Movie Review: The Shadow of the Cat (1961)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1961 movie about a cat seeking revenge for the murder of her mistress.

Synopsis: A wealthy woman is murdered by her husband and servants and buried in the woods. As her killers search for her will, they discover an unexpected obstacle, her pet cat, which is seeking revenge after witnessing her brutal death. This leads to a confrontation as the villains try to capture and kill the cat before it kills them or drives them insane, something that does not go unnoticed by the woman’s niece.

A Great Movie for Cat Lovers

Despite getting a late start, my oldest daughter and I had a chance to have our weekly movie night and, since it is Halloween, I told her she could pick out a black and white horror movie of her choice. The one she picked was “The Shadow of the Cat.” 

I wasn’t sure what to think of this movie when we first started watching it because the premise was one that would either prove to be really unique or extremely stupid. As it turns out, it fell into the former category.

This is a film I think many cat lovers would love to watch because the furry star really did manage to be much more entertaining than I expected her to be. I loved how she practically drove the husband’s criminal family insane before finally taking things up a notch and getting her final revenge, starting with the butler and progressing through every other conspirator, outsmarting them at every turn. Of course, she also received some help from the fact they didn’t really trust each other all that much either.

One thing I wasn’t a big fan of was the way the filmmakers kept trying to show scenes through the cat’s eyes. While I can understand why they would try to do that and will give them credit for trying to be unique, the slightly out of focus scenes just didn’t work for me and I really don’t think they added a whole lot to the actual plot. 

I also thought the movie would have been slightly better had they kept some element of mystery to it, such as keeping what the family was searching for a secret. However, I suspect, even if they would have tried to do that, it probably still would have been easy enough to figure out.

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Final Opinion

It didn’t turn out to be a horror film like I had hoped. However, it was still a very entertaining movie and one I would recommend, especially if you like cats.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 01/19/2016, StevenHelmer
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DerdriuMarriner on 03/29/2022

StevenHelmer, Thank you for practical information, pretty pictures and product lines.
The library system does not have The Shadow of the Cat among its Blu-ray and DVD collections. It's surprising since there are so many cat-lovers among the patrons and on the staffs. So it isn't any time soon that I'll be watching this excellent feline act.

What would you think of a colorized reboot or remake?

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