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Cat People

Cat People is a 1942 horror film which tells the story of an Eastern European woman who fears that the family curse (which causes her to turn into a killer panther whenever she feels strong emotions) will destroy her chances for happiness with her new husband. It stars Simone Simon, Kent Smith and Tom Conway.

The film is notable for gaining its most frightening effects through unseen horrors that the audience was forced to imagine for themselves. The panther is not seen until the final scenes, but in the meantime Simone Simon displays increasingly catlike behavior and the viewer is bombarded by images of cats in paintings and statues.

The movie was produced by Val Lewton, written by DeWitt Bodeen and directed by Jacques Tourneur.

It was followed by a sequel, The Curse of the Cat People, in 1944.

Cat People was remade by Paul Schrader in 1982 with Nastassja Kinski and Malcolm McDowell.

The original film has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.