Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Summer re-reads: Jane Austen & the california high life ...

This is what I said about Jane Austen's PERSUASION, back in 2011, when writing about some favourite books:
I absolutely love Jane Austen's PERSUASION and have re-read it several times and no doubt will again. PRIDE & PREJUDICE is a witty comedy of manners (and there is that great BBC version of it), SENSE & SENSIBILITY was a nice discovery too as we follow the Dashwood girls in and out of love (and we have Ang Lee's perfect film as scripted by Emma Thompson, and the rather nice recent TV version) - I have not felt the urge though to bother with EMMA or NORTHANGER ABBEY, while MANSFIELD PARK was rather a chore. It is PERSUASION though that I want to read and re-read. For one thing it is perfectly romantic as the thwarted lovers slowly begin to rediscover each other, and Anne Elliott is the most charming and wise Austen heroine, compared to her family and the interfering Aunt, Lady Russell. Anne is only 28 but is practically an old maid as she missed her chance with the dashing Captain 8 years previously when she was persuaded to give him up as he had no fortune. Captain Wentworth too is the perfect hero, back from the navy, his fortune made - no wonder those silly Musgrove girls throw themselves at him, as we travel from Uppercross to Lyme Regis and its famous cobb, and high society in Bath. All the 3 adaptations create their own endings. Austen actually wrote two perfectly romantic endings to her book, but neither is cinematic, so in the films we have Anne chasing all over Bath to catch up with the Captain, and the couple kissing! I prefer the 1995 BBC version which is a real film, but the recent one is fine too. The book though is a lasting pleasure. See Austen label for reviews of the films of her books.

It is now another late summer and I am engrossed in PERSUASION once again. Despite like the three television versions going back to the book is a treat with all that perfect prose and Austen's style to savour, as in describing Sir Walter Elliott fear of ageing: "and the rapid increase of the crow's foot about Lady Russell's temples had long been a distress to him". or:
"Anne Elliot, with all her claims of birth, beauty and mind, to throw herself away at nineteen; involve herself in an engagement with a young man, who had nothing but himself to recommend him, and no hopes of attaining affluence, but in the chances of a most uncertain profession, and no connections to secure even his further rise in that profession; that would indeed be a throwing away, which she  (Lady Russell) grieved to think of! Anne Elliot, so young; known to so few, to be snatched off by a stranger without alliance or fortune; or rather sunk by him into a state of most wearing, anxious, youth-killing dependance! It must not be, if by any interference of friendship, any representations from one who had almost a mother's love, and mother's rights, it would be prevented. "

How Anne and Captain Wentworth overcome such objections is perfectly worked out. Lets look at the blurb again:
PERSUASION, the last competed novel Jane Austen wrote, was published in 1817, a year after her death in 1816. It features a heroine, Anne Elliot, older and wiser than her predecessors in earlier books, and its tone is more intimate and sober as Austen unfolds a simple love story with depth and subtlety. Anne's goodness is not the cloying kind, but an unsentimental quality that, combined with stoicism and integrity, enables her to find happiness in love after seven years when it seemed she had forever put an end to such a prospect. 
The settings of Lyme Regis and Bath are evoked no less vividly than the characters who frequent them, and Jane Austen's achievement is exemplified by Tennyson's famous remark when visiting Lyme in 1867: "Now take me to The Cobb, and show me the steps from which Louisa Musgrove fell".

A total contrast, and almost as delicious, is a 1999 novel by one Doug Guinan, CALIFORNIA DREAMING, which reads like a gay Jackie Collins on acid trashfest. It is witty and complex though telling several stories, as we follow those West Hollywood gym boys Kevin and Leon and their various entangements. Kevin is the uber-gay, who smoulders a lot and manages to land multi-millionaire media and music mogel (think David Geffin) Brad Sherwood and becomes his boy-toy - until a nicely worked out party causes it all to fall apart. Leon meanwhile meets cute personal trainer Kim and their romance dovetails nicely too, as we follow the high life of Brad and his friend Roy with all their assorted hangers-on. We also get the backstory of Kevin's first romance with Anthony, the prince son of a mafia don in New York, and how he had to flee to California when the father finds out.  Kevin has to return to New York but will he also go back to Brad in California, who comes to track him down. This is a delicious fabulous read (particularly where Kevin goes on a shopping spree with Brad's card), ideal for the beach or a plane or a holiday. We like it a lot. As one review said: I haven't read such a fun and involving book like this since Tales of the City. The characters at first seem shallow but this proves, in the long run, their humanity both with their foibles and at times their surprising depth. When I finished the book I felt as though I had lost some new friends. I read it all in one sitting on a plane to LA. Fabulous and fun - a cross between Gordon Merrick & Armisted Maupin.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Summer re-views: Bette's Charlotte Vale

Its on television now, as I write - on the BBC: the 1942 NOW VOYAGER - its so seldom the BBC show a 1940s classic now, that its almost one' duty to watch it, despite having the dvd. Its still a timeless classic and one of Bette's key roles. Here's what I said about it, in a gay context, a mere 6 years ago: 
"I am not one to read gay subtext into movies [well apart from in BEN HUR], but a fascinating piece I read the other day made me stop and think and look at NOW VOYAGER in a new light. Rupert Smith, author of MAN'S WORLD - the best new novel I have read in years [still available at all good bookshops, folks] - writing in ATTITUDE magazine has this to say about it, in a feature on the nature of camp:
"NOW VOYAGER, a 1942 melodrama starring Bette Davis as a downtrodden, mentally unbalanced spinster who has a nervous breakdown, has a dramatic makeover and embarks on an affair with a married man. The movie and the book on which it was based were aimed squarely at women. All the characters and all their relationships are resolutely heterosexual. And yet for all that NOW VOYAGER is textbook camp because it mirrors so precisely - and perhaps so unconsciously - the gay experience.
Ugly, unloved Charlotte with her thick eyebrows and dowdy clothes is like a gay man in his larval stage, stuck in the family, driven crazy by frustration. She then emerges from her chrysalis with fabulous clothes, great hair and plucked eyebrows. She falls in love with an unavailable man and settles, at the end, for whatever scraps of affection she can get, with that famous last line: "Oh Jerry, don't let's ask for the moon; we have the stars". For gay men watching Bette Davis in the '40s - and there were plenty - it was like autobiography, in drag."
Rupert gets it exactly right. Poor frustrated Charlotte is left to look after and put up with her domineering mother, the other family members treat her like a doormat, she is made fun of by visiting relations. Even her mother (Gladys Cooper, excellent as ever) does not love her and bullies her - so of course, after the intervention of psychiatrist Claude Rains, she cannot accept the new svelte, confident Charlotte who returns after being the the most popular woman on the cruise (and what a camp fantasy that is...). What though is the nature of those unsuitable materials which mother found when moving Charlotte's items to a new bedroom she has designated for her? Charlotte however triumphs, with wonderful bon mots along the way: "Dora, I suspect you are a treasure" to the nurse Mary Wilkes; and "let's not linger over it" when breaking off her engagement to the very solid beau that mother approves of, but whom she does not love. She will be happy with those stolen hours with married man Jerry, and looking after his unhappy daughter.
Directed by gay Irving Rapper its certainly a timeless favourite, as good as my other two favourite Bette's: THE GREAT LIE (where we have nice Bette with superbitch Mary Astor) and OLD ACQUAINTANCE with Bette at her most brittle with that fabulous apartment (with devoted housekeeper) in wartime New York, and her on-going rivalry with flouncy Miriam Hopkins. Noble Bette sends away Miriam's husband - the man she loves - and then has a silver streak in her hair for the later third act."

Its another Warner Bros classic of course, with Bette in some marvellous Orry-Kelly creations, Music by Max Steiner, Claude Rains watchable as ever, and directed by gay Irving Rapper. Bliss, utter bliss. 

Summer re-views: Errol and Ty swash and buckle ...

Another look at the 1935 CAPTAIN BLOOD, Errol Flynn's first starrer and he looks spectacular here, not even in his prime yet (that would be ROBIN HOOD, ELIZABETH & ESSEX and THE SEA HAWK); and its Olivia De Havilland's fourth movie .... she was certainly busy throughout the 1930s. Curtiz's actioner is still  joy now, 81 years later - and its 44 years since I saw Olivia in person at London's BFI, back in 1972 - its fantastic she is still here at 100. as per label. 

Falsely convicted of treason, Dr. Peter Blood is banished to the West Indies and sold into slavery. In Jamaica the Governor's daughter Arabella Bishop buys him for £10 to spite her uncle, Col. Bishop who owns a major plantation. Life is hard for the men and for Blood as well. By chance he treats the Governor's gout and is soon part of the medical service. He dreams of freedom and when the opportunity strikes, he and his friends rebel taking over a Spanish ship that has attacked the city. Soon, they are the most feared pirates on the seas, men without a country attacking all ships. When Arabella is prisoner, Blood decides to return her to Port Royal only to find that it is under the control of England's new enemy, France. All of them must decide if they are to fight for their new King.

As with many pictures from the 1930s, the film is chock-filled with corny characters who provide colour. Basil Rathbone and Lionel Atwill are hissably evil, and Olivia - 19 here - is delightful.
This is a stunning and very likable action film--and head and shoulders above all other Hollywood pirate movies - apart from Errol's THE SEA HAWK in 1941. It also has a rousing Erich Wolfgang Korngold score. 

We also love the 1942 SON OF FURY, a Tyrone Power costumer at 20th Century Fox, with the young Gene Tierney making an impression as that South Seas girl.  I first saw this as a kid, in the late Fifties, at a Sunday afternoon matinee revival and loved it then. George Sanders is marvellous too as the hissable villain (he and Ty duelled again in 1958 when filming SOLOMON AN SHEBA, when Ty had his fatal heart attack, at age 44). 
Cheated out of his estate by his sadistic uncle, young Benjamin Blake goes to the South Seas to make his fortune so he can return to claim his birthright. 

This is simply a great actioner, Ty and Sanders are perfectly cast, as is Elsa Lanchester in that small role as the streetwalker who helps our hero. Directed by John Cromwell, and it looks as lush (even in black and white) as those great Fox movies. 

Summer re-views: 1930s: Garbo, Marlene, Loretta

Another look at Garbo as MATA HARI (we love Greta as Mata, one of her lesser known roles), Marlene on that SHANGHAI EXPRESS (it was either that or BLONDE VENUS or THE DEVIL IS A WOMAN), and Loretta as one of those LADIES IN LOVE .....
The glamour of the 1930s for me means those two exotic European imports to Hollywood, as the talkies got underway - Garbo and Dietrich. A large part of their mystique of course is not just their looks but those fascinating voices.. Our Sky Arts channel repeated a Garbo programme, so one had to watch again - a whole hour of Garbo clips, they focus though on those best known ones: CAMILLEQUEEN CHRISTINAANNA KARENINANINOTCHKA - I love them too, particularly CHRISTINA and NINOTCHKA, but they ignored THE PAINTED VEIL, from 1934, 
which I loved a year ago, as per my post here, see Garbo label, and I now think everything about MATA HARI in 1931 is utterly fantastic: the art design, her odd but mesmerising dance with the giant statue, Ramon Novarro, her stunning outfits, and that ending as she faces the execution squad ..... its amazing the number of different posters in various colours that are still around.  Jeanne Moreau's MATA HARI AGENT H21 in 1964 though very different is rather dull by comparison! 

I love that dialogue exchange between Lili and her stuffy officer ex--lover Clive Brook, when they meet again on the SHANGHAI EXPRESS in 1932 amid Von Sternberg's moody interiors, talk about light and shade! This is the one where Marlene delivers one of her most famous lines: "It took more than one man to change my name to Shanghai Lili". She is now the "notorious white flower of China", a "coaster" plying her trade on the rail line, along with fellow prostitute, the very slinky Anna May Wong.
"I wish you could tell me there'd been no other men" says Clive reproachfully .. "I wish I could, Doc" replies Marlene, "but five years in China is a long time". She is wearing his hat by this stage as he asks her if she has any regrets, to which she laconically replies "I wish I hadn't bobbed my hair".
The delirium increases as Wong uses a knife to dispose of the bandit chieftain who is holding up the Shanghai Express. Clive proves to be unworthy of Shanghai Lili who is prepared to sacrifice herself ... but you can guess the outcome. Its one of my favourite Von Sternbergs, almost as good as THE SCARLET EMPRESS or BLOND VENUS, or THE DEVIL IS A WOMAN. Marlene is again dressed by Travis Banton in furs and feathers and veils and shot in shadows praying ...
See Dietrich/Theatre labels for when I saw her in her 1973 concert tour in London ... 

Three working girls in Budapest pool their resources to get a better apartment and impress their dates (how  very HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE).
LADIES IN LOVE may not be Pre-Code as such, being 1936, but its one I like a lot now and is a great re-view now Probably the first of the Fox '3- girls-sharing-an-apartment-and-looking-for-love' movies it is set in Budapest and teams up Loretta Young, Constance Bennett and Janet Gaynor, with a young Tyrone Power and Paul Lukas in support, as well as Simone Simon. The others may look dated now, but Loretta is lovely and quite modern here, nicely dressed in black and white outfits, with interesting line readings and just being very appealing. [This was just after Loretta's CALL OF THE WILD with Clark Gable which resulted in her having his baby (on the rebound from her romance with Tracy) which she later adopted; Loretta was later one of Hollywood's most prominent Roman Catholics]. She and Tyrone look perfect here, they did several others together too then. I must dig out that Tyrone boxset ....
We must return to the 1930s for more of Katharine Hepburn, Crawford, Stanwyck, Margaret Sullavan, Irene Dunne, Norma Shearer ...

Friday, 26 August 2016

Summer re-views, briefly

WOMEN HE'S UNDRESSED. Gilliam Armstrong's 2014 documentary on Hollywood costume designer Orry-Kelly, which we have mentioned here a few times before (Costumes label). The documentary, based on Orry's lush memoir which I enjoyed a lot, has taken its time appearing here, in fact in has not yet, but I got the Australian (Region 4) dvd, which plays perfectly on multichannel players. 
Its a fanciful conceit, with an actor playing Orry, who seems to be rowing a boat a lot of the time, but then we get all the clips: Orry's costumes for CASABLANCA, GYPSY and his three Oscar-winners: AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, LES GIRLS (where Kay, Mitzi and Taina look divine in his creations), and of course Marilyn's still daring costumes for SOME LIKE IT HOT. Orry continued up to 1964, so we get Jane Fonda and Angela Lansbury talking about his costumes for their 1963 IN THE COOL OF THE DAY - one I have never seen and can't get now, so thanks for the clips. 
Bette Davis also reigns supreme here, with those costumes Orry did for JEZEBEL, MR SKEFFINGTON, NOW VOYAGER, THE LETTER etc. 
Other talking heads include the notorious Scotty Bowers, and it rehashes all the Cary Grant and Randy Scott gossip and pictures. In fact, Orry gets sidelined for a while while the documentary focuses on Cary, who "roomed" with Orry when they were both young and starting out. But then legendary tightwad Cary always needed someone to pay the rent, hence all those years sharing houses with Randolph .... between their many marriages.

JANE EYRE - the Franco Zeffirelli 1996 version. There have been a lot of Janes around, the 1944 one with Orson and Joan Fontaine is still the one to beat for me, with delicious roles for Agnes Moorehead and Henry Daniell - but this Zeffirelli one is a nicely paced (if rather hurried at the end) version, with Charlotte Gainsbourg a suitably very plain Jane indeed (unlike Janes Joan Fontaine or Susannah York)  but William Hurt (so ideal in films like BODY HEAT or KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN) all wrong here and hardly making any impression, 
It is all grimly Victorian and Franco as usual ramps up the supporting players: a very severe Geraldine Chaplin and Amanda Root (PERSUASION) at the Lowood Orphanage; Fiona Shaw as Aunt Reed, Billie Whitelaw as Grace Poole, Joan Plowright as Mrs Fairfax, Samuel West, and two sadder appearances: Richard Warwick (whom I knew slightly) silent here in his last role as the manservant, the year before he died (he also pops up in Zeffirelli's ROMEO AND JULIET and HAMLET); and poor Maria Schneider as the madwoman in the attic ..... a worthwhile but low-key JANE then.  

JOE MACBETH, 1955. This re-view goes way back to the Fifties, as I first saw this when I was a kid in Ireland, but it made a vivid impression - though I would not have the got Shakespeare part then. It is a modern gangster version of MACBETH, by Ken Hughes, almost impossible to see now, (so thanks Jerry.) Paul Douglas is impressive as usual, and one of our Projector favourites, Ruth Roman, is as ever terrific as Lady M. Its a British production, so supporting cast includes Bonar Colleano, Gregoire Aslan and Sid James. I was pleased to see it again, and to get it on a flash drive. Its more entertaining than that dreadful recent Michael Fassbender version which nearly drove me screaming from the practically empty multiplex ...

THE HONEYMOON KILLERS. For real horror you can hardly beat Leonard Kastle's 1969 chiller, which I first saw as a supporting feature back then. My pal Stan and I were both gobsmacked by it, I can't even remember what the main feature was. 
I had not seen it since then but it lingered in the memory. so its good to see it again now on dvd.  Seems this could have been Scorsese's first feature,but he was replaced. It is a bleak tale of a murderous rampage by two seedy killers: the obese nurse and her scuzzy boyfriend (Tony Lo Bianco) as they plot to fleece lonely widows whom he romances and lets them think he is going to marry them, while she, posing as his sister, tags along in the background. Once seen, it is not easily forgotten. The film is made by the marvellous Shirley Stoler (1929-1999) as the malevolent Martha - she also pops up in KLUTE and is terrifying again as that Nazi concentration camp commandant in SEVEN BEAUTIES in 1975 .... (whom prisoner Giancarlo Giannini has to romance in order to survive - we raved about it, at Italian label). Her 40+ credits also include THE DEER HUNTER.  
It is not violent by today's torture porn standards, but once seen it is not easily forgotten as we enter than downbeat world of cheap motels and diners. It is Kastle's only credit. 

Monday, 22 August 2016

Cinderella, 2015

We liked it, we liked it a lot. Kenneth Branagh's retelling of the fairytale was a pleasant Sunday evening flick to unwind to, with a drink or three, after all that drama and excitement from Rio. Cate Blanchett as ever looks divine in some stunning creations that drag queens would kill for, and it all looked a treat - add in a deliciously ditzy turn too by Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother ...
I missed this last year, but it is interesting now, after seeing Branagh's production of ROMEO AND JULIET (see review below) last week, which had some of the players here - is he starting a new repertory troupe? - Lily Allen and Richard Madden as Cinders and Prince Charming; he was supposed to be Romeo to her Juliet but injured his foot, leading to Freddie Fox taking over at 48 hours notice. Branagh regular Sir Derek Jacobi (that VICIOUS old queen, who was great as an aged Mercutio in R&J) is also here and in stately mode too, as the King. 
I felt a distinct vibe from Visconti's lush ballroom waltz in THE LEOPARD in the ballroom scene here; and there seems a nod too to Demy's magical fairytale DONKEY SKIN (PEAU D'ANE) especially with Bonham-Carter (right) seemingly channeling Delphine Seyrig's Fairy Godmother there. All in all, very good fun. 
I may now have to go back to Ken's 1996 all-star HAMLET, Sir Jacobi is Claudius in that, with Julie Christie as Gertrude - its overlong and stuffed with names, but time to get it on ... Ken is tackling Olivier's THE ENTERTAINER on stage next, we may see that before the end of the year, cast includes John Hurt and Greta Scacchi. 

The return of the man who fell to earth ...

Its back, in a new print, to commemorate its 40th anniversary. Is it really that long since that hot summer of 1976, when we loved TAXI DRIVER and Nick Roeg's THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH .....  
A maverick film director, an emaciated rock star (who it seemed lived on Corn Flakes, milk and small mountains of cocaine) and who had never acted in a full-length film before - both in an inhospitable location in North America and New Mexico, plus a script heavy on allegory from a novel considered unfilmable - but somehow it all came together in another Roeg masterpiece, following his success with DON'T LOOK NOW
THE MAN WHO ... is now considered a cult classic, up there almost with 2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY in its prescience on how we live now: information overload, digital cameras, endless television channels, machines that play music on shuffle, sinister worldwide corporations, surveillance, drought, global warming - its all here, and it should look terrific in a new print. Also of course Bowie dying this year adds extra resonance ... here he is the alien (great special effects from that pre-CGI age) who comes seeking water for his dying planet but get seduced by Earth's alcohol and human relationships, as that corporation seeks to take over his patents for new gadgets, leading to some razor-sharp images and cutting. It will be fascinating to see it again at this remove. There is also that fascinating documentary CRACKED ACTOR which the BBC made on Bowie at the time and during the filming. That should be included in the new package too. 

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Summer re-vews: favourite Spartacus moments

Though I have the dvd and have seen it several times, it was on television again (with no commercials) so it seemed a good idea to record it and watch again -and I liked it again as much as ever. Its certainly up there with BEN HUR, EL CID, CLEOPATRA and FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE as one of the great epics of that epic era. Kubrick may not have thought much of it (Douglas hired him - they had already done PATHS OF GLORY in 1957 - to replace Anthony Mann, who at least had EL CID lined up next, and teamed up with Douglas again for his HEROES OF TELEMARK in 1964, one of those movies I just never needed to see), but it has several Kubrickian moments on themes on power corrupting. It has some great set-pieces too (I like the scenes with the Romans led by Crassus visiting Ustinov's slave school, which sets the revolt in motion) but it is that cast that delivers. Olivier as Crassus is one of his great performances of that time, Laughton and Ustinov are fascinating scene-stealers, Jean Simmons is ideal, and so is Kirk (he is 100 this December!) and Tony Curtis too as Antoninus. We get that bath scene now between Crassus and Antoninus (with Olivier voiced by Anthony Hopkins) which was considered too suggestive at the time!. Here are some favourite moments and behind the scenes shots:  Tony with Jean and wife Janet Leigh ... Olivier and Jean together again, after their HAMLET in 1948, and John Gavin showing his marvellous chest at the baths .....
Speaking of epics, word on the street has it that the new BEN-HUR is not going to be a success. It seems its just another run of the mill mainly CGI shallow blockbuster for a week or two at the multiplex, and lacks the complexity and richness of the 1959 Wyler film, still wonderful after almost 60 years. Even that TV version of a few years ago (with Ray Winstone as Quintus Arrius) is totally forgotten now. Arrius is not even in the new version (which is 90 minutes shorter than the 1959 one, no Nativity prologue either as it plays down the religious aspect...) as they make more of Sheik Ilderim - Morgan Freeman - the only big name in the cast - but can a black man be a realistic sheik back in this Roman era? Just asking ..... the supposed homoerotic tensions are also gone - Ben and Massala are almost brothers now. But the main question is how will the chariot race look now?
I saw the 1925 silent version last year too (Epics label) and it was nothing compared to the 1959 film, looks like this redundant one will not be around much longer either, another mediocre remake of a classic film. That old quip comes back: "Loved Ben, hated Hur". 

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Summer re-views: beach boys

A wet Saturday as summer slips away from us - here in the UK at any rate. How about some beach boy pix to refresh our memories ..... bring on Tom, Tab, Guy, Alain, Rory, Jeff, Fabian and all the rest ....
Alain in PLEIN SOLEIL, and that 1930s nifty swimsuit for THE YELLOW ROLLS ROYCE. 
Thats Guy Madison on the beach, then Rory Calhoun and Jeff Hunter, Tyrone Power with Cesar Romero, Farley Granger, Tab, Fabian, Troy and Sandra go off to A SUMMER PLACEand lets end with Tom Daley on the beach at Rio before the Games.... go Tom. 
Well, Tom didn't qualify for the final 12 - these things happen on the day - but hopefully the poster boy and media star will return again for Tokyo in 4 years time .... 

Monday, 15 August 2016

Summer re-views: favourite cat moments ....

Some favourite cat moments ..... here is Orangey, a famous 1950s cat - here he is terrorising that INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN in 1957. His most famous role of course is as 'Cat' in the 1961 perennial favourite (what other 1961 movie is on television all the time?) BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S .... we have covered that here a few times (Audrey label.). Cat is a leading role really, Audrey hated having to throw him out of the taxi into the rain and we love how he gets squashed between them in the rain at the heavenly climax ... Its of course probably easier to train dogs.

Then of course another leading cat role is that of Pyewacket in the 1958 favourite BELL BOOK AND CANDLE, where Pye gets thrown around and has to run across a busy New York street - before providing that happy ending for Kim and Jimmy (Kim label)
Our other favourite cat, another marmalade one, is Thomasina in the 1964 Disney treat THE THREE LIVES OF THOMASINA.  Another orange cat features in the opening credits of our long-runnng soap CORONATION STREET (below right).
We also like that black cat prowling through the opening credits of 1962's Trash Classic WALK ON THE WILD SIDE (really must re-view that again soon); there's also that kitten Anita Ekberg plays with in the Trevi Fountain in LA DOLCE VITA.  
And of course there's CAT PEOPLE where Natassja Kinski gives in to her feline desires .... as per review Horror label.   More on all these cats at Cat label.