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Cat People / The Curse of the Cat People (Horror Double Feature)

4.6 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Cat People, The/Curse of the Cat People (DVD) (Multi-Title)

The studio gave Val Lewton small budgets and lurid pre-tested film titles. Lewton, working with rising filmmakers and emphasizing fear of the unseen, turned meager resources into momentous works of psychological terror. Directed by Jacques Tourneur, Cat People is the trailblazing first of Lewton's nine horror classics. Simone Simon portrays a bride who fears an ancient hex will turn her into a deadly panther when she's in passion's grip. Simon returns in The Curse of the Cat People, a sequel in title and a landmark study of a troubled child in fact. Robert Wise makes his directing debut, co-helming a gothic-laced mix of fantasy and fright so astute it was used in college psychology classes.



Val Lewton's name is synonymous with the subtlest, most mysterious brand of horror filmmaking in Hollywood's golden age, and the nine horror classics he produced at RKO between 1942 and 1946 constitute the most remarkable cycle of creativity in B-movie history. He and director Jacques Tourneur scored with both a popular hit and a masterpiece in 1942: Cat People. The story involves a pretty young Serbian woman in Manhattan (Simone Simon) convinced that her ancestors had practiced animal worship during the Middle Ages--and that she herself might shape-change into a lithe, ravening panther if her passions were aroused. The film is uncannily successful in keeping the viewer guessing whether this is a phobia borne of morbid obsession and sexual repression, or a genuine, horrific possibility. There are two sequences of matchless artistry and almost unbearable suspense--a lonely, echoing walk through pools of lamplight alongside Central Park, and a late-night swim in a deserted indoor pool--that build to throat-grabbing climaxes and remain milestones in the history of screen horror. The Curse of the Cat People (1944), a sequel that is not quite a sequel, is a pretend-horror movie that's really a contemplation of the fragility of childhood. --Richard Jameson

Special Features

Audio Commentary: by Greg Mank with Simone SimonAudio Commentary: by Greg Mank with Simone Simon

Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Turner Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 4, 2005
  • Run Time: 143 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000A0GOF0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,595 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cat People / The Curse of the Cat People (Horror Double Feature)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bobby Underwood VINE VOICE on June 1, 2006
Format: DVD
Producer Val Lewton was forced to work with a small budget during his time with RKO, but faced with financial contraints and lack of star power, he hooked up with director Jacques Tourneur to create several horror films that many decades later are still considered the finest ever made in the genre. "Cat People" is one of those films. While "Curse of the Cat People" often gets lumped with these horror classics, this Robert Wise directed film is more fantasy and mood than horror.

Both Kent Smith and Jane Randolph return in this quasi-sequel but it is young Ann Carter as their daughter Amy who is at the center of this film. The memory of the tormented Irena hovers over every frame. Once again Simone Simon becomes a presence in the life of Reed when his young daughter Amy begins to retreat into a world of her own. But it may be more than mere fantasy despite her loving father's refusal to believe.

There is almost a magical and somewhat haunting feel to this exploration of a child's mind and what is real and what is not. Just as in "Cat People" where you ached to believe in the curse surrounding Irena (Simone Simon), Lewton and Wise create a bridge between Amy's imagination and Irena's presence in which the viewer wants desperately to believe. This is a very special film with a mood unlike the horror films Lewton made. It stands on its own, however, and should not be dismissed.

A far different creature entirely is the original "Cat People." Lewton and Tourneur let the imagination of the viewer make up the horror, as everything is in the unseen. It was a device they would use in several films and it always worked.
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Format: DVD
Oliver Reed (Kent Smith) was strolling through the zoo, minding his own business, when suddenly, there she was, sketching a black panther! Her name was Irena (Simone Simon). Oliver was immediately captivated by her, unable to think of anything / anyone else. What was it about this shy young girl? What secrets floated behind those eyes? Oliver soon married Irena. That's when the trouble began. CAT PEOPLE is Tourneur's masterwork of love, longing, guilt, and fear. Irena is a tragic figure, doomed by her own inner terrors and torments. Oliver loves her, but cannot understand Irena's beliefs or her obsessive dread over consummating their marriage. Does she really believe that she'll turn into a cat? How can she think this way and still be sane? Enter Dr. Judd (Tom "I Walked With A Zombie" Conway), a psychiatrist who sees Irena. He figures that it's all in her head. Is it? Oliver turns to his friend, Alice (Jane Randolph) for solice. Irena is suspicious and reveals who / what she truly is. This is one of those movies that uses strong characters and atmosphere to build suspense and tell the story. Irena is unforgettable! CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE takes place four years after Irena's final trip to the panther cage. Oliver and Alice are married and have a daughter. The little girl is very imaginative and has a "friend" that no one else can see. She meets an old woman who lives in a big house. The two are fast friends, causing great pain for the woman's own alienated daughter. Oliver is increasingly worried about his daughter's fantasy life, especially when she tells him that her invisible friend's name is Irena! I like this one a lot. Instead of being a typical sequel full of rushed ideas and hollywood garbage, COTCP is completely different in both storyline and approach. It's more of a ghost story through the eyes of a child. This double bill is well worth owning. Each film is a classic...
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Format: DVD
Since usually my family is hogging the DVD player, I don't get to much of a chance to watch films, that are of the 'horror' genre. My wife in particular, hates these kind of films (some nonsense about "having bad dreams"). Well, the other night the wifey was out for the evening and the little one was safely tucked into bed. It was a perfect time to become a couch potato with a great, creepy DVD double feature of Val Lewton's "Cat People" and its' sequel, "The Curse of the Cat People". For those who don't know their film history, Lewton was the legendary Producer of a series of classic, low budget, horror/supernatural flicks for RKO Pictures in the 1940's. Because of their small budgets, these films depended more on good writing and haunting atmospherics, rather then the usual corny, special effects to scare audiences. Lewton's movies might have at the time been considered "B-films", but they were extremely well made and most effective. The first film is the classic "Cat People". In the film, Ollie Reed (Kent Smith) meets Serbian born, Irena Dubrovna (Simone Simon) at the panther cage of the local city zoo. She is a beautiful, yet lonely woman. The two become a couple and very soon are married. But their happiness is short lived. Irena seems obsessed with folk stories from her Serbian village's past about a race of evil people, who can change into cats. At first Ollie just laughs these obsessions off as a joke. But soon he realizes something is seriously wrong, when his new wife refuses to consummate their marriage out of fear, that her erotic passions will turn her into one of these feline creatures and kill him. Things become even more dangerous, when Ollie seeks emotional comfort from female co-worker, Alice Moore (Jane Randolph). The two soon realize they are being stalked by something.Read more ›
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