THE CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE (1944) B/W 70m dir: Robert Wise
w/Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Jane Randolph, Ann Carter, Elizabeth Russell, Julia Dean, Eve March, Erford Gage, Sir Lancelot
This sequel to CAT PEOPLE is not the horror-fest one might imagine, but another of the fine "B" films from the RKO stable of producer Val Lewton (who made movies by substituting talent for money). Instead, it's the haunting story of a sensitive child whose mother was cursed and who is regarded as strange by her parents and playmates.
From Joel Siegel's Val Lewton: The Reality of Terror: "Of all Lewton's films, The Curse of the Cat People poses the greatest critical problem. Its subject --- the difficulties of a sensitive, parentally repressed child who creates an imaginary friend --- is probably the most worthwhile of any Lewton ever treated. The studio had requested another Cat People; Lewton cleverly evaded their instructions and gave them what may well be the most poetically conceived movie about the world of the child ever attempted in Hollywood. Too much of the film itself, however, is indifferently executed. There are spots of dead writing in the screenplay, some lifeless performances, over-idealised sets. Many of these shortcomings are the result of production problems --- the substitution of directors, the studio-demanded revisions and retakes. Yet, in spite of these flaws and scars, one cannot help but be deeply moved by the film's sensitivity and integrity, by its essential goodness and generosity."