Tag Archives: black cat

The Paleface (1948)

The Paleface poster

Paramount Pictures
Starring:
 Bob Hope, Jane Russell
Directed by: Norman Z. McLeod

This review contains a very mild Kitty Carnage Warning!

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

Synopsis: Calamity Jane (Jane Russell) is coerced by the government to find out who is smuggling arms to the Indians. In turn she tricks a hapless dentist named Painless Peter Potter (Bob Hope) into helping her.

Cat Burglar (Scene Stealer): Late in the movie Painless is sneaking into an undertaker’s office where they suspect the arms are being stored. As he makes his way through the night, a black cat suddenly jumps out of a barrel in front of him in true spring-loaded cat fashion.

The Paleface - Painless Potter Bob Hope startled by black cat coming out of barrel

The Paleface - Painless Potter Bob Hope startled by black cat coming out of barrel

The Paleface - Painless Potter Bob Hope startled by black cat coming out of barrel animated gif

Painless makes a great effort to climb through a transom to get into the undertaker’s place. Once done the front door starts to slowly open. Painless pulls his gun and waits for the intruder. It turns out to the be same black cat coming in through the open door!

The Paleface - Painless Potter Bob Hope startled by black cat coming through door

The Paleface - Painless Potter Bob Hope startled by black cat coming through door

The Paleface - Painless Potter Bob Hope startled by black cat coming through door animated gif

Painless finds himself about to be caught by the bad guys when they suddenly arrive, so he climbs onto a table and puts a sheet over himself to appear as if he is a corpse. But the black cat isn’t done with him yet! The cat appears and jumps up under the sheet!

The Paleface - black cat about to climb dynamite crates

The Paleface - black cat climbing dynamite crates to crawl under sheet animated gif

The cat makes its way up Painless’ body under the sheet then sits with its tail in Painless’ face, waving it back and forth across his nose.

The Paleface - Painless Potter Bob Hope startled by black cat's tail under his nose

Kitty Carnage Warning!  Finally Painless gets fed up and bites the cat’s tail. The cat goes flying from the table with a screech, taking the sheet with him and leaving Painless to defend himself against the bad guys. The saving grace of this scene is the fact that it’s obvious the cat tail and flying cat are both fake.

The Paleface - Painless Potter Bob Hope looking at black cat's rear end in front of his face

The Paleface - Painless Potter Bob Hope biting black cat's tail

Final Mewsings: Friendly cats don’t understand espionage.


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Charlie Chan in Paris (1935)

Charlie Chan in Paris poster

Fox Film Corporation
Starring:
 Warner Oland, Mary Brian
Directed by: Lewis Seiler

Synopsis: Famed detective Charlie Chan (Warner Oland) heads to Paris where he tries to track down the killers behind a forged bond scheme.

Purr Blur: In one scene Chan is exploring the basement of a building. In the light of a flashlight a black cat can barely be seen jumping down from a counter and scurrying away.

Charlie Chan in Paris - black cat in darkness class=

Final Mewsings: Le chat noir doesn’t stick around to be questioned!


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The Tingler (1959)

The Tingler DVD

Columbia Pictures
Starring:
 Vincent Price, Patricia Cutts, Darryl Hickman
Directed by: William Castle

Synopsis: A pathologist named Dr. Chapin (Vincent Price) theorizes that every human has a creature inside of them which manifests itself with fear and is subsequently dispelled by screaming. Through various experiments he endeavors to induce and capture one of these creatures with terrifying results.

Kitty Cameo: Not long into the film Dr. Chapin’s assistant (Darryl Hickman) tells the doctor he’s managed to capture a black cat for their next experiment. When Dr. Chapin confronts his philandering wife and forces her into his laboratory we eventually see the cat in a cage.

The Tingler - black cat in cage with Vincent Price

Fortunately for the cat, the doctor finds his wife to be a much more suitable test subject.

The Tingler - black cat in cage

Final Mewsings: Scientific experiments should be conducted on catty wives, not cats.


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My Name is Earl – “Larceny of a Kitty Cat”

My Name is Earl DVD

Original Air Date: October 12, 2006
Starring: Jason Lee, Ethan Suplee, Amy Sedaris, Jaime Pressly
Directed by: Millicent Shelton

Synopsis: Earl tries to repair the damage done to cat fancier Judy (Amy Sedaris) when he stole her prize cat Sebastian in an attempt to help Joy’s cat win. He takes Randy (Ethan Suplee) and Judy to the sleeping cat lady’s house where he left the cat and they find Sebastian has turned into a fat feline. As Randy and Judy fall in love, Earl does his best to get Sebastian back in competition shape again.

Featured Feline: Sebastian is undoubtedly the star of the show (although obviously played by at least two talented felines.) There are many other cats as well, both at the cat shows and the sleeping cat lady’s house, not to mention the black cat that crosses Earl and Randy’s path at the beginning and starts Earl off on this particular mission.

My Name is Earl cat

Final Mewsings: Cats deserve to have their wrongs righted, too.

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Shadow of the Thin Man (1941)

Shadow of the Thin Man DVD

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Starring:
 William Powell, Myrna Loy, Barry Nelson, Donna Reed
Directed by: W.S. Van Dyke

Synopsis: Nick and Nora Charles (William Powell & Myrna Loy) go to the horse races but they end up being pulled into a new mystery when a jockey is murdered in the locker room. Consequently Nick reluctantly has to solve yet another crime and his wife and their dog Asta are both right along for the madcap, hair-raising adventure.

Cat Burglar (Scene Stealer): This is the movie which fueled my desire to blog about screen cats in the first place. The black kitten which shows up unexpectedly in this film is the perfect example of how cats can impact a film. It’s a throwaway gag . . . when Nick arrives at the jockey’s locker room at night, Asta rushes in before him as Nick explains to a man outside that Asta isn’t afraid of anything. When Asta enters, a tiny kitten is sitting on a shelf and mews at him causing Asta to whimper and run in fear. The kitten again scares Asta with a little hiss on the way out.

Shadow of the Thin Man kitten

It’s a classic Cinema Cats moment … there is no reason whatsoever for the kitten to be alone in this locker room sitting on a shelf when Asta comes in and when he leaves. But it is simply the most adorable little kitten ever and the fact that Asta is afraid of it is hilarious. It’s overlooked gems like this which deserve to be recognized for the classic little film moments they are.

Shadow of the Thin Man kitten animated gif

Final Mewsings: Probably the only time Asta has ever been upstaged on screen!


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