Criterion Uncages Cat People

AMONG CRITERION’S INCREDIBLE SEPTEMBER LINE-UP IS THE LONG AWAITED RELEASE OF JACQUES TOURNEUR’S CAT PEOPLE.untitled

Made under the guidance of legendary producer Val Lewton, CAT PEOPLE is a landmark of the horror genre and one of the cinema’s best creature features. Criterion releases Blu-ray and DVD editions on September 20, 2016.

The first of the horror films producer Val Lewton (THE BODY SNATCHER, I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE) made for RKO Pictures redefined the genre by leaving its most frightening terrors to its audience’s imagination. Simone Simon (LA BETE HUMAINE) stars as a Serbian émigré in Manhattan who believes that, because of an ancient curse, any physical intimacy with the man she loves (Kent Smith) will turn her into a feline predator. Lewton, a consummate producer-auteur who oversaw every aspect of his projects, found an ideal director in Jacques Tourneur (OUT OF THE PAST), a chiaroscuro stylist adept at keeping viewers off-kilter with startling compositions and psychological innuendo. Together, they eschewed the canned effects of earlier monster movies in favor of shocking with subtle shadows and creative audio cues. One of the studio’s most successful movies of the 1940s, CAT PEOPLE raised the creature feature to new heights of sophistication and mystery.

1942 * 73 minutes * Black & White * Monaural * 1.37:1 aspect ratio

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • New, restored 2K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 2005 featuring film historian Gregory Mank, with excerpts from an audio interview with actor Simone Simon
  • Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows, a 2008 feature-length documentary that explores the life and career of the legendary Hollywood producer
  • Interview with director Jacques Tourneur from 1977
  • New interview with cinematographer John Bailey about the look of the film
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien

 

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