Monthly Archives: March 2019

Turkish Van Cats Learn to Swim (1960)

British Pathé

Synopsis: Silent newsreel footage shows three Turkish Van cats eating and being forced to swim in tubs.

Reality Cats: The unused and unissued footage shows the cats with a couple of women who seem to be demonstrating how they are “teaching” the cats to swim. While Turkish Vans are naturally good swimmers, these poor cats seem to want to do anything but take a swim!

Turkish Van Cats Learn to Swim - Turkish Van Cat trying to get out of bathtub

Turkish Van Cats Learn to Swim - Turkish Van Cat wrapped in towel after swimming

Turkish Van Cats Learn to Swim - Turkish Van Cat being made to swim in large tub

Turkish Van Cats Learn to Swim - Turkish Van Cat wrapped in towel after swimming

Turkish Van Cats Learn to Swim - Turkish Van Cat swimming in tub

The cats are more comfortable in the garden playing and eating, although the one woman seems to want to control where and how they eat as well.

Turkish Van Cats Learn to Swim - Turkish Van Cat running in garden

Turkish Van Cats Learn to Swim - Turkish Van Cats eating from bowl of food

Final Mewsings: Just because cats can swim doesn’t mean they *want* to!


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Little Women (1994)

Little Women poster

Columbia Pictures Corporation
Starring:
 Winona Ryder, Claire Danes
Directed by: Gillian Armstrong

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

Synopsis: Based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott. The March sisters come of age while awaiting the return of their father who is fighting in the American Civil War.

Kitty Cameos: A female tabby cat lives in the March home and is first seen sitting on the desk beside Jo (Winona Ryder) as she writes her stories late at night.

Little Women - tabby cat sitting next to Jo Winona Ryder as she writes

Little Women - tabby cat sitting next to Jo Winona Ryder as she writes

Later in the film, Jo and her sister Beth (Claire Danes) are bringing logs to the woodpile outside the house. Some kittens are sitting on the pile and as the girls finish they gather the kittens and take them inside. Presumably the kittens are those of the mother tabby cat.

Little Women - Jo Winona Ryder and Beth Claire Danes at the woodpile with kittens

Little Women - Jo Winona Ryder and Beth Claire Danes at the woodpile with kittens

Little Women - Beth Claire Danes holding white and Siamese kittens

Little Women - Beth Claire Danes with white kitten over shoulder

Little Women - Beth Claire Danes walking indoors with white kitten over shoulder

The tabby cat is next seen wearing a bonnet as the March sisters enact a play. The cat is playing the part of the Countess de Montanescu. According to the director the human actresses enjoyed filming this play-acting scene but the cat actor wasn’t as thrilled.

Little Women - tabby cat in bonnet close up

Little Women - Jo Winona Ryder and Meg Trini Alvarado play acting with tabby cat in bonnet

Little Women - Meg Trini Alvarado holding up tabby cat in bonnet

The tabby cat and her kittens return in a later scene when the girls are gathered around Amy in her bed, playing with and petting the kittens. The mother cat is sitting nearby in a separate shot.

Little Women - Beth Claire Danes with tabby cat nearby

Little Women - girls in bed with kittens

Little Women - girls in bed with kittens

Little Women - girls in bed with kittens

Final Mewsings: Little women love little kittens.


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Shine (1996)

Shine poster

South Australian Film Corporation
Starring:
 Geoffrey Rush, Noah Taylor
Directed by: Scott Hicks

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

Synopsis: The biopic of pianist David Helfgott (Geoffrey Rush) who suffered a nervous breakdown and a potentially career ending battle with Schizoaffective disorder.

Kitty Cameos: David apparently liked cats and several are seen throughout the film. David (Noah Taylor) is seen reading in bed with a cat beside him while still living at home.

Shine - young David Helfgott Noah Taylor reading in bed with cat

In another scene David arrives home to find his father (Armin Mueller-Stahl) waiting up for him with a cat on his lap.

Shine - Mr. Helfgott Armin Mueller-Stahl in chair holding cat on lap

Shine - Mr. Helfgott Armin Mueller-Stahl starting to stand up from chair holding cat on lap

Later when David goes to music college, he shares his flat with a long-haired gray cat with white markings. The cat is seen sitting atop David’s piano as he plays.

Shine - gray and white long-haired cat on top of piano

Later they share a can of sardines.

Shine - gray and white long-haired cat with face in tin of sardines

Shine - college student David Helfgott Noah Taylor sharing tin of sardines with long-haired gray and white cat

Shine - college student David Helfgott Noah Taylor sharing tin of sardines with long-haired gray and white cat

Shine - college student David Helfgott Noah Taylor sharing tin of sardines with long-haired gray and white cat

Finally David is seen as an adult playing in a small apartment with another cat sitting on top of his piano.

Shine - adult David Helfgott Geoffrey Rush playing piano with cat sitting on top

Final Mewsings: Cats enjoy sardines and good music.


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Railroad Tigers (2016)

Railroad Tigers poster

Sparkle Roll Media
Starring:
 Jackie Chan, Fan Xu
Directed by: Sheng Ding

Synopsis: A group of Chinese railroad workers plot to sabotage Japanese occupational forces.

Purr Blur: After the opening credits a tuxedo cat is seen sitting on the front of a train.

Railroad Tigers - tuxedo cat sitting on front of train

The cat is only seen for a moment as the train moves backwards and a man is pushed down across the tracks. The cat looks as if it startled and will jump off. As the camera pulls back, the cat has indeed disappeared.

Railroad Tigers - tuxedo cat hanging onto front of train which starts moving back

Railroad Tigers - tuxedo cat startled by falling man while hanging onto front of train which is moving back

Final Mewsings: Cats make themselves scarce during times of war.


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Deliria (1987)

Stagefright poster

English Title:  StageFright (aka Aquarius and Bloody Bird)
DMV Distribuzione
Starring:
 Barbara Cupisti, Clain Parker
Directed by: Michael Soavi

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

Synopsis: A theater troupe finds themselves locked in a soundstage with a crazed killer.

Featured Feline: The film opens with a cat yowling under the opening credits. A black cat is featured prominently in many scenes of the film (actually the cat, whose name is Lucifer, appears to be a tabby cat which has been tinted black). The cat first crosses the stage as the actors are rehearsing a play.

Deliria - black tabby cat Lucifer walking across stage

The director, Peter (David Brandon) later grabs Lucifer roughly and hands him to a stage hand named Mark (Martin Philips), directing him to “Get this damn cat out of here.”

Deliria - director reaching for black tabby cat Lucifer on stage

Deliria - Mark Martin Philips carrying away black tabby cat Lucifer

Lucifer belongs to the building’s caretaker Willy (James Sampson), who reaches for him when he crosses the path of actress Alicia (Barbara Cupisti) and seamstress Betty (Ulrike Schwerk) as they head out for medical help for Alicia’s sore ankle. Alicia is nervous and Betty asks if she is superstitious.

Deliria - black tabby cat Lucifer running in front of women

The girls go to a psychiatric hospital for help and unwittingly bring back a crazed psycho killer named Irving Wallace (Clain Parker) in their car. As Betty later sits in the car, she is startled by Lucifer who jumps at her in true spring-loaded cat fashion from the back seat. After Betty is killed, Alicia hears Lucifer meowing around the car and looks for him. Lucifer is not seen but Alicia finds Betty’s body next to the car.

Deliria - black tabby cat Lucifer jumps up on back of front seat in car

Lucifer is not seen again until later in the film when the majority of the theater troupe has been killed, leaving only Alicia to witness the gruesome scene of Wallace, wearing an owl’s head that was a prop from the play, arranging the mutilated bodies around the stage. Lucifer emerges from beneath a chair and starts to gnaw on part of one of the bodies.

Deliria - black tabby cat Lucifer coming out from beneath chair on bloody stage covered with bodies

Deliria - black tabby cat Lucifer coming out from beneath chair on bloody stage covered with bodies

Deliria - black tabby cat Lucifer gnawing at body on bloody stage

Deliria - black tabby cat Lucifer on bloody stage covered with bodies and killer

The cat then hits an electrical cable on the stage, turning on a fan which blows feathers everywhere.

Deliria - black tabby cat Lucifer bumping into wire

Lucifer then becomes Wallace’s lap cat, enjoying pets as the crazy man sits in the chair in the middle of the stage, surrounded by his carnage.

Deliria - black tabby cat Lucifer sitting on lap of owl headed killer Wallace on bloody stage

Deliria - close of black tabby cat Lucifer sitting on lap of owl headed killer Wallace on bloody stage

Deliria - close of black tabby cat Lucifer sitting on lap of owl headed killer Wallace on bloody stage

Deliria - close of black tabby cat Lucifer sitting on lap of owl headed killer Wallace on bloody stage

Alicia spots the key to the door stuck in the stage and crawls beneath the floor to try to pry it loose. Lucifer notices the nail she is using coming up through the boards and investigates, tipping Wallace off to Alicia’s location.

Deliria - close of black tabby cat Lucifer sitting on lap of owl headed killer Wallace on bloody stage with key in foreground

Deliria - close of black tabby cat Lucifer sitting on lap of owl headed killer Wallace on bloody stage with key in foreground

Deliria - close of black tabby cat Lucifer at feet of owl headed killer Wallace on bloody stage with key in foreground

Deliria - close of black tabby cat Lucifer at feet of owl headed killer Wallace on bloody stage with key in foreground

Lucifer is only seen one more time following Alicia down the steps of the stage as she runs to the door.

Deliria - close of black tabby cat Lucifer coming off bloody stage with Alicia Barbara Cupisti ahead

Final Mewsings: If you are stupid enough to go to a psychiatric hospital for a sore ankle, don’t blame the cat for your bad luck!

Many thanks to Dr. Jimmy and Bob for letting us know about the cat in this movie.


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