Review: ‘Cat People’

This is a weird drama of thrill-chill caliber, with developments of surprises confined to psychology and mental reactions, rather than transformation to grotesque and marauding characters for visual impact on the audiences. Picture is well-made on moderate budget outlay.

This is a weird drama of thrill-chill caliber, with developments of surprises confined to psychology and mental reactions, rather than transformation to grotesque and marauding characters for visual impact on the audiences. Picture is well-made on moderate budget outlay.

Story is one of those it-might-happen dramas, if an old Serbian legend be true. Fable has it that women descendants of a certain tribe, when projected into a jealous rage, change into panthers or other members of the cat family for attack, later reverting to human form.

Script, although hazy for the average audience in several instances, carries sufficient punch in the melodramatic sequences to hold it together in good style. Picture is first feature directed by Jacques Tourneur. He does a fine job with a most difficult assignment.

Cat People

Production

RKO. Director Jacques Tourneur; Producer Val Lewton; Screenplay DeWitt Bodeen; Camera Nicholas Musuraca; Editor Mark Robson; Music Roy Webb;; Art Director Albert S. D'Agostino, Walter E. Keller

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1942. Running time: 73 MIN.

With

Simone Simon Kent Smith Tom Conway Jane Randolph Jack Holt Alan Napier
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