Monthly Archives: August 2016

Fröken Julie (1951)

Miss Julie DVD

English Title: Miss Julie
 Anita Björk, Ulf Palme, Jan Hagerman
Directed by: Alf Sjöberg

Synopsis: Based on the play by August Strindberg.  Miss Julie (Anita Björk), the daughter of a wealthy count, indulges in a dangerous flirtation with her chauffeur Jean (Ulf Palme).

Kitty Cameo: Jean shares a story from his past with Julie.  He recalls skipping a visit to his grandmother’s house to stay home and go to church in the hopes of seeing Julie.  Jean as a boy (Jan Hagerman) is seen washing outside of his family’s small house.  A cat is sitting on the windowsill watching him.

Miss Julie - cat sitting on windowsill watching boy wash

A close up of the cat is then shown.  This is the only time the cat appears in the film.

Miss Julie - close up of cat sitting on windowsill

Final Mewsings: Cats think it’s weird how humans wash themselves.

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BrainDead – “Goring Oxes: How You Can Survive the War on Government Through Five Easy Steps”

BrainDead poster

Original Air Date: June 27, 2016
Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Johnny Ray Gill, Nikki M. James
Directed by: Jim McKay

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

Synopsis: Laurel (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Gustav (Johnny Ray Gill) and Rochelle (Nikki M. James) grow more determined to discover the mystery behind the change in people’s behavior as well as the numerous head explosions.

Kitty Cameo: In one scene Gustav is in his apartment setting up bug traps everywhere and taping red plastic cups over his ears as he plays the Cars You Might Think to attract the screwworms.  A tabby cat is sitting in its bed in the room.

Brain Dead - Goring Oxes tabby cat in cat bed

Gustav wakes up hearing one of the traps moving and jumps up to grab the trap and run out the door.  The cat is still sitting in its bed on the floor.  The screwworms, which have been trying to get into Gustav’s ears, start to move toward the cat.

Brain Dead - Goring Oxes tabby cat still in cat bed

At the end of the episode Gustav returns to the apartment after learning only a cockroach was caught in the trap.  He is crawling on the floor using a listening device when he hears his cat meow strangely behind him.  He looks at the cat and sighs, “Damn!”  We will learn in the next episode that the cat’s name is Zeke.

Brain Dead - Goring Oxes tabby cat in cat bed behind Gustav Johnny Ray Gill

Brain Dead - Goring Oxes tabby cat in cat bed looking up

Final Mewsings: Don’t leave your cat behind when you’re trying to trap screwworms!

Many thanks to Stevie Holc for spotting this television tabby for us!

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Seaside Woman (1980)

Music Artist: Linda McCartney and Wings (aka Suzy and the Red Stripes)

Directed by:  Oscar Grillo

Synopsis: A loving depiction of a Jamaican family; the fisherman father, working mother and their little girl.  Won the Short Film Palme d’Or at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival.

Cartoon Cat: This delightful film really brings Linda McCartney’s song to life.  The little girl occupies herself along the seashore as her Mama works fixing the nets for her father.  Near the middle of the short the girl is looking at a couple of fish in a bowl.  A black cat pops up and licks its lips.

Seaside Woman - black cat pops up to look at girl with fish

Seaside Woman - black cat licking lips

The cat (with a bandage on its tail) chases the girl to the pier and runs out after her.

Seaside Woman - black cat running on pier animated gif

Much to the cat’s surprise, the girl dumps the fish into the ocean, giving them their freedom.

Seaside Woman - black cat on pier looking up at girl with fish

The cat then chases the girl through the trees to her home in a neat piece of stylistic black and white animation.

Seaside Woman - black cat running through trees animated gif

The girl hides from the cat, who looks around in confusion.

Seaside Woman - black cat looking confused

She then reveals herself and they are joyfully reunited.

Seaside Woman - black cat and girl reunited

Final Mewsings: Seaside cats are adventurous and loving.

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Pussy’s Glasses (1930)

British Pathé

Synopsis: A silent newsreel clip supposedly showing near-sighted cats being fitted with glasses.

Reality Cats: It’s amazing to think that in the 1930’s someone was actually concerned with the problem of near-sighted cats.  But at least one optician was purportedly devoting himself to the cause.  He first examines the tabby cat’s eyes.

Pussy's Glasses - optician examines cat's eyes

Then he fits the tabby with a pair of tiny spectacles, making the cat look like a feline version of John Lennon.  Of course these look more like sunglasses so it’s unclear if the lenses have any prescription to them.

Pussy's Glasses - tabby cat wearing round sunglasses

Another unfortunate tabby is fitted with goggles, turning him into steampunk cat!

Pussy's Glasses - tabby cats wearing round sunglasses and goggles

Final Mewsings: Maybe Cassandra Cat started this way!

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When a Man Loves (1927)

When a Man Loves poster

Warner Bros.
 John Barrymore, Dolores Costello, Warner Oland
Directed by: Alan Crosland

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

Synopsis: Chevalier Fabien des Grieux (John Barrymore) has foregone his title to study to be a priest but his plans change when he sets eyes on the beautiful Manon Lescaut (Dolores Costello).

Cat Burglar (Scene Stealer): This silent film features an adorable long-haired tabby kitten named Fifi who is present throughout most of the first two thirds of the film.

When a Man Loves - tabby kitten Fifi held by Manon Dolores Costello

Fifi is first seen in the lap of the lovely Manon as she rides in a carriage with her brother (Warner Oland) and Comte Guillot de Morfontaine (Sam De Grasse).

When a Man Loves - tabby kitten Fifi on Manon Dolores Costello lap

As the scene progresses, Manon reaches over to get a basket and the kitten jumps to the floor.  Manon can’t find the kitten and de Morfontaine takes advantage of the opportunity to lift her skirt with his cane, revealing Fifi.

When a Man Loves - Manon's skirt lifted by cane to reveal tabby kitten Fifi

When the carriage arrives at the inn, Manon has again lost the kitten but sees her on top of the carriage.  There is a gasp-worthy moment as Fifi tumbles from the top of the carriage and is about to fall but catches herself.  One of the men present lifts the kitten down and hands her to Manon.

When a Man Loves - tabby kitten Fifi tumbles from top of carriage

As Manon walks into the inn with Fifi in a basket she exchanges a love-at-first-sight glance with Fabien.  She then looks a little apprehensive.

When a Man Loves - tabby kitten Fifi in Manon Dolores Costello basket

Manon’s brother accepts money from Morfontaine for his sister, much to her dismay, but Fabien offers his services.  It is clear they already have feelings for each other and Fabien goes to kiss her hand but kisses Fifi instead.

When a Man Loves - Fabien John Barrymore kisses tabby kitten Fifi's head with Manon Dolores Costello

Fabien and Manon run to Paris where they end up staying in a low-class boarding house.  Fifi lies in bed with Manon as she sleeps fitfully during the storm.

When a Man Loves - tabby kitten Fifi on bed with Manon Dolores Costello

Fifi takes another notable tumble as she is playing on a table in the background when Fabien’s friend Jean Tiberge (Holmes Herbert) comes looking for him.

When a Man Loves - tabby kitten Fifi almost falls off table

Fifi then sneaks into Manon’s case as her brother is packing it.  He has tricked her into leaving Fabien.

When a Man Loves - tabby kitten Fifi climbs into suitcase as Warner Oland packs it

Manon leaves Fifi with instructions that Fabien should take care of her until she can return.  Manon thinks she is only going to be away for a few days.

When a Man Loves - tabby kitten Fifi with Manon Dolores Costello

Fabien is crushed, thinking Manon has left him for a rich man.  He wanders the streets of Paris looking for her, carrying Fifi, where he is ruthlessly ridiculed.  Even Fifi seems depressed in these scenes, no longer playful.

When a Man Loves - tabby kitten Fifi with Fabien John Barrymore

Entering a tavern, Fabien tries to shield Fifi from a man’s second-hand smoke.

When a Man Loves - Fabien John Barrymore shields tabby kitten Fifi's face from smoke

Fabien is even thoughtful enough to order some milk for Fifi when he wants nothing for himself.

When a Man Loves - tabby kitten Fifi drinking milk with Fabien John Barrymore

Fifi does not appear again until a year later when Fabien and Manon have reunited.  Manon even mentions that Fifi must be a beautiful adult cat by then.  She is only seen in one scene in bed with the couple, and that part of the film appears to have been damaged.  Fortunately stills exist of the scene.  But Fifi does not seem as important as before, with Fabien even bringing Manon a monkey instead.

When a Man Loves - tabby kitten Fifi with Fabien John Barrymore and Manon Dolores Costello in bed

Final Mewsings: A cat needs just as much love when they grow up.

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