Lightning Strikes Twice (1934)

Lightning Strikes Twice poster

RKO Radio Pictures
 Ben Lyon, Richard ‘Skeets’ Gallagher
Directed by: Ben Holmes

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

Synopsis: A madcap comedy in which things go awry for an engaged couple when a murder supposedly takes place while the fan dancer and her husband from the bachelor party the night before take up residence in the groom-to-be’s house.

Featured Feline: A black cat named Harriette shows up several times throughout the proceedings and is even involved directly in the plot at the end.  We first see her at the beginning of the film sitting on a wall in the rain and hissing as a police officer calls in a report of shots fired near a fancy house.

Lightning Strikes Twice - black cat Harriette on wall hissing at rain

Later the policeman and a reporter question the maid of the house and the black cat is seen coming inside.

Lightning Strikes Twice - black cat Harriette entering house

The maid awakens Steven Brewster (Ben Lyon) and he finds himself in bed with his friend Wally (Richard ‘Skeets’ Gallagher).  Both are suffering from hangovers but Wally especially so.  Wally tries to go back to sleep but looks up and sees the black cat crossing the carpeted room.

Lightning Strikes Twice - black cat Harriette walking across room

As the cat stops to rub against Steve’s leg, Willy moans, “And will you please make that cat stop stamping her feet?”  This is when Steve mentions the cat’s name is Harriette.

Lightning Strikes Twice - black cat Harriette rubbing on Steve's legs

The cat is next seen exiting the butler’s room after the maid enters and finds something disturbing.

Lightning Strikes Twice - black cat Harriette exiting room

Harriette is not seen again until much later when the fan dancer’s husband (Walter Catlett) throws a fit on cue.  The cat hisses and arches her back in reaction to his thrashing about.

Lightning Strikes Twice - black cat Harriette hissing

Finally at the end of the film Harriette pokes her head through a doorway.  As it turns out, the butler who was presumed to be dead is very much alive and wanted to kill the cat for keeping him awake, hence the shots at the start of the film.

Lightning Strikes Twice - black cat Harriette peeking into room

In one of the last shots, Steve and his fiance Judy (Thelma Todd) look down to see Harriette with three black kittens.

Lightning Strikes Twice - black cat Harriette with kittens

Final Mewsings: Cats don’t appreciate comedic actors throwing fits.

Relevant Links:

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