Saturday, February 13, 2010

walk on the wild side (1962)

A melodrama staring Jane Fonda amongst others. The most interesting part of the film is the opening title sequence, (by Saul Bass), where a black tom strolls nonchalantly around before picking a fight with a white cat. The slow tracking shots serve to emphasise the grace and majesty of the cat, which is shockingly juxtaposed with the viciousness and brutality of the fight, revealing the cat as a the truly wild animal it really is, as opposed to the pet we would like to believe we own.

that darn cat! (1997)

D. C. (Darn Cat)
Patti Randall (Christina Ricci) is a disaffected 16 year old living in a dull New England town who dreams of some excitement happening. Then Lizzie, the maid of a wealthy woman is kidnapped and the search for the kidnappers hones in on Patti's town. So when DC comes home with a strange watch wrapped round his neck, Patti is convinced this is a clue to the whereabouts of the kidnapped maid. Assigned a novice FBI Agent Kelso (Doug E. Doug) the chase is on to follow DC wherever he goes.
Elvis who stars as DC runs rings around the human actors and is by far the star of this update of the 1965 film.

that darn cat! (1965)

D. C. (Darn Cat)
DC is an adventurous tom who lives with Ingrid (Dorothy Provine) and Patti Randall (Hayley Mills). DC is the only one who knows where a couple of bank robbers are holding a bank employee hostage. FBI agent Zeke Kelso (Dean Jones) is assigned the task of following DC in the hope he will lead them back to their hideout, but DC manages to lead them a merry dance until he saves the day.
Syn Cat, for that is the cats real name also starred in Disney's 1963 film The Incredible Journey.

the three lives of thomasina (1964)

Set in Scotland in 1912, Andrew MacDhui (Patrick McGoohan) is a standoffish veterinarian, with a seven year old daughter Mary (Karen Dotrice), who owns a cat Thomasina (voiced by Elspeth March). Andrew mistakenly has Thomasina put to sleep following an accident, but the cat survives, (after an out of body trip to see Bast in cat heaven). This rocks Mary's faith in her father. Eventually Thomasina is taken in by "Mad Lori" MacGregor (Susan Hampshire), who nurses her back to health, though Thomasina now remembers nothing of her life with Mary. Will she remember her past life in time to heal the rift between father and daughter and be reunited with Mary? Well it is a Disney film!

the cat from outer space (1978)

Zunar-J-5/9 Doric-4-7, or Jake.
A spacecraft crashes on earth and its occupant has to find some "Org 12" (known to us as gold) so that his craft may get back to the mother ship. To do so Jake asks Dr. Frank Wilson (Ken Barry) to help, to comic effect. In the end he decides to stay on earth, in part because of Frank's girlfriend Liz (Sandy Duncan), and her cat Lucy.

eye of the cat (1969)

To many to name.
A wealthy, eccentric woman is dying of emphysema and has decided to leave all her money to her cats. Kassia (Gayle Hunnicutt), the woman's hairdresser, learns of this and hatches a plot to rob her before she dies and involves Wylie (Michael Sarrazin), the woman's estranged nephew. Unfortunately the one spoke in the wheel is that the aunts dozens of cats, as Wylie is terrified of cats. To appease him the aunt decides to get rid of the cats, having the younger nephew dump them far away. But obviously, given the name of the film, the cat's aren't going to take this lying down.
The film is a little slow to start, whilst it sets out the premise, but from Wylie's entry back in the house it ably builds suspense on a number of occasions, in this Hitchcockesque thriller with a twist.

alien (1979)

Jonesy, the ships cat.
The crew set down on a hostile planet to investigate what is thought to be an SOS. They end up under attack from an alien creature, hiding in the bowels of the ship. Something that Jonesy watches with detachment. Survives thanks to Signorney Weaver's character Ripley who tracks him down and takes him with her when she blows the ship up. So good he returned with her in the sequel.