champagne and stares at the items on her nightstand, including a photograph of her intended, Prince Wolfram.  According to one report on IMDb Stroheim spent over 24 hours shooting this scene and Owen had to hold the cat over her nude body.  Eventually the cat started scratching her and so was fitted with mittens.

Queen Kelly - Queen Regina V Seena Owen in bed with white Persian cat and champagne

Queen Kelly - Queen Regina V Seena Owen in bed drinking champagne with white Persian cat

The Queen carries one white Persian cat almost everywhere she goes.  She is holding the cat when she is on her balcony, looking down in shock as Prince Wolfram returns to the palace drunk after a night of carousing.

Queen Kelly - Queen Regina V Seena Owen on balcony with white Persian cat

In a fit of anger, the Queen confronts Prince Wolfram in his bed.  On the bed are the Prince’s dachsunds.  He looks up to see the Queen with her cat standing over him.

Queen Kelly - Queen Regina V Seena Owen with white Persian cat

Kitty Carnage Warning! When he ignores her, she goes into a fit of rage and literally throws the cat across the bed.  It looks as if she throws the cat into some pillows, which fall away at the edge of the screen, but the throw is a very hard one.  Then a slow motion insert of the cat swiping angrily at the dachsunds is shown as the Queen attacks the Prince.

Queen Kelly - white Persian cat on bed swiping at Dachsunds

Later the Queen is seen holding her cat while she takes a bath.  The other cat is lying on a cushion outside the tub.

Queen Kelly - Queen Regina V Seena Owen in bath with white Persian cat

After her bath, the Queen enters the Prince’s room to see that he has dined with someone.  She is incensed.

Queen Kelly - Queen Regina V Seena Owen with white Persian cat and candles

She listens at the door to his bedroom then sneaks around to look through a window into the room.

Queen Kelly - Queen Regina V Seena Owen listening at door with white Persian cat

Finding him with Kelly in his bedroom, she angrily throws the cat aside again.

Queen Kelly - Queen Regina V Seena Owen sneaking into room with white Persian cat

The cat is only seen one more time, when the Queen demands an apology from the Prince.

Queen Kelly - Queen Regina V Seena Owen standing with white Persian cat

Final Mewsings: People who love cats don’t throw them when they’re angry.


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La nuit américaine (1973)

Day for Night DVD

English Title: Day for Night
Les Films du Carrosse
Starring:
 François Truffaut, Bernard Menez, Nathalie Baye
Directed by: François Truffaut

Synopsis: Art imitates life as a director (played by director François Truffaut) struggles to make a movie despite time limitations, financial setbacks and drama amongst the cast and crew.

Cat Burglars (Scene Stealers): One segment in this hilarious look at filmmaking shows the film crew trying to shoot a scene where the principles are in a hotel bungalow and set a tray of food outside the door.  This is when a cat actor is supposed to come in and eat from the tray.  But as we all know, cat actors don’t always do what they’re supposed to do.  In this instance, the little gray kitten which property man Bernard (Bernard Menez) has provided just won’t enter the scene and hit its mark.

Day for Night - Bernard Menez aiming gray kitten

Day for Night - Bernard Menez pushing kitten animated gif

Bernard repeatedly tries to get the kitten to do what they want.

Day for Night - kitten running past tray animated gif

At one point Bernard even throws the kitten into the scene (how many times have we seen such “catapults” in movies?) but still the kitten won’t cooperate.

Day for Night - kitten pushed towards tray animated gif

The script girl, Joëlle (Nathalie Baye) finds the studio cat, a tabby which she is holding by the scruff.  They try the studio cat and although it takes a while to get to the milk on the tray it at least gives them the shot they need.

Day for Night - Joëlle Nathalie Baye holding up tabby cat

Day for Night - Bernard Menez aims tabby cat

This sequence was inspired by the director’s attempts to get this same shot for his film The Soft Skin.

Day for Night - cat eating from tray

Final Mewsings: You can lead a cat to a movie set but you can’t make him act.


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Eraser (1996)

Eraser DVD

Warner Bros.
Starring:
 Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Caan
Directed by: Charles Russell

Synopsis: U.S. Marshal John Kruger (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is the Federal Witness Protection Program’s go-to guy when it comes to keeping enrollees safe but he finds himself targeted by unscrupulous members of his own team when he takes it upon himself to hide a witness in a weapons smuggling case.

Purr Blur: Near the end of the film, Kruger is sneaking around a warehouse at the docks.  A multi-colored cat can be seen sitting on a box behind him.

Eraser - cat on box behind Schwarzenegger in warehouse

One of the bad guys is using a powerful weapon with an X-Ray scope to look through the walls of the building and locate Kruger.  Instead he sees the image of the cat.

Eraser - X-ray view of cat in warehouse

The cat leaps down from the box and is not seen again.

Eraser - cat jumps down off box

Final Mewsings: We wonder if the cat managed to get out of the warehouse before it blew up.


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Peeper (1976)

Peeper DVD

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Starring:
 Michael Caine, Natalie Wood, Dorothy Adams
Directed by: Peter Hyams

Synopsis: Private Investigator Leslie C. Tucker (Michael Caine) is hired by a man running from goons to find his long-lost daughter in this spoof of gumshoe films.

Kitty Cameos: Two cats appear very briefly in this movie.  The first is a white cat which is seen being held by Ellen Prendergast (Natalie Wood) when Michael Caine finally tracks her down in the enormous Prendergast mansion.

Peeper - Michael Caine approaches Natalie Wood holding white cat

The white cat has one blue eye and one green one.

Peeper - Natalie Wood holding white cat

Often Ellen is petting the cat, although it seems like actress Natalie Wood isn’t really doing it properly.

Peeper - Natalie Wood and Michael Caine with white cat on couch

Ellen lets the cat walk away on the back of the couch as she and Tucker get up and leave the room.

Peeper - Michael Caine and Natalie Wood leaving room with white cat on couch

They enter the bedroom of Ellen’s mother, Mrs. Prendergast (Dorothy Adams).  There is an orange cat laying on the elderly woman’s bed.

Peeper - Michael Caine and Natalie Wood approach bed with Dorothy Adams and orange cat

Final Mewsings: You can tell a lot about a person from the way they pet their cat.


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The Bionic Woman – “Iron Ships and Dead Men”

The Bionic Woman Season Two DVD

Original Air Date: March 30, 1977
Starring: Lindsay Wagner, Ray Young
Directed by: Mel Damski

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

Synopsis: Jamie (Lindsay Wagner) takes a job as part of a ship salvage team to try to get some answers for Oscar (Richard Anderson) about his brother who disappeared during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Cat Burglars (Scene Stealers): Jamie’s closest co-worker is a somewhat slow man named Bob (Ray Young) who catches Jamie snooping around and becomes angry.  He finally trusts Jamie enough to introduce her to Myrtle.  Myrtle (formerly named Mike) is a tabby cat that Bob found living on the ship.  Only “Mike” had kittens and now Bob takes care of all of them.

The Bionic Woman - Iron Ships and Dead Men - Bob with Jamie Lindsay Wagner and cats

Bob explains he thought Jamie was there to take the cats away from him.  Jamie picks up one of the kittens as they talk.

The Bionic Woman - Iron Ships and Dead Men - Jamie Lindsay Wagner holding up kitten

Jamie picks up another kitten as she pulls information from Bob and gets him to ask her to a local bar where a man named Duke may know something more.

The Bionic Woman - Iron Ships and Dead Men - Jamie Lindsay Wagner holding kitten

The Bionic Woman - Iron Ships and Dead Men - Jamie Lindsay Wagner holding kitten and smiling

Later Jamie brings biscuits for Bob to give the cat family in addition to the milk he has poured for them.

The Bionic Woman - Iron Ships and Dead Men - Bob and Jamie Lindsay Wagner feeding cats again

Near the end of the show Jamie and Duke are in trouble in the bowels of the ship.  Bob is with the cats and doesn’t know what’s happening, but mama cat Myrtle seems restless.  She then runs from the cabin.

The Bionic Woman - Iron Ships and Dead Men - tabby cat Myrtle in box

Bob follows and sees Myrtle by an open porthole.  He hears the noises which are troubling Myrtle and goes down to investigate.  He is then able to help Jamie and Duke.

The Bionic Woman - Iron Ships and Dead Men - tabby cat Myrtle with Bob Ray Young at porthole

Myrtle and the kittens are not seen again.

The Bionic Woman - Iron Ships and Dead Men - tabby cat Myrtle at porthole looking at camera

Final Mewsings: Too bad Myrtle didn’t get credit for being a hero!


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