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Cat People [DVD] [1982]

Release Date:08/27/2002
Director Paul Schrader's Cat People finally comes to DVD in a fine edition care of Universal. The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer sports a fine look save for a few instances of edge enhancement and some grain and dirt found in the image. Overall, the color schemes and black levels are all spot-on and very solid, making this a pleasing transfer for fans. The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 English with English, French, and Spanish subtitles. While the sound mix certainly sports even bass and subtle effects from the front and center speaker, overall dynamic range and fidelity are missing from this suitable if unimpressive mix. Fans of Cat People will be thrilled with this new edition which starts off with a very enlightening commentary track by director Schrader discussing multiple aspects of the film (including the casting and effects). "Cat People: An Intimate Conversation with Paul Schrader" is an interesting look at the film through the eyes of its director. Two other featurettes ("Special Makeup Effects by Tom Burman" and "Robert Wise on Producer Val Lewton") are well meaning if all-too-short. Finally, there are two short montages on the publicity of the film and some matte tests, a ten-minute, early '80s "On the Set With Paul Schrader" featurette that was dug out of the Universal archives, some very thin production notes on the movie, and a theatrical trailer for the film.
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    Overall Customer Rating:
    100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (7 out of 7)

    Special Features

    • Cat People: An intimate portrait by Paul Schrader
    • Feature commentary with director Paul Schrader
    • On the set with director Paul Schrader
    • Special makeup effects by Tom Burman
    • Cat People matte paintings
    • Filmmaker Robert Wise on the producer of the original "Cat People," Val Lewton
    • Production notes
    • Production photographs
    • Theatrical trailer
    • Closed Captioned


    Cat People
    In this loose adaptation of the 1942 horror classic of the same name, a 2001-style opening montage establishes some sort of sacrificial, mystical union between panthers and an ancient tribe of humans. Flash forward to 1980's New Orleans, where waifish Irina (Natassja Kinski) meets her older brother, Paul (Malcolm McDowell), a minister, for the first time since their animal trainer parents died and she was sent to a series of foster homes. Paul's Creole housekeeper, Female (Ruby Dee), helps Irina settle into her brother's home, but Paul himself disappears. Cut to a fleabag motel where a blasé prostitute finds an angry panther instead of a client; after mauling her, the cat is captured by police and a team of zoologists: Oliver (John Heard), Alice (Annette O'Toole), and Joe (Ed Begley Jr.). The next day Irina finds herself in the zoo where these scientists work; drawn to the newly captured panther, she befriends Oliver and takes a job in the gift shop. Shortly after the panther's violence turns deadly, it escapes, and soon Paul turns up spouting an unbelievable story about his family's were-cat heritage and his inevitable sexual union with little Irina. On the run from her dangerous brother, Irina takes refuge in a sexually frustrated romance with Oliver, afraid of what might happen if she consummates their passion. Astute viewers will notice that the zoologist characters refer to the film's panthers as leopards; "panther" is actually a generic term for any large cat, especially a black one, but Cat People's panthers are in fact leopards whose black color comes from a recessive trait known as melanism. ~ Brian J. Dillard, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Nastassja Kinski
      Nastassja Kinski - Irena Gallier
    • Malcolm McDowell
      Malcolm McDowell - Paul Gallier
    • John Heard
      John Heard - Oliver Yates
    • Annette O'Toole
      Annette O'Toole - Alice Perrin
    • Ruby Dee
      Ruby Dee - Female

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.