Also Known As: Blood Kin
Starring: James Coburn, Lynn Redgrave, Robert Hooks
Directed by: Sidney Lumet
Cat Out of the Bag Alert! This review contains some spoilers for this film!
Synopsis: Based on the play Kingdom of Earth (aka The Seven Descents of Myrtle) by Tennessee Williams. Myrtle (Lynn Redgrave) marries a man she’s just met named Lot (James Coburn) and travels to his dilapidated New Orleans plantation whose ownership is disputed between himself and his half-brother Chicken (Robert Hooks).
Featured Feline: Myrtle splits her time between her invalid husband Lot upstairs and Chicken downstairs, both of whom confuse and manipulate her to their will. Chicken notes that her eyes are red and to cover the fact she’s been crying she says she is allergic to animals and bets there is a cat nearby. Hook informs her he does have a cat and she asks him to get rid of it. Chicken goes to the next room to call for the cat and seconds later he returns carrying a tabby cat with white markings.
Kitty Carnage Warning! Much to Myrtle’s shock, Chicken opens a trap door and drops the cat down into what looks like deep black water. When Myrtle cries out in shock, Chicken assures her that the cat swam to the woodpile and also points out that she was the one who told him to get rid of it.
As shocking as this appears on screen, when you slow down and pause the footage you can see the cat was actually only dropped into a few inches of water and stands looking confused.
Later Myrtle comes back downstairs and finds Chicken sitting on a chair with the cat in his lap. “That cat didn’t drown itself,” she notes.
Moments later Chicken is once again intimidating Myrtle and notes her eyes are red. He immediately grabs the cat by the scruff and makes like he’s going to throw the animal into the water again. The cat is gone in the next shot and we’re not sure if it ended up taking another dunk or not.
Final Mewsings: Cats would prefer to choose their own swim times.