Flesh (1932)

Flesh poster

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Starring:
 Wallace Beery, Karen Morley
Directed by: John Ford

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

Synopsis: A gentle natured German wrestler named Polakai (Wallace Beery) takes in the beautiful American damsel-in-distress Laura (Karen Morley), unaware of her shady nature.

Cat Burglar (Scene Stealer): Polakai works in a beer garden and one evening he is closing up the place. He runs around the dark premises calling, “Here Kitty Kitty!” Finally he emerges holding a long-haired white cat by the scruff.

Flesh - Polakai Wallace Beery holding long-haired white cat by scruff

Flesh - Polakai Wallace Beery still holding long-haired white cat by scruff

Polakai places the cat outside.

Flesh - Polakai Wallace Beery putting long-haired white cat outside

Flesh - Polakai Wallace Beery putting long-haired white cat outside animated gif

After closing up, we see Polakai walk towards the street where Laura is waiting. The white cat is between them and then runs away.

Flesh - long-haired white cat on dark street

Later in the film Polakai is seen going to bed. He climbs between the sheets, then pauses and looks for something. A moment later he lifts the same white cat by the scruff from under the covers.

Flesh - Polakai Wallace Beery holding up long-haired white cat by scruff

Flesh - Polakai Wallace Beery lifting long-haired white cat by scruff from bed

Polakai sets the cat on the ground and shooes it away.

Flesh - Polakai Wallace Beery shooing away long-haired white cat be bed

Flesh - Polakai Wallace Beery lifting long-haired white cat out of bed animated gif

Turner Classic Movies posted a beautiful still of actress Karen Morley holding the white cat, even though she is not seen holding the cat in the finished film.

Flesh - Laura Karen Morley holding long-haired white cat

Final Mewsings: Polakai should have shooed away Laura and kept the cat!


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Tequila Sunrise (1988)

Tequila Sunrise poster

Warner Bros.
Starring:
 Mel Gibson, Kurt Russell, Michelle Pfeiffer
Directed by: Robert Towne

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

Synopsis: McKussic (Mel Gibson) is a drug dealer who is trying to retire but encounters resistance from all sides, including his police officer buddy Frescia (Kurt Russell) who thinks he should pay for his crimes.

Kitty Cameo: An unnamed tabby cat is seen a few times in the film. It’s first seen outside McKussic’s sliding glass door in the rain. McKussic gets up to apparently let the cat in but the scene suddenly fades.

Tequila Sunrise - tabby cat outside sliding glass window in rain

Later in the film the cat is sitting on top of a garbage can outside the beach home. The cat knocks an empty pasta box off the can.

Tequila Sunrise - tabby cat sitting on garbage can with empty pasta box

Tequila Sunrise - tabby cat sitting on garbage can

McKussic drives up and then approaches the house, noticing the cat and the box on the ground.

Tequila Sunrise - McKussic looking tabby cat sitting on garbage can

The cat plays with the box for a moment before McKussic continues inside. According to producer Thom Mount on the DVD’s commentary track, the seemingly simple shot took all night because, “the damn cat wouldn’t do what he was supposed to do.” He went on to say that one shot, “was the one time that the cat stopped and played with Mel on the way into the house. And it was a very expensive cat shot. Cost about $140,000. And my best advice to you is … no animals.”

Tequila Sunrise - tabby cat sitting on garbage can with empty pasta box

Tequila Sunrise - tabby cat sitting on garbage can batting at empty pasta box

Tequila Sunrise - tabby cat standing on garbage can

The cat is only seen one more time walking along a fence as the camera moves toward the house.

Tequila Sunrise - tabby cat walking along fence

Final Mewsings: Cats don’t always take direction.

Many thanks to Nick Wale for reminding us of the cat in this movie!


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Home Movies – “Brendon Gets Rabies”

Home Movies Season One DVD

Original Air Date: May 17, 1999
Starring: Brendon Small, Paula Poundstone
Directed by: Loren Bouchard

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

Synopsis: Brendon (voiced by Brendon Small) loses the neighbor’s cat which later turns up with rabies.

Cartoon Cat: Brendon’s mother Paula (voiced by Paula Poundstone) originally agrees to take care of the white cat named Alexandre (the final “er” being shortened to sound more snooty) owned by Mr. and Mrs. Peabody (voiced by Paula Plum and Richard Snee).

Home Movies - Brendon Gets Rabies - Paula and Peabodys with white cat Alexandre

Home Movies - Brendon Gets Rabies - Paula with white cat Alexandre

Home Movies - Brendon Gets Rabies - white cat Alexandre with wide eyes

Paula asks Brendon to go feed Alexandre and clean his litter box.

Home Movies - Brendon Gets Rabies - white cat Alexandre looking angry in doorway

Brendon is filming his time at the Peabody’s and accidentally lets Alexandre slip out the front door.

Home Movies - Brendon Gets Rabies - white cat Alexandre passing Brendon to walk out front door

Home Movies - Brendon Gets Rabies - white cat Alexandre looking back from front walk

Kitty Carnage Warning!  After searching for two days, Brendon and Melissa (voiced by Melissa Bardin Galsky) are hanging missing posters when they spot Alexandre.

Home Movies - Brendon Gets Rabies - Brendon calling to crazed white cat Alexandre

Alexandre isn’t looking too well, though.

Home Movies - Brendon Gets Rabies - white cat Alexandre foaming at mouth

Melissa runs into the house and Brendon tries to pick up the cat but is attacked. Alexandre ends up biting Brendon’s arm and not letting go.

Home Movies - Brendon Gets Rabies - Brendon being bitten on arm by white cat Alexandre

Home Movies - Brendon Gets Rabies - Brendon with white cat Alexandre dangling from arm

A trip to the vet eventually confirms Alexandre has rabies and must be put down. The Peabody’s are distressed but like it when the vet calls it “making cotton candy.”

Home Movies - Brendon Gets Rabies - Brendon and Paula at vet with white cat Alexandre in box

Home Movies - Brendon Gets Rabies - white cat Alexandre at vet with rabies animated gif

At a funeral the Small’s arrange for the cat the Eulogist (voiced by Mitch Hedberg) imagines a section of heaven just for cats called Whiskerville and says Alexandre is happy there.

Home Movies - Brendon Gets Rabies - cats in kitty heaven

Home Movies - Brendon Gets Rabies - white cat Alexandre in kitty heaven

Cartoon Kitty Cameos:  At the beginning of the episode Brendon and Melissa are looking in a pet shop window with three cats.

Home Movies - Brendon Gets Rabies - Brendon and Melissa looking at cats in pet shop window

Later Brendon is filming a group of sleeping kittens in the pet store as research in helping to find the lost Alexandre. Brendon yells “Where’s the cat?!” which wakes the kittens up.

Home Movies - Brendon Gets Rabies - Brendon and Melissa filming sleeping kittens in pet shop

Home Movies - Brendon Gets Rabies - sleeping kittens in pet shop

Home Movies - Brendon Gets Rabies - sleeping kittens in pet shop open their eyes

Home Movies - Brendon Gets Rabies - sleeping kittens in pet shop open their eyes animated gif

Final Mewsings: You can’t sugarcoat euthanasia.


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Anastasia (1997)

Anastasia poster

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Starring:
 Meg Ryan, John Cusack, Angela Lansbury
Directed by: Don Bluth, Gary Goldman

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

Synopsis: Anastasia (voiced by Meg Ryan), the last remaining member of the murdered Romanov family, is pegged by con man Dimitri (voiced by John Cusack) as the perfect substitute to get a reward for her return.

Cartoon Kitty Cameo: Anastasia’s grandmother, the Dowager Empress Marie (voiced by Angela Lansbury) escapes to Paris and is constantly barraged by Anastasia imposters. Her friend Sophie (voiced by Bernadette Peters) helps her weed through the candidates. In one scene they have just dismissed another imposter. As the two talk, a small long-haired white kitten wearing a ribbon is seen with them.

Anastasia - kitten with Dowager Empress and Sophie

Anastasia - kitten with Dowager Empress and Sophie

It is assumed this is the Dowager’s cat but she is not seen again in the movie. According to IMDb, the kitten’s name was Tilly and she was originally to have a larger role, being a bit of a foil for Anya’s puppy Pooka.

Anastasia - kitten on stool with Dowager Empress

Final Mewsings:  Kittens don’t like it when their roles are reduced.

Many thanks to Nick Wale for spotting the cat in this movie!


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Kitty (2016)

Kitty poster

First Generation Films
Starring:
 Edie Yvonne, Ione Skye, Lee Meriwether
Also Starring:  Rocky, Bullwinkle, Jack, Handsome, Hero, Jaguar
Directed by: Chloë Sevigny

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

Synopsis: Based on the short story by Paul Bowles. Feeling alienated from her mother (Ione Skye), a little girl (Edie Yvonne) finds herself undergoing an unusual transformation.

Cat Burglars (Scene Stealers): This charming short film uses some interesting special makeup effects to show the little girl during her slow transformation as she grows whiskers and sprouts claws. But when she transforms completely into a gray Bengal kitten the cat actors take over and steal the show.

Kitty - grey Bengal tabby kitten wide shot

Kitty - grey Bengal tabby kitten close up

Finding herself as a kitten she still cannot get her parents’ attention.

Kitty - grey Bengal tabby kitten meowing at window

Kitty ends up staying with the neighbor lady, Mrs. Tinsley (Lee Meriwether).

Kitty - grey Bengal tabby kitten with Mrs. Tinsley Lee Meriwether

Kitty - grey Bengal tabby kitten with milk on chin

The ending is heartbreaking and poignant and we won’t spoil it here.

Kitty - grey Bengal tabby kitten on stairs

Kitty - grey Bengal tabby cat with Ione Skye

Kitty - grey Bengal tabby cat held by Ione Skye

Seven cats were used to play Kitty, including kitten actors Rocky and Bullwinkle and adult cats Jack, Handsome, Hero and Jaguar.

Kitty - grey Bengal tabby kitten close on couch

Kitty - grey Bengal tabby cat on shoulder

Final Mewsings: Who doesn’t wish they were a cat?


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