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directed by Alfred Shaughnessy

UK 1957

 

This not-so-subtle variation on Val Lewton's classic Cat People (1942) is enlivened by the presence of exotic Barbara Shelley -- who would later grace many Hammer Studios productions (most notably Terence Fisher's Dracula -- Prince of Darkness) with her feline beauty. Shelley plays Leonora, a woman who believes she has inherited a curse which will transform her spirit into the body of a ferocious, man-eating leopard. Though her disbelieving psychiatrist (Robert Ayres) tries to persuade her that this belief is merely a by-product of her rage toward her unfaithful husband, the vengeful "phantom" cat she releases from her subconscious triggers the curse and spells doom not only for those who betrayed her, but perhaps for Leonora's own soul as well. Despite a superb performance by the smoldering Shelley and noir-ish direction from Alfred Shaughnessy (though nothing to compete with that of Jacques Tourneur), it's hard to overlook the obvious parallels to Lewton's film, which outclasses it in nearly every respect and makes the entire effort seem unnecessary. Produced by British Lion, this film was later distributed in the United States by the ubiquitous American International Pictures, sometimes under the title Cat Woman.

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 1957

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DVD Review: Network - Region 2 - PAL

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Distribution

Network

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:12:51 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.99 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

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Network

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Trailer (2:02)

• Stills Gallery

Promotional Material PDF

DVD Release Date: March 24th, 2014
Slim Transparent case

Chapters 12

 

Comments

Another impressive image transfer from Network via a modest, single-layered, progressive rendering. It has a high bitrate for SD. Cat Girl is an imperfect effort but I found enough to enjoy and complete my viewing. It evokes all the cat-female related film, past and future. Effects are weak (a few shots of a leopard.)

The visuals are consistent and clean with decent contrast supporting acceptable detail. No real complaints about the film's image quality - accepting I would have thought it was shown widescreen theatrically. There is no damage or excessive speckles. The audio is a bit scattered but has no unforgivable flaws. No subtitles are offered.

Supplements include a trailer, stills gallery and the disc has a PDF with some promotional material (accessible through your computer's DVD drive.)

Again, I am voicing possessiveness for these Network packages (only 5 GBP). Fans, like myself, will get to see this cute, flawed 50's horror - providing a strong video appearance. Sold!

  - Gary Tooze

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Network

Region 2 - PAL

 



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