New Regency Pictures
Starring: Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton
Directed by: Bryan Singer
Cat Out of the Bag Alert! This review contains some spoilers for this film!
Synopsis: The story of the rise to fame of the band Queen and lead singer Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek).
Cat Cattle Call: It is well known that singer Freddie Mercury was a huge lover of cats and as such cats are well represented in the film. The cats are shown around Mercury’s homes, and several shots are devoted to the cats alone. One of the opening shots shows Mercury walking past his many cats as they eat from their bowls.
The cats also watch as he drives away to perform at Live Aid.
Cats are present in the early years when Mercury was living with his lifelong friend and fiancee Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton).
While the band is touring the U.S., Mercury is talking to Mary over the phone and asks of the cats Tom and Jerry can hear him. He then asks Mary if she can put Romeo on the phone so he can tell the cat he misses him.
The cats even watch as Mary eventually walks out on Mercury, although they remain friends.
When Mercury moves into a larger house in London he explains that each cat can have its own room, Delilah’s by the kitchen, Miko next door, and Tiffany, Oscar and Romeo upstairs. And a large room for Lily.
A few of the cats are seen in the latter part of the film. One is eating breakfast on a table with Mercury.
Two cats watch as Mercury warms up his voice for Live Aid.
The cats are seen watching the Live Aid performance on television as well.
As the end credits begin, a photo of Mercury and his boyfriend Jim is shown with Jim holding a tabby cat.
The cat actors were provided by Stunt Dogs and Animals, Ltd.
Cinema Cats follower Elisabeth Riba was kind enough to send us some further information about Freddie Mercury and his cats, as well as other cats connected to the band Queen. The liner notes of Freddie’s first solo album included the line “This album is dedicated to my cat Jerry – also Tom, Oscar and Tiffany, and all the cat lovers across the universe – screw everybody else!”
Many of the interactions shown in the film were based on real life. While touring, Freddie would regularly phone home and have his housekeepers or assistants hold each cat up to the phone so he could talk to them.
Some of the cats Mercury loved were Tom, Jerry, Oscar, Tiffany, Goliath, Miko, Romeo, Lily, Dorothy and Delilah. Delilah was his favorite, and he even wrote this song about her:
In his final video, These Are The Days Of Our Lives, Freddie wore a custom-made vest illustrated with pictures of his cats.
Freddie left his house and most of his possessions to his close friend, Mary, who took care of his cats for the rest of their natural lives.
But Freddie wasn’t the only cat-lover in the band. One of the earliest photos of Brian May with his Red Special guitar (taken in 1963) shows him playing for Squeaky, the family cat. And Brian’s childhood pet cat Pixie inspired the 1977 song, “All Dead, All Dead.” We will be writing up the animated music video for the song next week!
Final Mewsings: We love people who love cats!