The Body Snatcher (1945)

The Body Snatcher poster

RKO Radio Pictures
Starring:
 Boris Karloff, Henry Daniell, Bela Lugosi
Directed by: Robert Wise

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

Synopsis: Based on the short story by Robert Louis Stevenson.  Medical student Donald Fettes (Russell Wade) is studying under noted physician Dr. MacFarlane (Henry Daniell) but he doubts his career in medicine when his moral judgement questions the use of stolen cadavers supplied by the ruthless cabman John Gray (Boris Karloff).

Featured Feline: In one scene, Fettes visits John Gray in his home.  As he enters, a tabby cat is sitting by the fire alongside Gray.

The Body Snatcher - tabby cat Brother with John Gray near fire

Later in the film Gray is visited by Joseph (Bela Lugosi), a servant in Dr. MacFarlane’s home who hopes to blackmail Gray into paying him money to keep his sideline a secret.  The tabby cat is there by the fire and Gray picks him up.

The Body Snatcher - John Gray holding tabby cat Brother on lap

The Body Snatcher - John Gray still holding tabby cat Brother on lap

Joseph asks if anyone can hear them and Gray answers, “Only Brother” in reference to the cat.

The Body Snatcher - John Gray looking scary with tabby cat Brother on lap

Eventually Gray dispatches Joseph and Brother is on hand right after the murder.

The Body Snatcher - tabby cat Brother with John Gray and body

Brother is next seen in Gray’s dark room, sitting by the fire and preening as Gray enters.

The Body Snatcher - tabby cat Brother sitting by fire

When Gray turns on the lights, he sees Dr. MacFarlane is there to confront him once and for all.  The two men get into a fight and Brother sits off to the side, hissing at the action.

The Body Snatcher - scared tabby cat Brother

The Body Snatcher - tabby cat Brother arching back and hissing animated gif

There is an interesting shot when Brother is seen sitting nearby as the action takes place in front.  Only the shadows of the two men fighting can be seen as the cat watches.  Finally the shadow of one man subdues the other, but who has won the fight?

The Body Snatcher - tabby cat Brother watching men fight

Final Mewsings: When it comes to humans fighting, cats typically root for the one who feeds them.


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