The Sign of the Cross (1932)

The Sign of the Cross poster

Paramount Pictures
Starring:
 Fredric March, Claudette Colbert
Directed by: Cecil B. De Mille

Synopsis: The Prefect of Rome, Marcus Superbus (Fredric March), falls in love with a common girl despite the fact that she is a Christian.

Cat Burglars (Scene Stealers): In a very notable scene the Empress Poppaea (Claudette Colbert) is taking a bath in a large pool of milk. Twice there are shots of cats drinking from the bath; first with one cat and then with two.

The Sign of the Cross - cat drinking from milk bath

The Sign of the Cross - cat drinking from milk bath

The Sign of the Cross - cat drinking from Empress Poppaea Claudette Colbert milk bath animated gif

The Sign of the Cross - cats drinking from milk bath

The Sign of the Cross - cats drinking from milk bath

Final Mewsings: Cats usually don’t like baths.

Many thanks to Kitty L. for letting us know about the cats in this movie!


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Marriage is a Private Affair (1944)

Marriage is a Private Affair poster

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Starring:
 Lana Turner, John Hodiak
Directed by: Robert Z. Leonard

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

Synopsis: Theo (Lana Turner) has her choice of men who want to marry her, but she questions her decision when she settles down with Tom West (John Hodiak).

Kitty Cameo: Early in the film Theo and Tom go to his childhood home in Vermont. As they are looking through one of his old photo albums one night Theo looks up and spots a tabby cat outside the window.

Marriage is a Private Affair - tabby cat Duke outside window

Marriage is a Private Affair - tabby cat Duke meowing outside window

Tom explains the cat’s name is Duke and gets up to let him in.

Marriage is a Private Affair - Tom John Hodial letting tabby cat Duke in through window window

Marriage is a Private Affair - Tom John Hodial petting tabby cat Duke coming in through window window

Marriage is a Private Affair - Tom John Hodial petting tabby cat Duke on window seat

Marriage is a Private Affair - Tom John Hodial beside tabby cat Duke on window seat

Duke enters and walks to Theo, who is lying on the floor. Theo pets the cat, who then moves on.

Marriage is a Private Affair - tabby cat Duke approaching Theo Lana Turner on floor

Marriage is a Private Affair - tabby cat Duke being petted by Theo Lana Turner on floor

Marriage is a Private Affair - tabby cat Duke being petted by Theo Lana Turner on floor animated gif

A short time later Duke meows from the window seat, wanting to be let back out.

Marriage is a Private Affair - tabby cat Duke looking at window from bench

Marriage is a Private Affair - tabby cat Duke by window on bench

As Theo lets Duke out, she points out how cats also can also change their minds, comparing it to her own worry about indecision.

Marriage is a Private Affair - tabby cat Duke being let out window by Theo Lana Turner

Final Mewsings: Cats aren’t indecisive; they just like to keep us on our toes.


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The Untouchables – “Vincent ‘Mad Dog’ Coll”

The Untouchables Season One DVD

Original Air Date: November 19, 1959
Starring: Clu Gulager, Richard Karlan
Directed by: Andrew McCullough

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

Synopsis: Psychotic gangster Vincent “Mad Dog” Coll (Clu Gulager) becomes determined to take revenge on a rival gangster, going to insane and drastic means to get at the man.

Cat Burglar (Scene Stealer): At one point Mad Dog kidnaps the associate of the rival gangster and forces him to write a note asking for a ransom. One of Mad Dog’s gang, a man called Needles (Richard Karlan) carries a bottle of milk to the window and pours some out for an orange tabby cat which appears and starts drinking.

The Untouchables - Vincent

The Untouchables - Vincent

The Untouchables - Vincent

Later in the scene the cat jumps down into the room.

The Untouchables - Vincent

After the kidnapped victim writes the note, Mad Dog shoots him down in cold blood using a gun with a silencer. The cat looks shocked by this action, especially when Mad Dog pumps numerous additional bullets into the already prone victim.

The Untouchables - Vincent

The cat remains to the side, looking startled as the gang hides the body in the closet.

The Untouchables - Vincent

The Untouchables - Vincent

In a later scene the cleaning woman comes into the apartment and the cat is seen briefly. In actuality the shot of the cat is the same set up as before only flipped so the cat is looking the other way. This is why the cat doesn’t actually interact with the cleaning woman at all.

The Untouchables - Vincent

There’s a real possiblity that this could be yet another acting turn by one or more of the Orangey team of cats.

The Untouchables - Vincent

Final Mewsings: Cats are shocked by senseless violence.

Many thanks to Ted Davis for spotting this television cat for us!


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Cat City (2017)

Starring: Jonni Phillips, Isabel Higgins, Aster Pang
Directed by: Victoria Vincent

Synopsis: A cat runs away from home to start life anew in the big city, but living independently has its dark side, too.

Cartoon Cat: This hilarious and dark animated short paints an interesting picture of what might happen when a cat disappears from home for a time. The cat’s owner sadly searches for her lost kitty, not realizing he has moved to the big city, taken an apartment and gotten a job as a hairdresser.

Cat City - poster for lost cat

Cat City - cat cutting hair

Cat City - cat on bed with money

Things start out fine but then the seedier side of the city takes its toll and the cat turns to drink. But even at its darkest the short retains a biting and smart sense of humor.

Cat City - cat drunk in bar

Cat City - close up of cat looking up

Final Mewsings: Cats can make it on their own but often choose not to.


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Fly My Kite (1931)

Our Gang Fly My Kite poster

Hal Roach Studios
Starring:
 Matthew ‘Stymie’ Beard, Norman ‘Chubby’ Chaney, Margaret Mann
Directed by: Robert McGowan

Synopsis: The gang tries to help when the elderly woman they call Grandma (Margaret Mann) is threatened with eviction by her heartless son.

Purr Blur: At the beginning of the short Grandma is reading to the children from a book of blood curdling western tales. At one point a gray cat runs across a shelf and knocks down a bunch of pots and pans, startling Grandma so much she flies over backwards in her chair.

Our Gang - Fly My Kite - cat running along shelf

Our Gang - Fly My Kite - cat running along shelf knocking over pots and pans and scaring Grandma animated gif

Final Mewsings: Some people really flip over cats!


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