1,001 Movies – Week 32

“Cat Ballou” to “The Champ “


Cat Ballou (1965) – The source novel for this was actually a fairly serious story. Somehow, by the time it hit the screen, it wasn’t so serious. Everyone’s funny here, even Lee Marvin’s horse!  And Nat King Cole and Stubby Kaye will leave you humming for days afterward. (KCL)

Cat People (1942) – If you ever need an example of how to make something out of nothing, this is for you. RKO gave Val Lewton their loose change jar and told him to go compete in the horror market, so he got together with Jacques Tourneur and stunned everyone with this! (KCL)

The Cat’s Meow (2001) – Eddie Izzard is Charlie Chaplin, Kirsten Dunst is Marion Davies and Edward Hermann is William Randolph Hearst. That alone is enough for silent film fans to see this charming film about the scandal over film director Thomas Ince’s (Cary Elwes) mysterious death aboard Hearst’s yacht in 1924. Director Peter Bogdonovich has near encyclopedic film history knowledge and it’s put to good use here. (GS)

Cellular (2004) – This film is quite simply pure, edge-of-your-seat entertainment. Chris Evans, Kim Basinger, and Jason Statham all deliver uniformly strong performances but it’s the hilarious Rick Hoffman and the ever-reliable William H. Macy who steal the show. (GS)

The Champ (1931) – I should mention probably the best performance of Beery’s career and this is it.  He opened this characterization in Min & Bill, and rounded it off in Tugboat Annie (1933).  I guess Marie Dressler brought out the best in him.  But Cooper works a little magic too, and their relationship here outshines any other film they made together. (KCL)


Originally published in Raspberry World – Volume 2, Issue 1 (June/July 2007)

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