CAT PEOPLE
1942, Warner Bros., 73 min, USA, Dir: Jacques Tourneur

Serbian immigrant Irena (Simone Simon) can’t bring herself to bed new husband Oliver (Kent Smith) for fear she will transform into a cat, as her homeland’s fables warn. When hubby sends her to a psychiatrist, Irena’s problems only worsen, until her demons come clawing and growling to the surface. Jacques Tourneur’s darkly stylish, genuinely frightening horror-noir is laced with subversive sexual undertones, and was the high point of his estimable collaborations with producer Val Lewton at RKO.


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