Monthly Archives: October 2016

The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966)

The Ghost and Mr. Chicken poster

Universal Pictures
Starring:
 Don Knotts, Joan Staley
Directed by: Alan Rafkin

Synopsis: Meek small town reporter Luther Heggs (Don Knotts) stirs up controversy when he spends the night in a haunted house on a bet and writes about the terrifying experiences he encountered there.

Purr Blur: As Luther approaches the dilapidated house he crosses a street.  A black cat runs out behind him and screeches, scaring him.

The Ghost and Mr. Chicken - Luther Heggs Don Knotts scared by black cat

The Ghost and Mr. Chicken - Luther Heggs Don Knotts scared by black cat animated gif

Final Mewsings: Filmmakers are grateful for the dubbing process since cats don’t usually screech while just walking.

Many thanks to our friend Ted Davis for reminding us of this Purr Blur!


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The Shriek of Araby (1923)

Mack Sennett Comedies
Starring:
 Ben Turpin, George Cooper
Directed by: F. Richard Jones

Synopsis: This parody of the popular Rudolf Valentino film The Shiek stars Ben Turpin as a daydreaming movie theater lackey who envisions himself as the dashing hero.

Purr Blur: At one point in the film Turpin and his magician friend Presto (George Cooper) are being chased by a lion.  They retreat up a ladder suspended in mid-air.  Presto then turns his wand on the lion, who changes into a tiny black kitten and scampers off screen.

The Shriek of Araby - black kitten after being changed from lion

Final Mewsings: Lions and kittens are both bold at heart.


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Waltz of the Toreadors (1962)

Waltz of the Toreadors poster

Independent Artists
Starring:
 Peter Sellers, Dany Robin, John Fraser
Directed by: John Guillermin

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

Synopsis: Lothario General Leo Fitzjohn (Peter Sellers) finds himself retired from military life and facing a dreary existence at his country estate with his shrewish wife and two daughters, that is until his French dalliance Ghislaine (Dany Robin) turns up unexpectedly.

Kitty Cameo: Things come to a head at Fitzjohn’s estate when his wife runs off to committ suicide and Ghislaine hesitatingly does the same thing.  Ghislaine is “rescued” by the innocent Lt. Robert Finch (John Fraser) who is smitten with her.  Recuperating in a room, Ghislaine is being attended to by Dr. Grogan (Cyril Cusack).  There is a black cat lying on the bed with her and she is petting it roughly, as she is angry.

Waltz of the Toreadors - Ghislaine in bed with black cat

When General Fitzjohn checks on them he sees the cat and says, “There’s a damn moggy on the bed.”  Moggy is a British slang term for a mongrel or stray cat.

Waltz of the Toreadors - Fitzjohn looking at black cat in bed with Ghislaine

Later Lt. Finch sneaks into the room to see Ghislaine and finds her sleepy, having been given a draught.  She reaches for him.  Lt. Finch falls across the bed, knocking the cat off.

Waltz of the Toreadors - Lt. Finch falling across bed and knocking off black cat

When General Fitzjohn returns, Lt. Finch hides under the bed.  The black cat starts licking his foot, causing him to need to stifle a laugh.  Eventually Lt. Finch kicks his way out from under the bed (kicking the cat away as he does) and sneaks out of the room unseen.

Waltz of the Toreadors - black cat licking Lt. Finch's foot under bed

Final Mewsings: Don’t kick the cat that licks you.


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Star Trek – “Catspaw”

Star Trek Season Two DVD

Original Air Date: October 27, 1967
Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy
Directed by: Joseph Pevney

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

Synopsis: The Enterprise crew encounter a strange alien presence on a formerly uninhabited planet which taps into their psyche, bringing to life scenes normally found in horror films.

Featured Feline: When Captain Kirk (William Shatner), Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley) first enter the spooky haunted castle which mysteriously appears before them, they are startled by a black cat screeching at them.

Star Trek - Catspaw black cat screeching close up

Star Trek - Catspaw black cat screeching

The cat, which is wearing a crystal, then leads them through the castle.

Star Trek - Catspaw black cat running through castle

Star Trek - Catspaw black cat pausing

Suddenly the floor gives out beneath the men and they topple into a torture chamber.  The cat looks down at them.

Star Trek - Catspaw black cat looking into hole

Star Trek - Catspaw black cat looking down at prone figures

Later they meet Korob (Theodore Marcuse) who is sitting on a throne with the cat beside him.  Occassionally he seems to carry on a conversation with the cat.

Star Trek - Catspaw black cat sitting on throne next to Korob

The cat leaves the room and comes back a beautiful woman named Sylvia (Antoinette Bower).

Star Trek - Catspaw black cat leaving room

Closer to the end of the episode, Korob is frightened by Sylvia and helps the crew members escape.  Sylvia is outraged and not only changes back into a cat but a giant one!  She stalks them around the castle, usually seen as a shadow on the wall.

Star Trek - Catspaw black cat shadow on wall

Eventually they run into the room in which they first fell and Sylvia manages to push the door down, crushing Korob.

Star Trek - Catspaw giant black cat seen through door

At last Sylvia is held at bay when Kirk points out he has their wand instrument.

Star Trek - Catspaw black cat shadow with Kirk and Spock in foreground

Final Mewsings: Don’t cross an aroused female alien who can turn into a cat!

Many thanks to Melissa for letting us know about this classic television cat!


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Estória do Gato e da Lua (1997)

English Title: The Tale About the Cat and the Moon
Filmógrafo
Narrated by:
 Joaquim de Almeida
Directed by: Pedro Serrazina

Synopsis: An enchanting black and white animated short film about a black cat who longs for his lover, the moon.

Cartoon Cat: This is one of those magical films that defy description and has to be seen to be appreciated.

The Tale About the Cat and the Moon - black cat looking up at the moon

The black cat refers to the moon as a female and chases her but also waits patiently for her.

The Tale About the Cat and the Moon - black cat crouching

The artwork is sublime and artistic.  A true masterpiece of animation.

The Tale About the Cat and the Moon - black cat clutching at the moon

A must-see for cat and moon lovers alike!

The Tale About the Cat and the Moon - black cat leaping for the moon

Final Mewsings: Cats and moons were made to go together.


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