Cat People (1942 film)

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Cat People is a 1942 RKO horror film about an American man who marries a Serbian immigrant who fears that she will turn into the cat person of her homeland's fables if they are intimate together.

Directed by Jacques Tourneur. Written by DeWitt Bodeen.
She knew strange, fierce pleasures that no other woman could ever feel! Taglines

Irena Dubrovna[edit]

  • Oh, it's alright. It's just that cats don't seem to like me.
  • [to Oliver, about a pet bird] Oh, he is sweet. He will like me very much, you will see. I like to be liked.

Dr. Judd[edit]

  • There is in some cases a psychic need to loose evil upon the world, and all of us carry within us a desire for death. You fear the panther, yet you're drawn to him, again and again. Couldn't you turn to him as an instrument of death?


  • Pet Shop Owner: Animals are ever so psychic. There are some people who just can't come in here...The cats particularly, they seem to know. You can fool everybody, but laudy dearie me, you can't fool a cat. They seem to know who's not right, if you know what I mean.


Irena: Mr. Reed, you would like to have tea in my apartment?
Oliver: Oh, ho, Miss Dubrovna, you make life so simple.

Irena: That's the lions in the zoo. One can hear them here often. Many people in this building complain. The roaring keeps them awake.
Oliver: And you don't mind it?
Irena: No. To me, it's the way the sound of the sea is to others - natural and soothing. I like it. Some nights, there is another sound, the panther. It screams like a woman. I don't like that. Oh, I hadn't realized how dark it was getting. [She turns on a lamp] I like the dark. It's friendly.

Oliver: [about a statue] Who's it supposed to be?
Irena: King John.
Oliver: Oh - King John, the Magna Carta and all that stuff.
Irena: No, King John of Serbia. He was a fine king. He drove the Marmalukes out of Serbia and freed the people.
Oliver: Well, why have this around?
Irena: Well, perhaps you have in your room a picture of George Washington or Abraham Lincoln.
Oliver: Well, what does it mean?...Why is he spearing that cat?
Irena: Oh, it's not really a cat. It's meant to represent the evil ways into which my village had once fallen. You see, the Marmalukes came to Serbia long ago, and they made the people slaves. Well, at first, the people were good and worshiped God in a true Christian way. But little by little, the people changed. When King John drove out the Marmalukes and came to our village, he found dreadful things. People bowed down to Satan and said their masses to him. They had become witches and were evil, but King John put some of them to the sword and some, the wisest and the most wicked, escaped into the mountains...Those who escaped, the wicked ones, their legend haunts the village where I was born.

Irena: I was watching you.
Oliver: That was fun?
Irena: Mmm-hmm.
Oliver: Do you love me, Irena? [She nods] You know I love you, don't you? I've never kissed you. Do you know, that's funny.
Irena: Why?
Oliver: When people in America are in love, or even think they're in love, they've usually kissed long ago. Well? [She bites her lip] Irena, what's wrong?
Irena: I've lived in dread of this moment. I've never wanted to love you. I've stayed away from people. I lived alone. I didn't want this to happen.
Oliver: But you just told me you loved me.
Irena: I do. I do! I've fled from the past. Some things you could never know, or understand, evil things, evil.
Oliver: Now, you've told me something of the past, about King John and the witches in the village and the Cat People who descended from them. They're fairy-tales, Irena, fairy tales heard in your childhood, nothing more than that. They have nothing to do with you, really. You're Irena, you're here in America. You're so normal you're even in love with me, Oliver Reed, a good plain Americano. You're so normal you're gonna marry me, and those fairy-tales, you can tell 'em to our children. They'll love 'em.

Oliver: What is it, darling?
Irena: I'm going to beg...
Oliver: Mrs. Reed.
Irena: It's nice to hear that. Nice. I want to be Mrs. Reed.
Oliver: You are.
Irena: But I want to be Mrs. Reed, really. I want to be everything that name means to me. And I can't. I can't. Oliver, be kind, be patient. Let me have time. Time to get over that feeling there's something evil in me.
Oliver: Darling, you have all the time there is in the world if you want it. And all the patience and kindness there is in me.
Irena: Only a little time, Oliver, I don't want more than that.

Oliver: Irena, I've been trying to kid you out of it. Maybe that's wrong...I've tried to make you realize all these stories that worry you are so much nonsense, but now I see it's not the stories. It's the fact that you believe them. We've got to have help, Irena. ([She glances at the statue of the knight impaling the cat] Not that sort of help, there's something wrong and we have to face it in an intelligent way. We don't need a King John with fire and sword, we need someone who can find the reason for your belief and cure it. That's what we need - a psychiatrist.
Irena: Find one for me, Oliver, the best one, the very best one.

Irena: What should I tell my husband? Naturally, he's anxious to have some word.
Dr. Judd: What does one tell a husband? One tells him nothing.

Irena: How can you discuss such things, such intimate things about me? How much did you tell her?
Oliver: Oh, you can tell Alice anything, she's such a good egg - she can understand anything.
Irena: There are some things a woman doesn't want other women to understand.

Irena: Oliver, we should never quarrel, never let me feel jealousy or anger. Whatever is in me is held in, is kept harmless, when I'm happy.
Oliver: I'll turn handsprings, darling. I'll dance in the streets to make you happy.

Oliver: You know, it's a funny thing, I've never been unhappy before. Things have always gone swell for me. I had a grand time as a kid, lots of fun at school, here at the office with you and the Commodore and Doc. That's why I don't know what to do about all this, I've just never been unhappy...
Alice): I can't help it. I just can't help it. I can't bear to see you unhappy. I love you too darn much, and I don't care if you do know it, Ollie. I love you. I'm sorry, forget it. There's Irena - you're in love with her.
Oliver: I don't know. All this trouble has made me think, I don't know what love really is. I don't know even whether I'm in love with Irena.
Alice: I know what love is. It's understanding. It's you and me and let the rest of the world go by. It's just the two of us living our lives together, happily and proudly. No self-torture and no doubt. It's enduring and it's everlasting. Nothing can change it. Nothing can change us, Ollie. That's what I think love is.
Oliver: Well, that's not the way I feel about Irena. It's a different feeling. I'm drawn to her. There's a warmth from her that pulls at me. I have to watch her when she's in the room. I have to touch her when she's near. But I don't really know her. In many ways, we're strangers.
Alice: You and I - [she grasps his hand] - we'll never be strangers.

Irena: I don't feel you can help me. You're very wise, you know a great deal, yet when you speak of the soul, you mean the mind, and it is not my mind that is troubled.
Dr. Judd: What a clever girl, all the psychologists have tried for years to find that subtle difference between mind and soul - and you've found it.
Irena: It does seem presumptuous of me, doesn't it? Goodbye, doctor.

Oliver: [Alice shivers] You cold?
Alice: A cat just walked over my grave.

Alice: How much do you believe about the cat people?
Dr. Judd: I believe...exactly as I told Mrs. Reed. The story is a product of her own fear - her own overworked imagination.
Alice: Twice, I've been followed by something that was not human, something that attempted to take my life. I believe that was the cat form of Irena.
Dr. Judd: Why should she wish to harm you?
Alice: Because I'm in love with her husband.
Dr. Judd: Oh, my dear Miss Moore, the story grows more and more charming, simpler too, all the time. You're both victims of fear. Mrs. Reed fears the past and you fear the present. Mrs. Reed has a very strong imagination and you have an equally strong conscience. To understand this, I should first have to hear Mrs. Reed's version of the story myself. That should be a most interesting interview.
Alice: I shouldn't advise you to see her alone.
Dr. Judd: Do you think I'm afraid of so charming a lady?
Alice: Dr. Judd, I know you don't believe me, but you must be careful.
Dr. Judd: You want me to carry some means of protection - a gun, perhaps, with a silver bullet? Is that what you mean?
Alice: If you're lucky enough to have one.
Dr. Judd: Hmmm. Of course, uh. [He displays the sword within his cane] This isn't silver.

Irena: I went back to Dr. Judd's office. I'm no longer afraid.
Oliver: Believe me, Irena, I'd have been the happiest man in the world if you'd told me that a little while ago, but things have changed. I had to learn, maybe through this marriage of ours. I didn't want to tell you this, but now you see I have to. I love Alice. Irena, it's too late.
Irena: Too late.
Oliver: There seems only one decent thing for me to do. I'll give you a divorce. Believe me, it's better this way.
Irena: Better? Better for whom?...There's nothing you can say. There's only silence. But I love silence, I love loneliness.
Oliver: Irena, you talk like an insane woman.


  • She knew strange, fierce pleasures that no other woman could ever feel!
  • The exciting story of a woman who kills the thing she loves!
  • A Kiss Could Change Her Into A Monstrous Fang-and-Claw Killer!
  • She Was Marked With The Curse Of Those Who Slink And Court And Kill By Night!
  • To Kiss Her Meant Death By Her Own Fangs And Claws!
  • Kiss me and I'll claw you to death!
  • She was one of the dreaded "Cat People" – doomed to slink and prowl and court by night... fearing always that a lover's kiss might change her into a snarling, clawing KILLER!
  • The most terrifying menace of them all!


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