Monthly Archives: May 2018

Silent Sunday bannerThe Merry Widow (1925)

The Merry Widow poster

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Starring:
 John Gilbert, Josephine Crowell
Directed by: Erich von Stroheim

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

Synopsis: Prince Danilo Petrovich (John Gilbert), the second in line for the throne of Monteblanco, falls in love with an American showgirl named Sally (Mae Murray), much to the dismay of his royal family.

Kitty Cameo: After convincing Danilo not to marry Sally, Queen Milena (Josephine Crowell) has him write a letter to the girl which she promises to have delivered immediately. Instead Queen Milena is seen sitting in a chair with a white long-haired cat on her lap.

The Merry Widow - white long-haired cat sitting on lap of Queen Milena Josephine Crowell

The Merry Widow - white long-haired cat sitting on lap of Queen Milena Josephine Crowell

The cat looks around as the Queen proceeds to burn the letter in the furnace.

The Merry Widow - white long-haired cat sitting on lap of Queen Milena Josephine Crowell as she burns letter

The Merry Widow - white long-haired cat sitting on lap of Queen Milena Josephine Crowell

Final Mewsings: Cats bear witness to a lot of dirty dealings.


Relevant Links:

IMDb logo  tcmlogo  Amazon logo

To discuss this film and other cats in movies and on television, join us on
Facebook and Twitter.



Jigsaw (1949)

Jigsaw poster

Tower Pictures Inc.
Starring:
 Franchot Tone, Jean Wallace
Directed by: Fletcher Markle

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

Synopsis: Assistant District Attorney Howard Malloy (Franchot Tone) sets out to uncover the people behind an extremist hate group and ends up involved with femme fatale Barbara Whitfield (Jean Wallace).

Kitty Cameo: At the beginning of the film a mysterious man is seen entering a print shop. A tuxedo cat is looking into and then jumps up onto a garbage can as the man passes.

Jigsaw - tuxedo cat looking into garbage can as man passes

Jigsaw - tuxedo cat jumping up on garbage can as man passes

Moments later shots ring out from the shop and the tuxedo cat runs away.

Jigsaw - closer of tuxedo cat on garbage can

Featured Feline:  After Barbara and Howard get to be closer during the course of the film, there is a scene where she is in a pet shop holding a long-haired black cat she intends to buy. The clerk informs Barbara that the cat’s name is Bennie, short for Benvenuto. Barbara says she used to have a cat called Hadrian the VII and they ended up calling him Harry. The clerk asks if that wasn’t the cat that Mr. Pemberton bought for her, which leads to an awkward moment.

Jigsaw - Barbara Whitfield Jean Wallace holding long haired black cat Bennie Benvenuto in pet shop

Jigsaw - Barbara Whitfield Jean Wallace holding long haired black cat Bennie Benvenuto in pet shop with Howard Franchot Tone

When Howard asks what happened to Hadrian the VII she says she got tired of him. She then gets Howard to pay for Bennie and the clerk puts the cat into a very small carrier for her.

Jigsaw - Barbara Whitfield Jean Wallace holding long haired black cat Bennie Benvenuto in pet shop with Howard Franchot Tone

Jigsaw - Barbara Whitfield Jean Wallace with Howard Franchot Tone and clerk placing long haired black cat Bennie Benvenuto into carrier

Barbara’s thug boyfriend Angelo Agostino (Marc Lawrence) expresses the fact he’s not happy with how cozy Barbara is getting to Howard. In the background Angelo’s bodyguard, Knuckles (George Breen) is holding and petting Bennie.

Jigsaw - Barbara Whitfield Jean Wallace with Angelo Agostino Marc Lawrence and Knuckles George Breen petting long haired black cat Bennie Benvenuto in background

Jigsaw - Barbara Whitfield Jean Wallace with Angelo Agostino Marc Lawrence and Knuckles George Breen petting long haired black cat Bennie Benvenuto in foreground

Angelo thens stops and pets the cat as well.

Jigsaw - Angelo Agostino Marc Lawrence and Knuckles George Breen petting long haired black cat Bennie Benvenuto

The scene match cuts to Howard holding and petting Bennie. He then sets the cat down.

Jigsaw - close up of long haired black cat Bennie Benvenuto being petted in lap

Jigsaw - Howard Franchot Tone petting long haired black cat Bennie Benvenuto in lap

A short time later Barbara is killed and the killer hears Bennie meowing. The cat is sitting nearby and the killer reaches for a poker but Bennie wisely runs away.

Jigsaw - long haired black cat Bennie Benvenuto sitting on floor

Kitty Cameo:  While in the pet shop the clerk brings another light-colored long-haired cat over for Barbara to consider, but she wants Bennie.

Jigsaw - Barbara Whitfield Jean Wallace holding long haired black cat Bennie Benvenuto in pet shop with Howard Franchot Tone and clerk with light colored long haired cat

Purr Blurs:  There are also numerous cats playing in displays in the back of the pet shop.

Jigsaw - pet store clerk behind counter with cats in enclosures behind

Final Mewsings: Cats tend to run at the first sign of murder.

Many thanks to Ted Davis for letting us know about the cats in this movie.


Relevant Links:

IMDb logo  tcmlogo  Amazon logo  Amazon Instant Video logo

To discuss this film and other cats in movies and on television, join us on
Facebook and Twitter.



Nagareru (1956)

Flowing poster

English Title: Flowing
Toho Company
Starring:
 Kinuyo Tanaka, Isuzu Yamada
Directed by: Mikio Naruse

Synopsis: The story of a geisha house and its occupants in Tokyo who have fallen on hard times.

Cat Burglar (Scene Stealer): The resident cat is an adorable little calico Japanese bobtail named Ponko. While not directly involved in the actual stories, Ponko appears several times throughout the film.

Flowing - calico Japanese Bobtail Ponko walking by

Flowing - calico Japanese Bobtail Ponko standing by geisha

Flowing - calico Japanese Bobtail Ponko standing by geisha

Flowing - calico Japanese Bobtail Ponko on porch behind women

Flowing - calico Japanese Bobtail Ponko walking along top of fence

Flowing - calico Japanese Bobtail Ponko walking along top of fence

Kitty Carnage Warning!  Unfortunately some of the times Ponko is seen she is being tossed to one side by someone in the house. The proprietor’s daughter tosses her outside one time.

Flowing - daughter carrying calico Japanese Bobtail Ponko outside

Flowing - daughter tossing calico Japanese Bobtail Ponko outside

The new maid also grabs Ponko by the scruff and moves her away.

Flowing - maid tossing calico Japanese Bobtail Ponko aside

Flowing - calico Japanese Bobtail Ponko walking away from maid

And finally the Uncle of one of the girls grabs Ponko by the scruff and tosses her aside. Maybe this is why Ponko disappears partway through the movie and doesn’t appear again.

Flowing - calico Japanese Bobtail Ponko approaching man

Flowing - man tossing calico Japanese Bobtail Ponko aside

Final Mewsings: Don’t take a cat for granted or they may not stick around.


Relevant Links:

IMDb logo

To discuss this film and other cats in movies and on television, join us on
Facebook and Twitter.



Treasure Island (1950)

Treasure Island poster

Walt Disney Productions
Starring:
 Bobby Driscoll, Robert Newton
Directed by: Byron Haskin

Synopsis: The classic film version of the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson finds young Jim Hawkins (Bobby Driscoll) whisked up into the world of pirates.

Purr Blur: At the very beginning of the film, a mysterious man approaches the Admiral Benbow Inn and opens the door. A tabby cat is lying on the center table and gets up and runs away, jumping over a door into another area.

Treasure Island - tabby cat running across table

Treasure Island - tabby cat jumping over door

Treasure Island - tabby cat running across table and jumping over door animated gif

Final Mewsings: Cats have no interest in being in pirate adventure movies.


Relevant Links:

IMDb logo  tcmlogo  Amazon logo  Amazon Instant Video logo

To discuss this film and other cats in movies and on television, join us on
Facebook and Twitter.



Frank and the Wondercat (2015)

Frank and the Wondercat poster

Starring: Frank Furko
Also Starring: Pudgie Wudgie
Directed by: Pablo Alvarez-Mesa, Tony Massil

Synopsis: A look at the life of Frank Furko and his talented pet cat Pudgie Wudgie who became a media sensation in the pre-Internet days.

Featured Feline: Pudgie Wudgie was a rescue cat who Frank realized seemed to tolerate wearing costumes. Once Frank trained him to do tricks the pair gained noteriety after putting on shows at schools in their local Pennsylvania town.

Frankie and the Wondercat - Frank Furko and Pudgie Wudgie orange tabby cat

Frankie and the Wondercat - close up of Pudgie Wudgie orange tabby cat

Frankie and the Wondercat - photo of Frank Furko and Pudgie Wudgie orange tabby cat

Soon Frank and Pudgie Wudgie were performing for schools, nursing homes and on local news shows. Pudgie Wudgie’s fame even became international when he was interviewed alongside Frank for Italian television. He even made appearances on Late Night with David Letterman and The Maury Povich Show.

Frankie and the Wondercat - Frank Furko and Pudgie Wudgie orange tabby cat on Italian television

Frankie and the Wondercat - Pudgie Wudgie orange tabby cat in birthday hat

Frankie and the Wondercat - Pudgie Wudgie orange tabby cat interviewed in snow

Since Pudgie Wudgie passed away some time ago, archival video from the Pudgie Wudgie Museum, run by Frank, is used to show the audience what a special cat he truly was.

Frankie and the Wondercat - profile of Pudgie Wudgie orange tabby cat

Frankie and the Wondercat - Pudgie Wudgie orange tabby cat in costume on Italian TV show

Undoubtedly Pudgie Wudgie was the biggest media cat star since Princess Kitty (who gained the same kind of fame in the 1980’s). This documentary is a loving tribute not only to the cat but to Frank Furko as well.

Frankie and the Wondercat - photo of Pudgie Wudgie orange tabby cat

Kitty Cameos:  Near the end of the film Frank and the filmmakers visit a pet adoption center and Frank holds an adorable little ginger tabby kitten.

Frankie and the Wondercat - little orange tabby kitten in cage

Frankie and the Wondercat - Frank Furko holding little orange tabby kitten

Final Mewsings: Some cats were just meant to be famous.

Many thanks to Ted Davis for letting us know about this documentary!


Relevant Links:

IMDb logo  tcmlogo  Amazon logo  Amazon Instant Video logo  Official Website Link

To discuss this film and other cats in movies and on television, join us on
Facebook and Twitter.