Starring: John Garfield, Lana Turner
Directed by: Tay Garnett
Cat Out of the Bag Alert! This review contains some spoilers for this film!
Synopsis: Based on the novel by James M. Cain. Frank Chambers (John Garfield) is a drifter who finds employment at an L.A. roadside eatery where he falls for the owner’s wife, Cora (Lana Turner), leading them to take desperate measures to secure their freedom.
Kitty Cameo: Frank and Cora plan to murder her husband and one night they set their plan in motion. Cora is supposed to exit the bathroom window and climb down a ladder which Frank has set up. They don’t want anyone to see the ladder. As Frank pretends to wash the windows of the car, he spots a cat sniffing around the bottom of the ladder.
Frank grabs a rock to throw at the cat. A motorcycle cop named Blair (Jeff York) then approaches. Frank is supposed to signal Cora by honking the horn if anyone comes but he’s too far away now.
As Frank talks to Blair, the officer notices something and shines his flashlight then smiles. He points out how the cat is climbing up the stepladder. “I like cats,” he says before leaving, “Always up to something.”
Kitty Carnage Warning: Moments later Frank is startled by a loud pop and flash. The cat has climbed up onto the fusebox and jumps as sparks go flying. All the lights in the place go out and Cora screams.
Their murder attempt foiled, Frank and Cora return to the diner the next day only to have Blair and District Attory Kyle Sackett (Leon Ames) accompany them. Blair notices the burned dead cat lying on the ground and keeps going on about her, how she’s “deader than a doornail” and how pretty she was.
Final Mewsings: This time curiosity really did kill the cat.