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(aka "La Mujer Pantera")

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/Tourneur.htm
USA 1942

Tourneur's 1942 Cat People is one of those rare films that has an indefinable appeal - it unwittingly achieved cultish status while leaving a very long-lasting impression on those who see it. It expressed its unusual plot with such a degree of garish suspense while at the same time underachieving the lurid posters that drew its crowds to the theatre. With a low budget and virtually no special effects it is still quite haunting even by modern standards. There is a slight inference of feline/feminine disdain and outright fear of women, but its is a bit of a stretch. The feminine mystique of the film is till very prevalent though and perhaps this is its appeal. With a macguffin-like horror  that is never disclosed and it has under-discussed origins. Because of its age Cat People would be easy to dismiss with poor production values and unrealistic performances, but the hidden appeal of the film does not seem to diminish even when you become impatiently aware of these limitations. Probably its biggest flaw is that it is too short... hence the sequel; The Curse of the Cat People. Cat People contains many basic elements of screen horror that are obviously duplicated today and my many is regarded as a clandestine classic. I agree.

Gary W. Tooze

Posters

Theatrical Release: November 16th, 1942

Reviews       More Reviews      DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Warner Video (Val Lewton Horror Double Feature part of) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Manga Films - Region 2 - PAL - NTSC vs. Editions Montparnasse (Jacques Tourneur Box) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Kinowelt (Arthaus Collection #11) - Region 2- PAL

Big thanks to Pieter Boven for the Montparnasse screen captures!

1) Warner's Video (Val Lewton Horror Double Feature part of) - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT

2) Manga Films - Region 2 - PAL - NTSC SECOND

3) Editions Montparnasse (Jacques Tourneur Box) - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Kinowelt (Arthaus Collection # 11) - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT

 

DVD Box Covers

 

Cat People and Curse of the Cat people come together individually as well as in the Lewton Boxset

Comes in the Val Lewton Horror Collection (Cat People / The Curse of the Cat People / I Walked with a Zombie / The Body Snatcher / Isle of the Dead / Bedlam / The Leopard Man / The Ghost Ship / The Seventh Victim / Shadows in the Dark) :

           

Distribution

Warner's Video

Region 1 - NTSC

Manga Films

Region 2 - PAL

Editions Montparnasse

Region 2 - PAL

Kinowelt

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1.12.38 1:12:30 (4% PAL speedup) 1:12:21 (4% PAL speedup) 1:09:03 (4% PAL speedup)
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
1.33:1.00 Original Aspect ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.6 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.64 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 9.11 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Warner

Bitrate:

Manga

 

Bitrate:

 

Montparnasse

 

Bitrate:

 

Kinowelt

 

Audio English (Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono) English (Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono) , DUB: Spanish (DD 1.0)

English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)

English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), DUB German (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono),
Subtitles English, French, Spanish, None Spanish, and none French, and none German, and none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner's Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by Greg Mank featuring Simone Simon
• Theatrical trailer

 

Comes in the Lewton boxset or individually with Curse of the Cat People see HERE

DVD Release Date: Oct. 4, 2005
Keep Case

Chapters 21

Release Information:
Studio: Manga Films (Spain)

Aspect Ratio:
Original - 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Filmography and Bio of Tourneur and Simon as text screens (in Spanish only)

DVD Release Date:  July 25th, 2000
Keep Case
Chapters: 12

Release Information:
Studio: Editions Montparnasse

Aspect Ratio:
Original - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Cat People (1942) + extras on disc 1
• I Walked with a Zombie (1943) + The Leopard Man (1943) on disc 2
• about 1 hour of interviews, in French without subtitles
• 16 page booklet, in French
• English trailers for Top Hat (1935), She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), Stagecoach (1939)

 

DVD Release Date: November 4, 2003
Custom Box

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Kinowelt

Aspect Ratio:
Original - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Trailer (1:20)

• 12-page booklet with photos and essay (in German)
 

DVD Release Date: September 16th 2010
Hardcover Bookstyle case

Chapters 12

 

Comments:

ADDITION - Kinowelt - Region 2- PAL - December 2010' : Wow, this dual-layered Kinowelt (#11 in their 'Arthaus Collection' series), with extremely high bitrate, has the best image transfer. Contrast and detail dramatically improve over the other PAL discs and it even advances upon the Warner in certain areas. The weakness I would say is that the source is not as polished as the NTSC DVD - with plenty of speckles and noticeable frame-specific scratches. The source seems clean on a surface level but looks to require some form of restoration - this is probably where Warner's digital process is advantageous. Still, aside from light damage, I have never seen Cat People look this crisp. It was such a pleasure to revisit and I'd love to see it reach Blu-ray one day - but this seems improbable anytime soon. I should note that this has a German translated title card (see in the menu samples) and also Dr. Louis Judd quote that prefaces, and ends, the film.

Unfortunately, over the years I believe I have become sensitive to PAL speedup - which I find apparent in the slightly higher-pitched voices (actually the other PAL discs look to be from unconverted NTSC sources). There is a German DUB offered and German subtitles but you can choose original English and no subs as a viewing option. Only a beat up trailer and some Arthaus Collection adverts are extras.

Those very keen on Cat People, not interested in the Warner extras or Lewton box, and are PAL-locked or less-sensitive to the 4% speed-up - this is a very reasonable option (less than $12 USD!) that will supply a wonderful presentation of a pure classic! 

 - Gary W. Tooze

***

ADDITION - Warner (From Lewton Boxset) - Oct 05' : The transfer: This is the type of disc we’ve come to expect from Warner Video. Sharp transfers on both features exhibit some incredible black levels, which properly display these films as “black and white” movies and leave behind the palette of foggy grays as seen on the previous Cat People DVDs. There are moments of occasional print damage, but nothing to complain about. As a double feature, these films couldn’t be more different, but as a crash course in the themes and styles of the Lewton cycle, you couldn’t ask for better.

The audio: Each transfer sounds relatively the same, and depending if you are listening to these through your TV set or through a home sound system, your impressions might vary. Each film is presented with a mono audio track. Played through your set this audio can sound a little flat and muted, but played through a sound system (which I assume it was optimized for) the audio is clear. A picky observation perhaps, but something for you to keep in mind before viewing.

Extras: The commentary by Greg Mank on both films is interesting at first, but Mank seems to run of material as the films movie on. I’m beginning to think that more DVDs would benefit by the style of commentary utilized by the BFI on their Buñuel boxset, wherein the disc skips only to major passages of the film and the commentary takes on a more focused and analytical approach. As an added bonus, Mank utilizes audio clips of the lovely Simone Simon – who sadly passed away earlier this year – with her unmistakable voice ruminating on life behind the scenes. Theatrical trailers are also present.

 - Adam Lemke

***

The Montparnasse is smoother, cleaner and brighter but has taken some of the detail out of the image (see large capture below with "key in lock"). I couldn't spot any edge enhancement or significant contrast boosting in either edition - although I would bet that the Montparnasse has some degree of both. The Montparnasse comes in a Tourneur Boxset with some viable extras in comparison to the Manga. This may not be a deal breaker of transfer disparity for you. Personally, although I like the slightly darker Manga print, I would say overall the Montparnasse is the way to go. It has less grain, but too many pluses to ignore (ex. the 5.1 upgraded audio option and the unsubtitled interviews). Image: my choice is to stick with my slightly sharper and grainier Manga DVD.

NOTE: We seem to have a ratio problem as well as faces look decidedly thinner (fatter on opposing) on the Montparnasse DVD. I have no real way of knowing which is correct.

 - Gary W. Tooze

 


Recommended Reading in Film Noir (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)



DVD Menus

Warner's Video (Val Lewton Horror Double Feature part of) - Region 1 - NTSC

 



(Manga Films - Region 2 - PAL - NTSC LEFT vs. Editions Montparnasse (Jacques Tourneur Box) - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)


 

Kinowelt (Arthaus Collection # 11) - Region 2 - PAL

 


 

Screen Captures

 

1) Warner's Video (Val Lewton Horror Double Feature part of) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Manga Films - Region 2 - PAL - NTSC SECOND

3) Editions Montparnasse (Jacques Tourneur Box) - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Kinowelt (Arthaus Collection # 11) - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner's Video (Val Lewton Horror Double Feature part of) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Manga Films - Region 2 - PAL - NTSC SECOND

3) Editions Montparnasse (Jacques Tourneur Box) - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Kinowelt (Arthaus Collection # 11) - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner's Video (Val Lewton Horror Double Feature part of) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Manga Films - Region 2 - PAL - NTSC SECOND

3) Editions Montparnasse (Jacques Tourneur Box) - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Kinowelt (Arthaus Collection # 11) - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner's Video (Val Lewton Horror Double Feature part of) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Manga Films - Region 2 - PAL - NTSC SECOND

3) Editions Montparnasse (Jacques Tourneur Box) - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Kinowelt (Arthaus Collection # 11) - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Warner's Video (Val Lewton Horror Double Feature part of) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Manga Films - Region 2 - PAL - NTSC SECOND

3) Editions Montparnasse (Jacques Tourneur Box) - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Kinowelt (Arthaus Collection # 11) - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

 


Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Kinowelt

Sound:

Warner

Extras: Warner

 

 

directed by Robert Wise & Gunther V. Fritsch
USA 1944

Officially a sequel to Lewton's 1942 chiller classic Cat People, this has some of the same characters as the previous film but offers a completely different perspective - that of a child. Carter is the disturbed little girl who lives in a dream world, conjuring up an imaginary playmate. Simon is Irena, the ghost of her father's first wife, who nine out of ten cats prefer. Marvellously eloquent, and touchingly accurate in accessing the secret landscape of a child's mind.

Posters

Theatrical Release: 1944

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Adam Lemke for the Review!

Cat People and Curse of the Cat people come together individually as well as in the Lewton Boxset

Comes in the Val Lewton Horror Collection (Cat People / The Curse of the Cat People / I Walked with a Zombie / The Body Snatcher / Isle of the Dead / Bedlam / The Leopard Man / The Ghost Ship / The Seventh Victim / Shadows in the Dark) :

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1.09.46
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Audio Stereo
Subtitles English, Spanish, French, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by Greg Mank, featuring Simone Simon
• Theatrical trailer

DVD Release Date: Oct. 4, 2005
Keep Case

Chapters 21
 

 

  



DVD Menus

 

 


Screen Captures

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

 

DVD Box Covers

 

Cat People and Curse of the Cat people come together individually as well as in the Lewton Boxset

Comes in the Val Lewton Horror Collection (Cat People / The Curse of the Cat People / I Walked with a Zombie / The Body Snatcher / Isle of the Dead / Bedlam / The Leopard Man / The Ghost Ship / The Seventh Victim / Shadows in the Dark) :

           

Distribution

Warner's Video

Region 1 - NTSC

Manga Films

Region 2 - PAL

Editions Montparnasse

Region 2 - PAL

Kinowelt

Region 2 - PAL




 


 

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Gary Tooze