Best of… Series – 1942 – Cat People

Cat People (Jacques Tourneur, 1942)

When Jane Randolph’s character, scared by some questionable noises, plunges back into the indoor swimming pool she had just exited and feverishly wades about, hearing the echos of a nearing figure and seeing the reflection of the rippling water on every inch of the walls that trap her, I knew I was witnessing one of the most intense scenes ever. It is followed by a chase scene where the characters walk quickly down the street, with the camera focusing on the pursuer and pursuee’s feminine legs, lit by each passing streetlamp, accompanied only by the sound of their heels hitting the pavement.

Jealousy and rage seep through almost every scene of the latter half of this film, but in such a way that is extremely subtle (mostly thanks to Simone Simon’s great performance). The ambiguity of the film’s central cat people mythology haunts everyone involved – does Simon’s character actually transform into a cat, or is she mentally unstable to the point that she can lead everyone else to question their sanity as well?  9.25/10

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2 Responses to “Best of… Series – 1942 – Cat People”

  1. I’m glad you liked it!

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