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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

The Cat's Meow (2001)



Reviews and Comments

The Cat's Meow is a speculative dramatization of an event that occurred aboard William Randolph Heart's yacht in 1924. A man was killed, but such was Hearst's power then that there was never an investigation, and only one aboard was even questioned. Today, the stories about the event are many and conflicting; it seems people can't even agree on who was aboard. This film, as its opening narration says, is "whisper heard most often" concerning what happened.

That's the background behind the film, but it doesn't begin to suggest the real attraction of The Cat's Meow, which is its delightful recreation of the Hollywood social scene of the time. Director Peter Bogdanovich has created a beautiful window to the look and sound of the time -- or, if not, a beautiful visualization of what we imagine it to be -- and, more importantly, constructed a fun character dynamic with the ensemble cast.