Cat's Meow, The

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -3

In 1924, a mysterious death occurred aboard the private yacht of media giant William Randolph Hearst. Hearst (Edward Herrmann), would frequently entertain actors, directors, studio heads, newspaper columnists and people from his many newspaper affiliates, during weekend cruises along the California coast. Noted silent screen star Marion Davies (Kirsten Dunst), who carried on a long time affair with the married Hearst, serves as his social hostess. The womanizing actor-director Charlie Chaplin (Eddie Izzard), rumored to also have a relationship with Marion, is also aboard flirting with Davies and trying to convince Hearst that she belongs in comedies. Visionary producer and studio head Tom Ince (Cary Elwes), invited for his birthday celebration, hopes a Hearst partnership will help bail out his failing career and uses the cruise as an opportunity to negotiate. Trying to endear himself to Hearst, Ince supplies possible evidence of Chaplins rumored affair with Davies, driving the jealous Hearst to drastic action. Fans of Hollywoods silent film era will enjoy the period detail and talented performances.

British Victorian writer Elinor Glyn (Joanna Lumley) warns a nave Midwest couple who work at one of Hearsts papers about the California Curse, which makes people forget their principles, and its three symptoms; seeing yourself as the focus of all conversations, using money as the most important measure of success, and all traces of morality vanish. Apparently the curse is still in effect. Adulterous affairs, some graphically heard, alcohol and marijuana use, manipulation of the truth, cover-ups and lies fill this historical legend. Although no explicit nudity is seen, a naked woman opens the door to greet her lover and suggestive innuendoes are scattered through the conversations. One actress is very open about her adulterous affair with Ince and references are made to Chaplin getting a recent underage co-star pregnant. One scene shows Hearst shooting seagulls and, after several tries, a dead bird is shown floating in the water. Although Hearst limits drinking aboard his yacht, Davies and several guess sneak drinks beyond the limit. A late night gathering in Glyns room includes marijuana smoking with a black musician. The dialogue is also filled with frequent crude language and numerous profanities. Although a fascinating portrayal of rumored events, THE CATS MEOW, 1920s slang for a purr-fect event, exhibits alley cat morals.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many times Mild 9, moderate 6

Obscene Language: Several times S-word 3, other 2

Profanity: Many times Regular 23 (GD 11, G 4, J 2, C, JC 2, G sake 2, C sake); exclamatory 13 (OG, OMG 4, MG 3, Good L, L, Good G, Thank G, Dear G)

Violence: Few times Moderate (man shoots at seagulls, stuntman catches fired cannonball uninjured, man shot)

Sex: Few times Graphic and implied (couple kissing/undressing, adulterous couple under covers w/motion, couple in bed, implied by sounds

Nudity: Near nudity Few times (women in underwear, naked women seen from back as she opens door for man)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Many times (innuendo about size of manhood, repeated rumor about man getting 16-yr-old pregnant, innuendo about a jazzman and his instrument, woman asked if slept w/man, two women on bed w/shirtless man, woman open confesses adultery)

Drugs: Several times (cigarette smoking, alcohol drinking, marijuana smoked once)

Other: Comment that Press is not as powerful as a movie, comment that California curse makes forget principles, man spies on guests through various means, man uses positions/ riches to cover up murder, women blackmails man for job position

Running Time: 112 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teens and adults

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