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The Curse of the Cat People

The Curse of the Cat People(1944)

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NOTES

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Although a Hollywood Reporter production chart lists Mark Robson as director, Robson's name does not appear in any other source. This picture marked the feature-length directing debut of former short subject director Gunther Fritsch. According to Hollywood Reporter news items, when Fritsch began to fall behind schedule, film editor Robert Wise (1914-2005) stepped in to direct, thus earning his first directoral credit. According to the RKO Production Files contained in the UCLA Arts Library-Special Collections, the picture was completed nine days behind schedule and was so over budget that the studio had to recalculate the entire budget upwards from $147,000 to $212,000.
       RKO tried to exploit the popularity of Val Lewton's 1942 film Cat People by titling this film Curse of the Cat People and hiring Simone Simon, Kent Smith and Jane Randolph to reprise their roles from the earlier film. Although the characters were the same in both pictures, The Curse of the Cat People was more of a fantasy than horror film and did not include the transformation of humans into cats. In an interview printed in a modern source, screenwriter DeWitt Bodeen, who wrote both films, claimed that Lewton wanted to retitle this picture Amy and Her Friend, thus eliminating any reference to the earlier film, but was overruled by the studio. A Hollywood Reporter news item adds that scenes for the film were shot at Malibu Lake, CA.