Hangover Square (1945)

Hangover Square poster

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Starring:
 Laird Cregar, Linda Darnell
Directed by: John Brahm

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

Synopsis: Composer George Harvey Bone (Laird Cregar) is a promising classical composer who falls for a music hall girl named Netta (Linda Darnell) despite his suffering from increasingly terrifying blackouts.

Cat Burglar (Scene Stealer): After meeting Netta, George sees her home. Netta finds her Siamese cat out on the front stoop and sighs that the landlady keeps putting the animal out. George, who is somewhat drunk, picks up the cat and offers to take the cat to his home so that Netta can visit with her any time she wishes.

Hangover Square - Siamese cat on front step

Hangover Square - George Laird Cregar holding Siamese cat on front step with Netta Linda Darnell

The nameless cat is seen in several scenes after this, such as when George is getting ready to go out with Netta. He scratches the back of the cat’s head with the handle of a small whisk broom and asks if she’s hungry.

Hangover Square - George Laird Cregar looking at Siamese cat on table

Hangover Square - George Laird Cregar petting Siamese cat with whisk broom

The cat also sits on George’s lap while he’s composing. When done he places the Siamese on top of the piano.

Hangover Square - Siamese cat on lap at piano

Hangover Square - George Laird Cregar placing Siamese cat on top of piano

Hangover Square - George Laird Cregar blowing out candle with Siamese cat sitting on top of piano

Later in the film George is having one of his spells when he sees the cat loosening a curtain tie.

Hangover Square - Siamese cat biting curtain tie

George picks up the cat then sets her aside, removing the tie which becomes a pivotal part of the plot.

Hangover Square - George Laird Cregar holding Siamese cat on front of curtains

After another scary blackout in which George is violent, he resolves to finish his own classical piece and stop writing music hall songs for Netta. The Siamese is close by as he composes.

Hangover Square - George Laird Cregar writing music with Siamese cat

But George is once again seduced by Netta and then has his heart broken by her. He returns home where the Siamese cat is sitting amongst some string instruments.

Hangover Square - Siamese cat sitting between violins

In a fit of anger, George tears up some music sheets and throws them aside. They startle the cat, who knocks over the instruments as she runs (this was probably actually achieved by a hidden string pulling the instruments down.)

Hangover Square - Siamese cat sitting amongst musical instruments

The discordant sounds made by the falling instruments triggers another spell and George gets the tie from the curtain again, tying knots in it. He then goes after the cat, who is underneath the piano.

Hangover Square - Siamese cat lying beneath piano

Hangover Square - Siamese cat sitting beneath piano

Fortunately the cat runs away before George can hurt her.

Hangover Square - George Laird Cregar approaching Siamese cat under piano with curtain tie

When George walks out of the apartment he leaves the door open. The cat gets out.

Hangover Square - Siamese cat sneaks out of apartment

Kitty Carnage Warning!  On the street, the Siamese is startled by a passing bike and darts into the path of a cart where she is killed.

Hangover Square - Siamese cat on street corner

When George returns home, the night watchman for the construction site outside his home gives him the bad news and offers to bury the cat in the hole for him. George pays him and returns home. When he snaps out of the spell, he doesn’t remember this and actually calls for the missing cat.

Hangover Square - George Laird Cregar looking at dead Siamese cat held by worker

This was sadly Laird Cregar’s last movie and one of his most memorable.

Hangover Square - George Laird Cregar holding Siamese cat publicity still

Final Mewsings: Cats don’t trust men with thuggy cords.


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