‘Fraidy Cat (1951)

Columbia Pictures
 Joe Besser, Jim Hawthorne
Directed by: Jules White

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

Synopsis: Joe (Joe Besser) and his friend Hawthorne (Jim Hawthorne) are security men hired to protect an antique store from theft by, what else, a gorilla.

Kitty Cameo: When the pair arrive at the antique store they decide to split up.  Hawthorne tells Joe to sit down and relax in a rocking chair.  Joe doesn’t notice the long-haired cat sitting beside the chair (which is not in the long shots).

'Fraidy Cat - long-haired cat sitting next to rocking chair

We get some moments of the classic “cat’s tail swishes precariously close to the rocker” moments, the cat’s tail being manipulated by an invisible thread of some kind.

Fraidy Cat - long-haired cat's tail swishing under rocking chair animated gif

Kitty Carnage Warning! At last the rocker does land on the cat’s tail and it screeches.  Chances are the scene was shot without anyone actually in the chair and not much pressure used.

Later Joe is keeping watch and marches backwards.  Once again he manages to step on the poor cat’s tail, sending it screeching and Joe running in fright.  The shot is dark and it appears Joe’s foot doesn’t actually step on the cat’s tail.

'Fraidy Cat - long-haired cat lying on the floor

This scenario is copied from a 1943 Three Stooges short called Dizzy Detectives with the scene being performed by Curly. In fact, not only did they use the idea but they used the exact same footage of the cat and its tail!

Final Mewsings: Cats have every right to be afraid when their tails are threatened.

Many thanks to our friend John at Hollywood Danes for finding this cat for us!

Relevant Links:

IMDb logo

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

Share this with your cat and movie loving friends!