They Were Expendable (1945)

They Were Expendable poster

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Starring:
 Robert Montgomery, John Wayne, Donna Reed
Directed by: John Ford

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

Synopsis: Lt. John Brickley (Robert Montgomery) and Lt. (J.G.) ‘Rusty’ Ryan (John Wayne) command a group of P.T. boats defending the Philippines during World War II but have trouble convincing the higher ups of the value of their smaller ships.

Kitty Cameo: As two P.T. boats are preparing to leave the dock, one of the sailors is seen holding a black cat. He sets the cat down on the dock.

They Were Expendable - P.T. boat crewmember holding black cat

Lt. (J.G.) ‘Shorty’ Long (Donald Curtis) beckons the cat to come on board the number 31 boat. He strokes the cat and says, “Let’s go, Good Luck.”

They Were Expendable - Shorty Donald Curtis calling black cat onto P.T. boat

They Were Expendable - Shorty Donald Curtis holding and petting black cat

They Were Expendable - Shorty Donald Curtis calling black cat onto P.T. boat animated gif

Unfortunately the P.T. boat is destroyed during the fight. The crew of number 31 are later seen limping back, having been through enemy lines to return. One young crewman is carrying Good Luck with him.

They Were Expendable - P.T. boat 31 crew member carrying black cat

Later when the P.T. boat is about to take General MacArthur out of the Philippines, ‘Slug’ Mahan T.M. 1c (Murray Alper) drops the cat off the side of the boat onto the dock, saying, “Come on, Bad Luck. Scat!” The cat quickly jumps onto the other boat.

They Were Expendable - Slug Murray Alper dropping black cat off P.T. boat

They Were Expendable - black cat crosses dock

They Were Expendable - Slug Murray Alper dropping black cat off P.T. boat onto dock animated gif

Once they have reached their destination, two of the crew of the number 41 boat have found the cat has been with them all along and think it might be good luck for them. One of the Ensigns, who has been trying to tell them they’ve been awarded the Silver Star for gallantry, walks away sighing, “Well, anyway, you’ve been awarded the silver cat.”

They Were Expendable - crew member of P.T. boat 41 petting black cat

They Were Expendable - crew members of P.T. boat 41 laughing about black cat

Final Mewsings: You can’t blame a cat for your bad luck.

Many thanks to our friend Ted Davis for spotting this cat for us!


Relevant Links:

IMDb logo  tcmlogo  Amazon logo  Blu Ray logo  Amazon Instant Video logo

To discuss this film and other cats in movies and on television, join us on
Facebook and Twitter.