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I Bet You Didn't See... The Curse of the Cat People

Updated: Jan 13

Contains Spoilers!!!

The Curse of the Cat People is the 1944 sequel to 1942’s Cat People. The basic plot is that some six years after the events of the first film Amy Reed (Ann Carter), the daughter of Oliver (Kent Smith) and Alice (Jane Randolph), is lonely and doesn’t get along with the other children in her school. In her loneliness she is visited by the ghost of Irena (Simone Simon), Oliver’s ex-wife. Amy eventually shares the fact her new friend is Irena and is the same as the lady in some photos of her father she has found, and Oliver isn’t happy. Between punishing Amy for continuing the ‘fantasy’ and not trying harder to ingratiate herself with the other children, Oliver is desperate for his daughter to stop talking about his ex-wife. Amy is also visiting an old house lived in by a retired actress (Julia Dean), who is your classic turn-of-the-century, fallen-from-grace actress who still thinks she is a big deal. She is cared for by her daughter, who the actress refuses to accept is her daughter for reasons that are never shared and she befriends Amy. This is purely a plot point to allow Amy to have somewhere to run to later in the film.

Irena (Simon) and Amy (Carter)

Apart from the same characters as the first film, that is as far as the link between the two goes. It makes no sense, has nothing to do with the curse Irena suffers from in Cat People and the purpose of the weird actress and her house is none-existent to the actual film bar a story-tool.

Sequels were not unheard of in cinema in the 1940’s but had not been something that was frequently done. In fact, this first sequel was in 1918. However, The Curse of the Cat People is an example of how sequels still had a long way to go. It wasn’t until the 1970s and the likes of The Godfather: Part 2 that sequels became a regular successful venture.

The Curse of the Cat People is not worth it. In my experience, any sequel that is called ‘The Curse of…’ or ‘The Return of…’ are not good films! Look out for my upcoming reviews on The Return of the Fly and its follow up, The Curse of the Fly.

Sorry Irena, it wasn't worth coming back for.

Directed by: Robert Wise, Gunther von Fritsch

Screenplay by: DeWitt Bodeen, Val Lewton (uncredited)

Starring: Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Jane Randolph, Ann Carter

Released: March 2, 1944

My Rating: 2/10

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