Cat People (1942) | Criterion

 

For October’s B-Movies issue–just in time for spooky season–we’re casting an eye back toward RKO darling Val Lewton and director Jacques Tourneur’s Cat People (1942), one of the studio’s most successful forays into low-budget, low-runtime horror. Joining us is film critic and curator, and Artistic Director of Indie Memphis, Miriam Bale. Listen as we historicize our love for Cat People back to Martin Scorsese’s endorsement (“psychosexual!”) in A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies (1995), lament the scourge of work wives, and admire this film’s timeless restraint (while appreciating the comparative verve of Paul Schrader’s remake).

Further reading: Geoffrey O’Brien on Cat People’s insightful ambiguity, Karina Longworth on Val Lewton’s work at RKO, and Martin Scorsese on B-Movies and Jacques Tourneur.

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The Bright Wall/Dark Room Podcast is co-hosted by Veronica Fitzpatrick and Chad Perman and produced & edited by Eli Sands. Our theme music is composed by Chad.

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