Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Old movie madness - Cat People

Another new thing I'm trying is movie reviews, however because my main reason for watching these old movies is aesthetics I'm afraid these will focus heavily on clothing and hairdos.  Hope thats OK!

Today I decided to watch Cat People (1942), a sort of horror-noir affair by Jacques Tourneur and starring the stunning Simone Simon.  Simon is the cat person in question, playing Irena Dubrowka (later Reed), a Serbian immigrant working as a fashion artist, who is strangely drawn to the big cats at the zoo.  There she meets Oliver Reed (the characters name - not the actor - far too early!), a geeky but warm hearted young artist who escorts her home to her lavish apartment.  There she charms im with her eccentric ways and dark tales of Serbian black magic and cat people, and they agree to meet the following day.  After a short and chaste courtship they wed, but still she will not share a bed with him for fear that she will transform into a cat and brutally kill the man she loves.

I won't ruin the film for you, but lets just say things don't bode well for the couple, with love triangles, hypnotherapy and a dead canary on the way...

The film is impeccably styled.  Simon is perfectly cast, her little cat face making her seem both exotically foreign and sexily feline.  Her outfits accentuate this look, all black astrakhan, velvet and satin with grand 40's shoulders and a tiny waist to show off her cat-like grace and echoing the pelt of the panther she so relates to.  Her movements are perfect to, from slinking elegance to kitten-like darting eyes.

Her hair is very cutesy with a large waved and rolled bang that I am dying to try and accessorised with a little scarf at all times.  There were many other great dos in the film.  I adore the big curly blonde do.

I also love Alice's swimming costume - so of its time.

And just look at the shoulders on this swing coat!

I thoroughly enjyed this movie - it was sad but a real romp at the same time.  I'm hoping to get hold of the sequel soon!


  1. I loved reading this post - a film review with a right-up-my-street twist. More, more, more!

    Merry Christmas!

  2. This is my FAVORITE Val Lewton horror film. I am a total classic horror nerd. However, you will be sad that Simone is not heavily featured in the sequel. I also adore the hair of the older Cat woman she mysteriously meets in the restaurant.

  3. that's great Lisa! very useful review, I shall order this film now as it seems to have what it takes to tickle my fancies!