The Shadow of the Cat

The Shadow of the Cat ★★★

The only way The Shadow of the Cat could be any more of a B-movie is if it was actually about a bee. But it's not, it's about a cat, and it's a cheap, silly, undemanding hour-and-a-quarter of fun, perfect for warming an audience up for something more substantial. It's a cross between a detective movie and, believe it or not, a slasher (in 1961!), in which a rich woman has been murdered by a conspiracy of her greedy relatives, but her lovely, cobby, tabby pet cat (named Tabby of course, short for Tabitha) witnessed the whole thing and not only goes on a vengeful killer rampage, but solves the whole case for the police! We even see the action through Tabby's eyes occasionally, flagged up by a risible "stretched film" effect (presumably to denote cats' superior field of vision), and if the chatting, plotting, detecting and romancing between the human characters feels a bit staid and dated at times, it's impossible not to love the feline interludes. Director John Gilling even gives us a shot of Tabby rolling around on her back, playing with a ball, because he evidently had a YouTuber's eye for what cat lovers want to see.

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