Monthly Archives: July 2016

Pure and Simple (1939)

British Pathé

Synopsis: Newsreel footage shows Mrs. King from Wraysbury as she takes her cats fishing in the Thames.

Reality Cat: Mrs. King either owns a lot of cats or feeds the feral population.  Either way, a large number of cats sit around as she uses a rod and reel to catch fish.

Pure and Simple newsreel - cats on edge of Thames

Pure and Simple newsreel - cats watch Mrs. King fishing on Thames

Pure and Simple newsreel - tuxedo cat scratching ear

Pure and Simple newsreel - Mrs. King holds up fish on line to English Shorthaired cat

Final Mewsings: It would take a lot of fish to feed all of those cats!


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Xiong mao (1987)

Xiong mao Evil Cat DVD

English Title: Evil Cat
Dennis Yu Film Production Company Ltd.
Starring:
 Yue-Yu Chen, Mark Cheng, Chia-Liang Liu
Directed by: Dennis Yu

Synopsis: Comedy horror film in which an ancient evil cat spirit escapes from captivity and runs amok unless the man destined to banish it forever can train a new protégé.

Kitty Cameo: Despite the film’s title the Evil Cat is never truly in the shape of a cat apart from some quick animation showing it flying from body to body in spirit form.

Xiong mao Evil Cat - animation of cat demon in spirit form

There is only one true cat in the film that shows up for no discernable reason.  A famous singing star is seen leaving his recording session and walks down the stairs to the front door where a group of fans have gathered.  A small gray cat is seen sitting on the banister above the stairs and meows, although the evil cat spirit does not seem to be inside the cat at the time.

Xiong mao Evil Cat - small gray cat sitting on banister

Final Mewsings: Demons that impersonate cats truly are evil.


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Cowboy from Brooklyn (1938)

Cowboy from Brooklyn DVD

Warner Bros.
Starring:
 Dick Powell, Pat O’Brien, Priscilla Lane
Directed by: Lloyd Bacon

Synopsis: A New York talent agent (Pat O’Brien) is excited to discover Wyoming Steve Gibson, the next big authentic cowboy singing star.  The only problem is that in reality the “cowboy” is New York crooner Elly Jordan (Dick Powell) who is deathly afraid of animals.

Kitty Cameo: Elly has made it big in New York when news comes that his cover may have been blown.  He decides to make a run for it down the fire escape from the penthouse room of the hotel where he is staying.  As he throws open the windows, a black cat crosses his path, scaring him silly.

Cowboy from Brooklyn - black cat on hotel railing scares Dick Powell

Cowboy from Brooklyn - black cat on hotel railing scares Dick Powell animated gif

Final Mewsings: Cats don’t usually hang out on the top floor balconies of hotels.


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The Organization (1971)

The Organization poster

The Mirisch Corporation
Starring:
 Sidney Poitier, George Spell
Directed by: Don Medford

Synopsis: Police Detective Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) is back, this time working with a unique vigilante group determined to break up a drug racketeering ring.

Purr Blur: In one scene Tibbs is returning home with his son Andy (George Spell) after a sex education class at school.  Tibbs is commenting on how his son didn’t seem to need to learn anything in the class.  Andy walks in the door and sees something, then walks to the dining room table where he picks up a small cat.  The cat does not show up again after this.

The Organization - Andy Tibbs George Spell picks up cat from table

Final Mewsings: Which are you more interested in … sex or cats?


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Monsieur Verdoux (1947)

Monsieur Verdoux poster

Charles Chaplin Productions
Starring:
 Charles Chaplin, Allison Roddan, Marilyn Nash
Directed by: Charles Chaplin

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

Synopsis: Monsieur Verdoux (Charles Chaplin) is a charmer when it comes to the ladies which comes in handy with his new line of work; marrying and murdering rich women for their money.

Kitty Cameos: Cats appear to be a running theme throughout the film.  It sets up an interesting paradox which shows that while Monsieur Verdoux is a ruthless killer of women he is kind and gentle to animals, cats in particular.  In one scene Verdoux returns to his Paris apartment, having taken a small bag away with him from a cafe.  As he approaches his door a beautiful cat is sitting outside.  The cat anxiously awaits the treat Monsieur has brought, standing up and almost hugging the man’s leg.

Monsieur Verdoux - cat standing and reaching up Verdoux's leg

Monsieur Verdoux - cat almost hugging Verdoux's leg

Verdoux sets the food down on the sidewalk for the cat and goes inside.

Monsieur Verdoux - Verdoux Chaplin setting food down for cat

Monsieur Verdoux - Verdoux Chaplin going inside while cat eats food

In another scene, Verdoux returns home to his wife and child, the ones he truly cares for and for whom he is so desperately trying to raise money.  The boy, Peter (Allison Roddan) sits down on a bench beside a tuxedo cat.

Monsieur Verdoux - black and white cat sitting on bench

Later Peter and the cat are inside.  Peter is petting the cat and pulling on its tail.  Verdoux scolds the boy, saying, “You have a cruel streak in you.  I don’t know where you get it.”

Monsieur Verdoux - Peter Allison Roddan playing with tuxedo cat's tail

Still later Verdoux is back in Paris and looking for someone on whom he can try a new poison.  He spots a lonely girl (Marilyn Nash) in a doorway staying out of the rain.  He offers his umbrella and takes her back to his apartment.  As she removes her coat it is revealed she is holding a small kitten.

Monsieur Verdoux - Chaplin and girl Marilyn Nash with kitten

He asks if she likes cats and she says not particularly, but she picked it up from the doorway because it was cold and wet.  She asks Verdoux if he has any milk for the cat.  Verdoux brings some milk and sets the kitten on the floor to drink it.  The kitten is not seen again but Verdoux promises to take care of it.

Monsieur Verdoux - Chaplin takes kitten from girl Marilyn Nash

Final Mewsings: Cats can also be taken in by charming people, especially those with food.


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