Wednesday, May 2, 2012


For 1957 here's a rewriting of CAT PEOPLE: CAT GIRL, written by the same scripter who wrote THE SHE CREATURE the previous year.

Leonora, played by a young Barbara Shelley, is a woman dominated and marginalized by the men in her life-- her husband, her former boyfriend (and later, psychiatrist), and her uncle.  The uncle informs that Leonora that their family is heir to a curse.  Victims of said curse share a mutual identity with a killer beast, in this case a wild leopard.  When the uncle dies, Leonora gains a mysterious communion with the leopard, and finds that she can wield control over the beast, and make it kill-- for instance, her cheating husband.

On the NATURALISTIC UNCANNY MARVELOUS blog I've written a fuller review of CAT GIRL. In part I noted one way in which I preferred it to CAT PEOPLE:

CAT GIRL isn’t as stylishly directed as CAT PEOPLE; Alfred Shaughnessy is never more than simply competent. However, though most critics prefer CAT PEOPLE’s script for its ambivalence as to the existence of the supernatural, I find that sort of ambivalence tedious. I like the way CAT GIRL shows up the conceit and pretension of patriarchal society, as represented by Richard and Brian, by showing the profundity of the world of feelings to which women are sensitive—and, by extension, the reality of Leonora’s shared identity with a prehuman creature.

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