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★ Cat People, 1942 film - 1942 in film ..

Cat People (1942 film)

★ Cat People (1942 film)

Cat people 1942 is an American horror film directed by Jacques Tourneur produced by Val Lewton, starring Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Jane Randolph and Tom Conway. The plot focuses on the Serbian fashion Illustrator in new York who believes that she is descended from a race of people who shape shift into Panthers when sexually aroused or angry. DeWitt bodeen wrote the original screenplay, which is based on the Lewtons story the Bagheeta published in 1930.

Filmed in Los Angeles, cat People was first shown in new York on 5 December 1942, and was given a wide theatrical release on Christmas day. The film was a moderate critical and commercial success at the time of its release. It was followed by one sequel, curse of the cat people 1944. Over the years, "cat people" was subject to critical reassessment, and noted for its visual impact, in particular the work of cinematographer Nicholas Musuraca.

In 1993 the film was selected for preservation in the National registry of films at the Library of Congress as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". The film was later acquired set of criterion and released on Blu-ray in 2016.


1. The plot. (Сюжет)

In the Central Park zoo in new York city, Serbian-born fashion artist Irena Dubrovna Simone Simon makes sketches of a Black Panther. She attracts the attention of marine engineer Oliver reed Kent Smith, who strikes up a conversation. Irena invites him to her apartment for tea. At her apartment, Oliver is intrigued by a statue of a medieval warrior on horseback impaling a large cat with his sword. Irena informs Oliver that the figure is king John of Serbia and that the cat represents evil. According to legend, long ago, the Christian inhabitants of his native village gradually turned to witchcraft and devil worship after being dominated by the Mamluks. When king John drove the Mameluks and saw that the villagers began, he killed them. However, "the wisest and the most wicked" escaped into the mountains. Oliver refers to the legend while Irene obviously takes it seriously.

Oliver buys her a kitten, but upon meeting her she hisses. Irene suggests they go to the pet store to exchange it. When they enter the pet shop to get nervous in her presence, and Irena becomes difficult. Irena gradually reveals to Oliver that she believes she descended from the cat people of her village, and she turns into a Panther if awakened passion. Despite this, Oliver asks her to marry him and she agrees. However, during the dinner after their wedding at a Serbian restaurant, cat woman Elizabeth Russell came up and addresses Irena as "MoE sister" my sister "my sister". Irena will never get married for fear of consequences. Oliver is patient with her, but eventually convinces her to go to a psychiatrist, Dr Louis Judd: Tom Conway. Judd tries to convince her that her fears stem from childhood injuries.

Meanwhile, Irene is unhappy to learn that Oliver told his assistant, Alice Moore, Jane Randolph. Alice admits to Oliver that she loves him. When Irena chances to see Oliver and Alice seated together at the restaurant, she followed Alice home. Just as Alice hears a menacing sound, a bus pulls up and she boards it. Soon after, the gardener finds a few freshly killed sheep. The footsteps leading away turn into imprints of womens shoes. Irena returns to her apartment, looking dishevelled and exhausted, she soon showed crying in the bathroom. Irene the dream of Dr. Judd, dressed as king John, mention the "key". Later, she steals the key to the cage of a Panther in Central Park.

Irena, Oliver and Alice visit the Museum, and Irene is furious, when two people barely notice it. That night when Alice decides to use the basement pool of her house, she pursues the beast. When Alice screams for help, Irena, it seems, turned on the light, and she says she looks at Oliver. Alice later finds her robe torn to shreds. After the consultation, Dr. Judd, Irena tells Oliver she is no longer afraid, but Oliver tells her that its too late: he had already realized that he loves Alice and is going to divorce Irene. Later at work, Oliver and Alice are cornered in a snarling animal. Oliver and Alice managed to get out of the building, but not before Irenas smelling perfume.

Alice calls Judd to warn him to stay away from Irena, but he hangs up when Irena arrives for a meeting with him. He kisses Irene passionately, causing her transformation into a Panther who attacks and kills him. When Oliver and Alice arrive at the office Judds, Irena escapes and goes to the zoo. There she opens the cage of a Panther with a stolen key and knocked on the fleeing Panther, who accidentally hit by a car. Next to the cage of a Panther, Oliver and Alice found a dead Panther lying on the ground. Oliver says, "she never lied to us."


2.1. Production. The concept. (Концепция)

Cat people was the first production for producer Val Lewton, who was a journalist, novelist and poet turned story editor for David O. Selznick. RKO pictures has hired Lewton to shoot horror movies with a budget of $150.000 to titles provided by the Studio.


2.2. Production. Casting. (Кастинг)

The Los Angeles times reported in August 1942 that Jack Holt was cast in a supporting part, after Simone Simons casting as the lead. Simon was cast in the role of Irena Dubrovna with producer Lewton. Simon, a star in his native country of France recently came to prominence in the United States for her role in the film the Devil and Daniel Webster 1941.

Opposite Simon, Kent Smith was cast as Oliver reed, a ship painter who falls in love with Irena, while Tom Conway was cast as Dr. Judd, the psychiatrist who evaluates Irena, and initially believes her fears delusional. Jane Randolph, then a young actress who has recently started his career in films, was cast as Alice Moore, the woman fighting for the affection of Olivers.


2.3. Production. Shooting. (Съемки)

The film was shot from 28 July to 21 August 1942, in RKOs Gower-Gulch studios in Hollywood. Sets left over from previous, higher-budget RKO production, in particular, ladders from a great Know been used. The total budget was 141.659 $of$7.000 under budget. Held at the Royal palm hotel more photos in downtown Los Angeles, where movies pool sequence was shot, the location was chosen production team as the indoor pool had the appropriate claustrophobic atmosphere.

It is well documented that Simon was often at odds with the stars, and Tourneur while shooting and displays significant. Actress Jane Randolph recalled that Simon often replay it during their scenes together to the point that Tourneur was facing Simon: "he really yelled at her in French," Randolph remembered. "And shes wrong." Randolph also said Simon deliberately pouring coffee on one of his suits to stop production during the day.

Towards the end of filming the movie "cat People", was for two crews to finish the picture on time, one night, filming the animals, and one during the day with the cast.


2.4. Production. Cinematography. (ВГИК)

Cat people was the first collaboration with Director Tourneur and cinematographer Nicholas Musuraca. Later, their collaboration on the RKOs out of the past 1947 again be regarded as seminal for its genre, in this case film Noir.

Much has been said about Luton and Tourneurs to use shadows instead of the real monster in the film. This is very much unlike competing horror films produced by universal at the time. J. P. Tollette in his book dreams of darkness: fantasy and the films of Val Lewton speaks of the importance of a wide use of shadows in the film:

During class our creative participation, the absence of marked dark spots says about the fundamental – and disturbing – relationship between man and his world: it signals a black hole or vacant meaning in the physical realm which, in spite of Mans natural desire to fill it with consciousness and significance, constantly worried about it remains open.


3. Release. (Релиз)

Cat people had its premiere at the Rialto theatre in Manhattan on December 5, 1942. It was released on the regional level the following day in new York, on December 6, 1942, to the rise for Christmas. It held its premiere in Los Angeles on 14 January 1943 in theater Hawaii. It was released theatrical in the 1952 RKO pictures.


3.1. Release. The checkout. (Кассе)

Photos cash charges are disputed. Film historian Edmund Bansak estimated the box office for cat People 4 million domestically and $4 million in foreign markets, almost 60 times compared to the estimated budget of $134.000. Film historian Chris Fujiwara and Joel Siegel also supply the domestic box office of $ 4 million. Variety praised his Bicycle in 1943 1.2 million dollars. But the film historian Richard Jewell specifically rejects the claim Bansak, Fugiwara, and Siegel, saying that the film was a domestic gross in the amount of 535.000 and domestic profit of $183.000.


3.2. Release. Critical response. (Критическая реакция)

At the time of its original release, the reviews for cat people was mixed. Critic monthly film Bulletin stated that "cat people" was "a fantastic story, enough trained and directed." Variety said that the film "well-made on moderate budget cost" and relies on "achievements of surprises confined to psychology and mental reactions, not the transformation to grotesque and marauding characters for visual impact on the audience". Variety also added that the script will "hazy for the average audience in several instances, the temptations – in a straight horror, at least – should exercise their digits a bit more freely than Simon Simon". Reviewer in Sale found the film "a grim and ruthless. dose of horror is best suited to addicts past the curable stage," and noted that the film was "definitely not for children, young or old. Potent stuff, right from the psychopathic hospital."

Modern appraisal

In 1981, Richard Combs, monthly film Bulletin compared the film with hostility to other Lewton productions, saying that "it is, perhaps, prefer a softer, much less furtive fantasy curse of the cat people, and even to reconcile the ambitions of a Ghost ship ".

Critic Roger Ebert included the film in their list of "great movies" in 2006.


3.3. Release. Home media. (Домашний медиа)

In the United States, cat people and its sequel curse of the cat people was released in 2005 as a double feature DVD or as part of a collection of horror Val Lewton on DVD. In December 2016, "cat People" was re-released on DVD and Blu-ray from the criterion collection. Foreign DVD editions were released in France as La cats, Spain in La mujer Pantera and German Katzenmenschen, while in the UK, the film was licensed and released on DVD Odeon entertainment of OEG.


4.1. Related work. Sequel and remakes. (Продолжение и ремейки)

Lewton agreed to produce a follow-up film the Curse of the cat people, which was also written by DeWitt bodeen and released in 1944. This film has retained Kent Smith and Jane characters Randolphs, and showed Simon as a Ghost or else as an imaginary friend couples young daughter.

A remake of the first film, Director Paul Schrader starring: Nastassja Kinski, Malcolm McDowell, John heard and Annette OToole was released in 1982.

In March 1999, the second remake of the film was announced as a joint production between universal pictures and Overbrook entertainment. The proposed remake that was written by Rafael Moreu will be updated to our days and is located in new York.


4.2. Related work. Other movies. (Другие фильмы)

Another film of the Lewton / Bodin, the seventh victim, was produced in 1943, and features Tom Conway in new York Dr. city psychiatrist Louis Judd. In the seventh victim, Judd tells the poet that he once knew that the mysterious woman was actually "raving lunatic" is mentioned Irena Dubrovna, although Judds character was killed in "cat People" that makes the relationship between two fictional stories to the rambling. In notes and early drafts of the script, Conways character mentioned as "Mr. Siegfried", film critics believe that the characters name was changed to create continuity between the two films, in order to capitalize on the man-cats success.


5. Heritage. (Наследие)

Cat people is a modern recognized as a milestone in the horror genre, and according to scientists, such as Chris Fujiwara as a "master-text" Tourneurs filmography. Fujiwara suggests that the film "is so famous that it has inevitably suffered a backlash, and now could even be called undervalued". The film was credited in inventing a narrative technique known as the Lewton bus, stemming from the scene where Alice is chasing Irene on the street - in the time of the peak of tension during the scene, the silence broken, that at first sounds like a hissing Panther, but showed only a bus stop. The term bus Lewton came to describe the moments in which tension is dissipated on striking moment.

On the review aggregator rotten tomatoes "cat People" has a rating of 93% based on 46 reviews and average rating of 8.4 / 10. Its consensus reads: "an influential Noir Director Jacques Tourneau infused this sexy, Moody horror film with some sly commentary about the psychology and the taboos of desire." William K. Everson devotes an entire Chapter to the film and its successor the curse of the cat people in his book classics of the horror film. Paul Taylor in time noticed the principle Lewtons "horrors imagined rather than seen", its "chilling set pieces directed to perfection by Tourneur" and Simons "I feel great about it". Guide with movie appreciated cast films:

Were great with Simon and filled with pity and chills, "cat People" is a Testament to the power of suggestion and the priority of imagination over budget in the creation of a great movie. The film was Lewtons biggest hit, its viewers lured in such bombastic advertising as "Kiss me and ill claw you to death!" a – line darker than anything that has ever appeared on the screen.

Bravo awarded the films stalk scene the 97th spot on their "100 scariest movie moments", while Channel 4 awarded places on the 94th place on the "100 greatest scary moments" list.

In 1993, the "cat People" was selected for preservation in the national registry of films at the Library of Congress as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". Also, new Yorks Museum of modern art retains a copy of the film in their collection.

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Encyclopedic dictionary

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