Starring: Tommy Steele, Julia Foster
Directed by: George Sidney
Cat Out of the Bag Alert! This review contains some spoilers for this film!
Synopsis: Arthur Kipps (Tommy Steele) is content to slave away as an apprentice for a tough drapery store owner until he inherits a large amount of money which changes his views on life.
Featured Feline: Arthur lives in the basement of the drapery store with his co-workers who are also apprentices. In the beginning of the film Arthur wakes up and pulls down the covers from his chin to reveal a Bengal tabby cat lying on his chest.
The cat is Edwin and he is also employed as the store’s mouser, although Arthur points out that Edwin hasn’t been pulling his weight as he tries to rouse the sleepy tabby.
Edwin is seen several times throughout the film. For example, when everyone goes out after a day’s work Arthur must stay in to prepare to go to woodworking class which his boss, Mr. Shalford (Hilton Edwards) has arranged. Arthur looks down to see Edwin coming in through the front doors.
Arthur picks up Edwin and puts him back outside, saying that someone has to go out that night. “And don’t be late!” he adds.
Right after this a man barrels into the store on a bicycle. It is an actor named Harry Chitterlow (Cyril Ritchard) who demonstrates his art for the puzzled Arthur. Edwin is seen poking his head out from between some of the store’s fabrics.
Later in the film when Arthur has become wealthy he comes back to visit his friends in the store. But they are not as happy to see him as he is them. His former boss comes out to greet him. Edwin can barely be seen sitting on a chair behind the man.
Arthur jumps up and greets Edwin warmly, bypassing his boss. He tells Edwin he has brought a present which is a collar with a bell on it. Edwin reacts violently, swiping at Arthur before running away.
Later Arthur’s friends gather outside on the street when news spreads that Arthur has lost his fortune. Buggins (Leslie Meadows) is holding Edward and is warned not to hold the cat but Buggins assures them Edwin is fine. Edwin seems very content, curled up in Buggins arms.
The last time Edwin is seen is during a dream sequence in which Arthur imagines he is still rich and throwing extravagant parties for all of his friends. His wife Ann (Julia Foster) then shows up and parades those whose opinions of Arthur did not change even when he was rich, including his boss Mr. Shalford who is holding Edwin.
The part of Edwin the cat was a real scene stealer even in the original productions of the musical and real cats were often used to play the part on stage.
Final Mewsings: A collar with a bell on it is about the worst present to get a cat who already can’t catch mice!
Many thanks to Nick Wale for letting us know about the cat in this musical!