Cat people 1942 review
By Aidan Codd.
The film is about a woman who lives in America who believes that she has been cursed to turn into a cat,she believes this happens to her if she kisses her husband or becomes jealous she turns into a black panther like creature. I liked throughout the film the symbolism of cats, reference’s to panthers even the behaviour of a cat. For example she gets given a pet bird and you see her try taking it out of the cage, but as you see her trying to get it you see her long nails going back and forth from the cage trying to grasp the bird almost like a cat would do . You see lots of pet cats everywhere in different locations throughout the film, also the main lady is wearing a big black fur coat adding more emphasise of a cat or panther.
At the end she goes to the zoo outside her house and opens the panther’s cage and it kills her. Its almost ironic that she gets killed by the thing that she has became, and its almost the last stand of fighting her demon’s and trying to redeem herself of killing uncontrollably in her cat like state. These are a few review’s that share a similar view on the film.
Irena and Oliver announce their engagement at a party in a restaurant, where an inexplicable and disturbing thing happens: She is approached by a strange woman (Elizabeth Russell), who affects a cat-like appearance and addresses her in Serbian, calling her "sister." We never see this woman again, but her spectre haunts the movie. Are there lesbian notes in her approach to Irena? Perhaps in the sense that she is a powerful animal who challenges Oliver's right to claim a mate?
Curiously, Alice, Irena and Oliver continue as friends, although there is a giveaway moment when they visit a museum together. As he suggests that Irena look at an upstairs exhibit, Oliver uses the word "we" to refer to himself and Alice, not Irena. This slip betrays him. Later that night, Alice goes for a plunge in the swimming pool at her residential club, and in a genuinely terrifying sequence she treads water in the deserted pool while ... something ... growls and paces, and then she screams. Notice how light reflected from the surface of the pool causes unsettling patterns to creep along the walls.
Lewton and Tourneur give us evidence of a cat--or something catlike in motion--lurking just around corners. But they show us nothing concrete. In one scene, a woman is walking along a dark sidewalk. She hears rustling and fears something is out there. From out of nowhere a bus pulls up between her and the audience, letting out a loud and sudden squeal from its breaks. It's the one time Lewton allowed himself an easy scare, but the scene is eerily effective. There are other great scenes that make astonishing visuals out of cheap sets, as in the swimming pool scene and the architects' office, playing with light in the pool water and desktops. The cat is unseen on the periphery in both scenes, and it's terrifying.http://www.combustiblecelluloid.com/catpeop.shtml