Monthly Archives: November 2018

Pather Panchali (1955)

Pather Panchali poster

Government of West Bengal
Starring:
 Uma Das Gupta, Chunibala Devi
Directed by: Satyajit Ray

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

Synopsis: The classic story of a family in India who struggle during the absence of the father who has left them to look for work.

Cat Burglars (Scene Stealers): There are several cats throughout the film that live around the family’s home. They start as kittens who are cared for by the little girl, Durga (Uma Das Gupta). She pulls them out of a pot at the beginning of the film to feed them some milk (she even shoves one of the kitten’s muzzles down in the milk).

Pather Panchali - Durga Uma Das Gupta taking kitten out of pot

Pather Panchali - Durga Uma Das Gupta pushing second kittens face into bowl of milk

Pather Panchali - Durga Uma Das Gupta taking third kitten out of pot

The kittens are seen in several of the early scenes, playing around the yard.

Pather Panchali - kittens running in background behind Aunty Chunibala Devi

Pather Panchali - Durga Uma Das Gupta with kittens in yard

Pather Panchali - Durga Uma Das Gupta sweeping yard with kittens playing nearby

One of the kittens is even seen sleeping with Durga.

Pather Panchali - Durga Uma Das Gupta sleeping with kitten beside her

As the film progesses the children grow and so do the kittens. A multicolored cat is seen running after Durga in one scene.

Pather Panchali - cat following older Durga Uma Das Gupta across yard

Pather Panchali - cat pausing behind Aunty Chunibala Devi who is shaking out cloth

The same cat is seen several times, running through various scenes.

Pather Panchali - multicolored cat running through scene

Pather Panchali - multicolored cat running through yard

Durga is also shown holding the cat as she talks to her mother.

Pather Panchali - Durga Uma Das Gupta holding multicolored cat while talking to mother

The family’s dog also shares a scene with one of the kitties.

Pather Panchali - multicolored cat with dog in yard

Pather Panchali - multicolored cat with dog in yard

Kitty Carnage Warnings!  While cats are obviously sharing their lives with this family, sadly they are given some rough treatment, especially in an early scene. An old aunt they call Aunty (Chunibala Devi) also lives with the family. She causes stress for the mother (Karuna Bannerjee) by stealing food, and after an argument Aunty is furious and packs to leave. A kitten is seen sitting outside the door when Aunty unceremoniously drops her packed bundle right on top of the poor thing.

Pather Panchali - kitten sitting outside door

But this is not the worst of it. Moments later Aunty grabs the kitten and literally throws it on the ground. This is a highly disturbing scene, and sadly will infuriate any cat lover.

Pather Panchali - Aunty Chunibala Devi after throwing kitten down on ground

Even Durga treats the kittens roughly, tossing the cat she is holding to the ground. It’s really a shame that these few sad moments should be included in what is a truly beautiful film.

Pather Panchali - Durga Uma Das Gupta carrying cat

Final Mewsings: No matter how old you are, you have no right to throw a kitten.


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Our Modern Maidens (1929)

Our Modern Maidens poster

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Starring:
 Joan Crawford, Adrienne D’Ambricourt
Directed by: Jack Conway

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

Synopsis: Love and passion mark this late silent film in which a flapper named Billie (Joan Crawford) woos a diplomat for ulterior reasons.

Purr Blur: At the end of the film Billie is disgraced and moves to Paris. There we see her housekeeper Annette (Adrienne D’Ambricourt) with a cat on her lap.

Our Modern Maidens - cat sitting on Annette Adrienne D'Ambricourt lap

Our Modern Maidens - cat sitting on Annette Adrienne D'Ambricourt lap

Annette picks up the cat, presumably to put it down, when Billie enters. The cat is not seen again.

Our Modern Maidens - cat being picked up from Annette Adrienne D'Ambricourt lap

Final Mewsings: Cats don’t have to hide out in Paris.

Many thanks to Nick Wale for letting us know about the cat in this film!


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The Getaway (1994)

The Getaway 1994 poster

Universal Pictures
Starring:
 Alec Baldwin, Michael Madsen, Jennifer Tilly
Directed by: Roger Donaldson

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

Synopsis: A remake of the 1972 Steve McQueen film. Doc McCoy (Alec Baldwin) and his wife Carol (Kim Bassinger) find themselves on the run when a large robbery goes awry.

Cat Burglar (Scene Stealer): One can debate whether or not elements of this film in any way improved upon the original film but in one instance there was a definite improvement, and that is the casting of an adorable tabby kitten to play the part of Kitty. The kitten has such a screen presence that his (or her) part was expanded upon that of the original.

The Getaway - Rudy Michael Madsen lying on table with tabby kitten Kitty on chest

Kitty first appears when an injured Rudy (Michael Madsen) takes hostage a veterinarian named Harold Carvey (James Stephens) and his wife Fran (Jennifer Tilly). The kitten remains on Rudy’s chest during their first interactions.

The Getaway - Rudy Michael Madsen lying on table with tabby kitten Kitty on chest

The Getaway - Rudy Michael Madsen with tabby kitten Kitty on chest holding gun on Harold and Fran

The Getaway - Rudy Michael Madsen lying on table pointing gun with tabby kitten Kitty on chest

The Getaway - Rudy Michael Madsen lying on table holding gun at Harold James Stephens with tabby kitten Kitty on chest

The Getaway - Rudy Michael Madsen lying on table with tabby kitten Kitty on chest

The kitten is a real scene-stealer and even gets so comfortable that it falls asleep on Rudy’s chest near the end of the scene.

The Getaway - Rudy Michael Madsen lying on table with tabby kitten Kitty relaxing on chest

The Getaway - Rudy Michael Madsen lying on table with tabby kitten Kitty sleeping on chest

This time Kitty is also clearly visible in the scene in the car in which a food fight breaks out. Wisely the kitten jumps into the back of the station wagon when the chicken and fries start to fly.

The Getaway - Rudy Michael Madsen in backseat of cat with tabby kitten Kitty walking on seat behind Fran Jennifer Tilly and Harold James Stephens

The Getaway - tabby kitten Kitty jumping into back of station wagon behind Rudy Michael Madsen

The most notable scene in which the kitten is given more screen time is when Rudy and Fran are in a hotel room lying on a bed. Fran is feeding Kitty some food. They keep calling for Harold to come out of the bathroom.

The Getaway - Rudy Michael Madsen on hotel bed with tabby kitten Kitty and Fran Jennifer Tilly

The Getaway - Rudy Michael Madsen on hotel bed with tabby kitten Kitty and Fran Jennifer Tilly

When Harold doesn’t respond, Rudy picks up the kitten and carries it to the bathroom door.

The Getaway - Rudy Michael Madsen at bathroom door with tabby kitten Kitty

Going into the bathroom, Rudy finds that Harold has hung himself. He walks past Harold, placing Kitty on the dead man’s chest to cling in midair.

The Getaway - Rudy Michael Madsen holding tabby kitten Kitty while looking at hanging body of Harold

The Getaway - Rudy Michael Madsen with tabby kitten Kitty hanging from dead man Harold's chest

The kitten eventually makes its way to the floor as Rudy calls to Fran that it is time for them to leave.

The Getaway - tabby kitten Kitty on bathroom floor beneath Harold's dangling feet

Kitty is only seen briefly after this, poking out of the cardboard box Rudy carries into the hotel in El Paso.

The Getaway - Rudy Michael Madsen carrying tabby kitten Kitty in box with Fran Jennifer Tilly

The Getaway - Rudy Michael Madsen carrying tabby kitten Kitty in box with Fran Jennifer Tilly

Cat Cattle Call:  There are also numerous cats in cages in the Carvey’s veterinary office. The white cat with the calico markings on her head is a bit of scene stealer, too!

The Getaway - Fran Jennifer Tilly entering room with cats in cages in background

The Getaway - adorable cat in cage in background behind Jennifer Tilly

Final Mewsings: Cat actors know how to expand upon their limited roles.


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Petticoat Junction – “Last Chance Farm”

Petticoat Junction Season One DVD

Original Air Date: February 4, 1964
Starring: Bea Benaderet, Pat Woodell
Directed by: Guy Scarpitta

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

Synopsis: Uncle Joe (Edgar Buchanan) convinces two rich women that the Shady Rest Hotel is actually a high-class reducing farm.

Kitty Cameo: After Kate (Bea Benaderet) finds out about the ruse she insists Uncle Joe tell the women the truth. Instead he tells them Kate is just trying to hide her super secret youth formula from the women. The women (Dorothy Konrad, Pearl Shear) continually spy on Kate, trying to learn the secret. In one scene Bobbie Jo (Pat Woodell) enters the kitchen carrying Miranda, a tabby cat.

Petticoat Junction - Last Chance Farm - Bobbie Jo Pat Woodell entering kitchen with tabby cat Miranda Orangey

Bobbie Jo explains to Kate that she has found Miranda but not her kittens. This ties in with a previous episode, The Little Train Robbery, in which Miranda was seen with her kittens.

Petticoat Junction - Last Chance Farm - Bobbie Jo Pat Woodell holding tabby cat Miranda Orangey with Kate Bea Benaderet mixing bone meal

Petticoat Junction - Last Chance Farm - Bobbie Jo Pat Woodell holding tabby cat Miranda Orangey with Kate Bea Benaderet mixing bone meal

Kate is mixing up a formula of bone meal and vitamins for the cats, assuring Bobbie Jo that they will go find the kittens when she is done. The women listen in at the door and think they have stumbled upon Kate making her youth formula. Everything Kate says about the formula and how she managed to make it palatable sounds like she is talking about herself and her daughters. Needless to say when Kate and Bobbie Jo leave and the women help themselves to the mix they are less than thrilled. “I wouldn’t feed this to my cat!” one of them states.

Petticoat Junction - Last Chance Farm - women spying on Bobbie Jo Pat Woodell holding tabby cat Miranda Orangey with Kate Bea Benaderet mixing bone meal

This is undoubtedly cat actor Orangey playing this recurring role in this series, just as he played Rusty on The Beverly Hillbillies.

Petticoat Junction - Last Chance Farm - women spying on Bobbie Jo Pat Woodell holding tabby cat Miranda Orangey with Kate Bea Benaderet mixing bone meal

Final Mewsings: Cats appreciate bone meal mixes, but only when they are palatable.


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Kitty Kat (2009)

Music Artist: Beyoncé

Synopsis: Beyoncé shares this video with a rather large black cat.

Featured Feline: In this short promotional video for the song, Beyoncé is seen interacting with a giant black cat, playing with it and even riding on it.

Beyoncé - Kitty Kat - Beyoncé with giant black cat

Beyoncé - Kitty Kat - giant black cat hissing

Beyoncé - Kitty Kat - Beyoncé playing with giant black cat and ball of string

Beyoncé - Kitty Kat - Beyoncé with giant black cat

Beyoncé - Kitty Kat - Beyoncé with giant black cat

Video director Melina Matsoukas has been quoted as saying about the cat actors used for the video, “They were definitely the most diva out of anybody. Those cats were mad. We had animal trainers, but you really can’t train a cat.”

Beyoncé - Kitty Kat - Giant black cat close up

Beyoncé - Kitty Kat - Beyoncé sitting on giant black cat

Beyoncé - Kitty Kat - Beyoncé sitting in front of giant black cat

Beyoncé - Kitty Kat - Beyoncé riding on giant black cat

Beyoncé - Kitty Kat - Beyoncé leading giant black cat on leash

Final Mewsings: Cats are even bigger than Beyoncé!


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