Cat People, 1942

It is an American horror movie under the direction of Jacques Tourneur. The movie tells the tale of Irena Dubrovna, the newly wedded Serbian fashion illustrator who is obsessed with the thought that she was descended from the early tribe of the Cat People who had metamorphosed to black panthers if being aroused.

Cast Lists

Kent Smith acted as Oliver Reed

Tom Conway acted as Dr. Louis Judd

Jane Randolph acted as Alice Moore

Simone Simon acted as Irena Dubrovna

Jack Holt acted as the ‘Commodore’ C.R. Cooper

Uncredited Casts

Alec Craig acted as the Zookeeper

Theresa Harris acted as Minnie, the waitress

Elizabeth Russell acted as Cat Woman

Steve Soldi acted as an organ grinder

Dot Farley acted as Mrs. Agnew

Alan Napier acted as ‘Doc’ Carver

John Piffle acted as proprietor at The Belgrade


At a Central Park Zoo, located in New York City, the Serbian-born style illustrator Irena Dubrovna is making sketches of the Black Panther. She grabbed the attention of Oliver Reed, a marine engineer, who started the conversation. Irena invited him to the apartment for a tea. At the apartment, Oliver was intrigued by the statue of the medieval warrior at a horseback impaling the big cat with a sword. Irena informed Oliver that this figure is the King of Serbia, King John and that this cat represents evil. Base of the long time ago legend, the Christian humanity of her home town slowly turned into a devil and witchcraft worship after being imprisoned by the Mameluks. During the time that King John drove a Mameluks out and then saw what the villagers had been, he had them slain. But, “the most wicked and wisest of all” escaped into the hills.

Oliver has been dismissive about the legend, although Irena clearly takes it seriously. Oliver bought her the kitten, but when she met her, it hisses. Then, Irena suggested that they go to a pet shop to return it. The moment they come in the shop, these shop animals went wild with her presence, and then Irena became uneasy. Irena slowly revealed to Oliver then that she believed she has been descended from cat people of their village, and that when aroused to passion, she will transform into a panther. Despite this, Oliver asked to marry her and she agreed. During the wedding dinner at The Belgrade, one Serbian bistro, the cat-like woman walked over and addressed Irena as the Moya sestra (“my sibling/sister”). Irena did not consummate the wedding, fearful of the possible consequence. Oliver had been patient with her, however, he gradually persuaded her to see Dr. Louis Judd, a psychiatrist. Judd tried to convince her about her fears that stem from her childhood traumas. In the mean time, Irena was unhappy to find out that Oliver had been confided with Alice Moore, his assistant. Alice confessed to Oliver about his feeling for him.

When Irena had the chance to see Alice and Oliver seated together in a bistro, she followed Alice upon going home. Just as when Alice heard the menacing sound, the bus pulls up then she boarded it. Soon after, the groundskeeper discovered some freshly slay sheep. The paw printed leading away, turned into imprints of the lady’s shoes. Irena returned to the apartment looking exhausted and dishevelled; she was shown shortly after weeping in a bathtub. Irena dreamt of Dr. Judd clothe in as the King John talking of “the key”. Then, she later stole the key from a panther’s cage in the Central Park. Alice, Irena, and Oliver visited the museum, and Irena was angered when these two virtually ignored her. That night, when Alice decided to use the swimming pool in the basement of the apartment building, she was stalked by the animal.

Writer’s Opinion

When the American fell in love with the Serbian immigrant who told him of the ancient curse of her family, he refused to believe in the tale of the supernatural enchantments. But, when the relationship turned out sour and he fell-in love with another woman, he realized that he may be wrong anyway…

That is the basic plot from the Val Lewton-produced terrifying movie, and like the other Lewton-made horror movies, this one is understated and atmospheric secrecy that works to progress the spell-bindingly sinister idea instead of depending on the on-screen shocks or the aged horror stars. Indeed, lots of those well-remembered set-parts in the movie do no really show anything, but work well, like the shifting shadows, the well-timed interval of the sudden loud noise. The story itself has been rather lacking and slight, and it is fair to comment that the movie has dated somewhat with the years gone by. But still, the movie is worth to watch for those that are interested about how the horror movie has developed through the years.

You May Also Read:

Pearl, 2022

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *