Monthly Archives: February 2019

Musical Monday bannerThe Harvey Girls (1946)

The Harvey Girls poster

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Starring:
 Judy Garland, Marjorie Main
Directed by: George Sidney

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

Synopsis: A train full of beautiful women arrive in a small western town to work as waitresses at a Harvey House restaurant franchise.

Kitty Cameo: In one scene a woman named Sonora Cassidy (Marjorie Main), who is in charge of all the women, is seen opening a window and putting out an orange and white tabby cat. “Good night, Arabella,” Sonora says to the cat, which is not seen again.

The Harvey Girls - Sonora Cassidy Marjorie Main carrying orange and white tabby cat Arabella to window

The Harvey Girls - Sonora Cassidy Marjorie Main putting orange and white tabby cat Arabella out through window

The Harvey Girls - Sonora Cassidy Marjorie Main putting orange and white tabby cat Arabella out through window animated gif

Final Mewsings: If you put a cat out, sometimes it decides to stay out permanently!

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


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Daydreams (1922)

Daydreams poster

First National Pictures
Starring:
 Buster Keaton
Directed by: Eddie Cline

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

Synopsis: A young man (Buster Keaton) goes to the city to obtain work and prove he is worthy of the girl he loves.

Cat Burglar (Scene Stealer): The first job Buster gets is at a dog and cat hospital (although in the letter to his girl he makes it sound as if he is working in a large hospital). After tending to some dogs outside, Buster enters the building and finds a tuxedo cat sitting on a shelf with some bottles. A dog is nearby.

Daydreams - Buster Keaton sees tuxedo cat on shelf

Buster picks up the cat and places it in a basket on the floor.

Daydreams - Buster Keaton picks up tuxedo cat from shelf

Daydreams - Buster Keaton places tuxedo cat into basket

After locking the lid of the basket, Buster picks it up to carry it in to the veterinarian. But the bottom is missing and the cat remains where it is. The dog sees the cat and starts to get up. The cat arches its back in response.

Daydreams - Buster Keaton walks away with basket leaving tuxedo cat on floor with dog

Daydreams - tuxedo cat arching back at dog

Daydreams - Buster Keaton places tuxedo cat in basket and then walks away with basket leaving cat on floor with dog animated gif

The dog approaches the cat who arches even more.

Daydreams - tuxedo cat arching back at dog

Eventually the cat runs outside with the dog following. After arching enough to make the dog give up, the cat moves away.

Daydreams - tuxedo cat arching back at dog outside

Daydreams - tuxedo cat walking away

Daydreams - tuxedo cat arching back at dog outside then walking away animated gif

Final Mewsings: Cats visiting the vet don’t tolerate much!


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The Hand (1981)

The Hand poster

Warner Bros.
Starring:
 Michael Caine, Mara Hobel
Directed by: Oliver Stone

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

Synopsis: Jonathan Lansdale (Michael Caine) is a cartoonist who loses his hand in a freak accident and then thinks he’s losing his mind when his disembodied hand haunts his life.

Kitty Cameo: At the beginning of the film Jonathan is at his country home with his wife Anne (Andrea Marcovicci) and daughter Lizzie (Mara Hobel). He notices Lizzie poking at something with a stick. A black cat is in the background.

The Hand - black cat Amanda in background behind Lizzie Mara Hobel

Lizzie is poking at a lizard’s tail which is moving each time she pushes the stick closer. The black cat is eating the rest of the lizard by a tree.

The Hand - black cat Amanda eating lizard by tree

As they contemplate the wriggling appendage, the black cat suddenly pounces on the tail and devours it, then runs away. Lizzie calls after the cat, “Amanda!”

The Hand - black cat Amanda eating lizard's tail

The Hand - black cat Amanda running away

The Hand - black cat Amanda jumping on lizard's tail and eating it then running away Lizzie Mara Hobel Jonathan Michael Caine animated gif

After the accident, Jonathan is in his studio attempting to draw with his left hand. He hears a noise behind him and looks but nothing is there. Suddenly Amanda leaps out of nowhere onto the drawing board and hisses violently.

The Hand - black cat Amanda hissing

Kitty Carnage Warning!  Amanda then inexplicably turns and dashes through the glass window with a crash.

The Hand - black cat Amanda going through window with Jonathan Michael Caine

The Hand - black cat Amanda going through window with Jonathan Michael Caine animated gif

This scene is repeated later in the film as a memory in black and white. It is never explains exactly what happened to Amanda or if she survived the crash through the window, although in the context of the film her fate could be deduced. But we won’t give spoilers here.

The Hand - black cat Amanda hissing in black and white

In the DVD commentary track, director Oliver Stone explained that the shot of the cat leaping through the window was difficult to achieve using a mechanical spring cat matched to the real cat actor who had to jump on the table and then turn and run in the right direction. “Working with animals and getting the stunt right is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do in the films. So to get a cat to jump in the correct manner and scare somebody is not easy.”

Final Mewsings: Oliver Stone wasn’t content with just one spring-loaded cat!


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Pack Up Your Troubles (1932)

Pack Up Your Troubles poster

Hal Roach Studios
Starring:
 Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy
Directed by: George Marshall, Ray McCarey

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

Synopsis: Laurel and Hardy serve as soldiers in World War I where a friend of theirs is killed. They then take it upon themselves to care for the man’s baby girl until her grandparents can be found.

Cat Cattle Call: In a scene late in the film Laurel and Hardy are running a lunch wagon. They return to the wagon after having been away and as Laurel opens the doors numerous cats come leaping out!

Pack Up Your Troubles - numerous cats leaping out of lunch wagon owned by Laurel and Hardy

Pack Up Your Troubles - numerous ats leaping out of lunch wagon owned by Laurel and Hardy

Pack Up Your Troubles - numerous cats leaping out of lunch wagon owned by Laurel and Hardy

Pack Up Your Troubles - numerous cats leaping out of lunch wagon owned by Laurel and Hardy animated gif

The cats scatter and Laurel has to help a couple of smaller cats get down from the back of the wagon.

Pack Up Your Troubles - numerous cats leaping out of lunch wagon owned by Laurel and Hardy

Pack Up Your Troubles - numerous cats leaping out of lunch wagon owned by Laurel and Hardy

As they step inside the wagon, Laurel finds one tabby kitten still on the counter. He picks it up by the scruff and drops it over the edge (hopefully someone was below to catch it since it’s a closer shot).

Pack Up Your Troubles - tabby kitten on lunch counter in front of Stan Laurel

Pack Up Your Troubles - tabby kitten on lunch counter in front of Stan Laurel

Pack Up Your Troubles - tabby kitten on lunch counter in front of Stan Laurel animated gif

Final Mewsings: Cats never pass up a free lunch!


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By the Sea (2015)

By the Sea poster

Universal Pictures
Starring:
 Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt
Directed by: Angelina Jolie

Synopsis: Married couple Vanessa (Angelina Jolie) and Roland (Brad Pitt) deal with their crumbling marriage while on a working vacation in France.

Purr Blurs: At the beginning of the film the couple arrive at the seaside hotel in their car. A couple of cats are nearby.

By the Sea - cats sitting by the seaside

Later a man is seen sitting and holding a kitten in the bar / restaurant that Roland frequents.

By the Sea - elderly man sitting in bar holding kitten

By the Sea - elderly man sitting in bar holding kitten

Final Mewsings: Where do cats who live by the sea in France go to vacation?


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