Monthly Archives: October 2018

Ethel & Ernest (2016)

Ethel & Ernest poster

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
Starring:
 Jim Broadbent, Brenda Blethyn
Directed by: Roger Mainwood

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

Synopsis: The animated adaptation of Raymond Briggs’ graphic novel about the lives of his British parents, Ethel (voiced by Brenda Blethyn) and Ernest (voiced by Jim Broadbent) during many notable events.

Cartoon Cats: When Ethel and Ernest tour what is to be their home after their wedding, they are greeted by a pretty black cat whom Ernest warmly greets as Puss.

Ethel & Ernest - black cat on back yard fence

Ethel & Ernest - black cat rubbing against Ernest's leg

Ethel & Ernest - black cat sitting by Ethel & Ernest in back yard

The black cat is present at various parts of the film, such as when Ernest builds a back yard bomb shelter.

Ethel & Ernest - black cat on fence behind bomb shelter

Ethel & Ernest - black cat sitting on top of bomb shelter

Later Raymond (as a teenager) greets the cat as Susie. Since Ethel and Ernest were married for over forty years, it is doubtful the previous cats were all the same, but Susie is the pet cat who remains for the rest of the film.

Ethel & Ernest - Raymond Briggs greeting black cat Susie

Susie is seen resting on the back of the couch while Ethel and Ernest watch television.

Ethel & Ernest - black cat Susie lying on back of couch behind Ethel & Ernest

She is also present in the garden as the two sit and talk.

Ethel & Ernest - black cat Susie approaching back door with Ethel outside and Ernest inside

Ethel & Ernest - black cat Susie lying on back of couch behind Ethel & Ernest

Toward the end of the film, Ethel has sadly passed away and Ernest depends on Susie for company, letting her rest on his shoulders as he eats, watching television with him and sleeping on Ethel’s pillow.

Ethel & Ernest - black cat Susie lying across Ernest's shoulders

Ethel & Ernest - black cat Susie lying across Ernest's shoulders at table

Ethel & Ernest - black cat Susie climbing on back of Ernest's chair

Ethel & Ernest - black cat Susie lying on pillow beside Ernest

One day Ernest cries out in pain, clutching his stomach. Susie jumps down and meows with concern. Ernest tells her not to worry. Sadly Ernest died of stomach cancer. Susie is not seen again.

Ethel & Ernest - black cat Susie jumping down from Ernest's shoulders as he cries in pain

Ethel & Ernest - black cat Susie looking up with concern

Final Mewsings: Cats are there for us for both the good times and the bad.


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War Cabinet (1940)

British Pathé

Synopsis: Newsreel footage shows various government and military officials entering the office of the Prime Minister in London.

Reality Cat: In the middle of the silent footage a black cat is seen walking down the street approaching 10 Downing Street. A guard nearby watches the cat.

War Cabinet 1940 - black cat walking along sidewalk with guard watching

War Cabinet 1940 - black cat pausing on sidewalk with guard watching

The cat moves in front of the door, looks back, and then moves on.

War Cabinet 1940 - black cat walking along sidewalk in front of 10 Downing Street, London

War Cabinet 1940 - black cat looking over shoulder in front of 10 Downing Street, London

According to the British Pathé website, the cat appears at the time that Anthony Eden would have been meeting with Lord Halifax and suggest it might have been an omen as to the result of that meeting.

War Cabinet 1940 - black cat walking along sidewalk past 10 Downing Street, London

Final Mewsings: Cats don’t sway the outcome of political affairs by their presence.


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Sue My Lawyer (1938)

Columbia Pictures Corporation
Starring:
 Harry Langdon
Directed by: Jules White

Synopsis: A nobody lawyer (Harry Langdon) wants to work for the D.A.’s office and brags he has knowledge about an impending case which puts him in danger with some crooks.

Kitty Cameo: In one scene Harry is sitting in a rocking chair in the lobby of a hotel. As he reads he is absent-mindedly rocking, not aware that there is a black cat beside the chair whose tail is swinging back and forth, barely missing being caught under the rocker each time.

Sue My Lawyer - Harry Langdon sitting in rocking chair with black cat beside him on floor

Sue My Lawyer - black cat on floor beside rocking chair

Sue My Lawyer - Harry Langdon sitting in rocking chair with black cat beside him on floor

Sue My Lawyer - black cat on floor beside rocking chair with tail wagging and almost getting caught animated gif

Kitty Carnage Warning!  Of course eventually the cat’s tail is caught by the rocker and the cat jumps up and runs away, supposedly screaming. This was a very common gag used in comedies of this era. We only hope the filmmakers were kind enough to not have anyone actually sitting in the chair when the close ups of the cat’s tail were filmed.

Sue My Lawyer - Harry Langdon sitting in rocking chair with black cat beside him on floor

Sue My Lawyer - Harry Langdon falling out of rocking chair with black cat running away

Final Mewsings: Why did anyone ever think this situation was funny?


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En kvinnas ansikte (1938)

A Woman's Face poster

English Title: A Woman’s Face
Svensk Filmindustri (SF)
Starring:
 Ingrid Bergman, Tore Svennberg
Directed by: Gustaf Molander

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

Synopsis: Anna Holm (Ingrid Bergman) bears scars which cause her to be cast aside by society, so her hardened heart turns to crime.

Kitty Cameo: In an early scene in the film Anna is meeting with her gang and a young heir discussing a possible upcoming job. Throughout the scene a man named Nyman (Erik Berglund) is holding a small black kitten.

A Woman's Face - Anna Ingrid Bergmen with men and Nyman Erik Berglund holding up black kitten

A Woman's Face - Anna Ingrid Bergmen with men and Nyman Erik Berglund holding black kitten

One of the party points out that the cat was named for Nyman. When Nyman asks what the kitten’s name is, the man replies, “Cognac.”

A Woman's Face - Nyman Erik Berglund holding black kitten

A Woman's Face - Anna Ingrid Bergmen with men and Nyman Erik Berglund holding black kitten

A Woman's Face - Anna Ingrid Bergmen with men and Nyman Erik Berglund holding black kitten

A Woman's Face - men and Nyman Erik Berglund holding black kitten

A Woman's Face - men including Nyman Erik Berglund holding black kitten

Cognac the kitten is not seen in the film again.

A Woman's Face - Nyman Erik Berglund holding black kitten

A Woman's Face - Nyman Erik Berglund holding black kitten

Final Mewsings: Cats, like liquor, are addictive.


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Swashbuckler (1976)

Swashbuckler poster

Universal Pictures
Starring:
 Robert Shaw, Peter Boyle, Beau Bridges
Directed by: James Goldstone

Synopsis: Notorious pirate Ned Lynch (Robert Shaw) joins forces with noble woman Jane Barnet (Geneviève Bujold) to rescue her father from the tyrannical Lord Durant (Peter Boyle) who rules Jamaica with an iron fist.

Kitty Cameos: In most of the scenes in which Lord Durant is seen at leisure he is surrounded by sycophants, including several beautiful woman and a number of long-haired black cats.

Swashbuckler - long haired black cats and women in background while Lord Durant Peter Boyle takes a bath

Swashbuckler - long haired black cat being held by woman

Swashbuckler - long haired black cat being held by a woman in the background while Lord Durant Peter Boyle takes a bath

No specific reference is made to the cats, who just seem to be hanging around as the Lord bathes, is waxed, and tortures those who don’t obey his orders.

Swashbuckler - long haired black cats and women in background while Lord Durant Peter Boyle gets waxed

Swashbuckler - long haired black cat held by a woman next to the lute player

Swashbuckler - long haired black cat held by a woman in background while Major Folly Beau Bridges removes shirt

Swashbuckler - long haired black cat being set down by woman in background as Major Folly Beau Bridges sits down

Swashbuckler - long haired black cats and women in background while Lord Durant Peter Boyle gets waxed

Swashbuckler - long haired black cat sitting behind Lord Durant Peter Boyle in bathtub

Final Mewsings: A man knows he is powerful when he can surround himself with women, flunkies and cats.

Many thanks to Nick Wale and Ted Davis for letting us know about the cats in this film!


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