The Cat Creeps (1930)

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colbyco82

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The Cat Creeps (1930)

PostSat Nov 28, 2009 11:59 pm

I have a fascination with this mostly-lost Universal horror film from 1930. How it got lost is a mystery to me, but I was wondering if anyone has a photo of the "Cat" costume used in the film. It is shown in the short subject "Boo" but you cannot make it out very well. I just wanted to compare it to the costume used in the 27 version. Any help would be appreciated.
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Jack Theakston

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PostMon Nov 30, 2009 3:39 pm

Don't have a picture of The Cat, but I'll post here what I just posted elsewhere about the film:

(in response to a question whether or not there were supernatural elements at work in the film, to which someone responded that it's simply a remake of CAT AND THE CANARY)

Correct. No supernatural; just an old dark house mystery.

BUT... THE CAT CREEPS is not an unimportant picture. There are a number of notable things about it. Aside from its mostly refugee cast (Neil Hamilton, Lilyan Tashman and Jean Hersholt were making their mark elsewhere before the film), it was Rupert Julian's last directorial effort-- ironically coming full circle at Universal where he started, and also where he walked off the filming of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA just five years before. William Hurlbut co-wrote the dialog with Gladys Lehman, and five years later was the man responsible for the screenplay to a little-known picture called BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN. Hal Mohr was responsible for the photography, and that in itself is worth being extant for. The few scenes that BOO! contains shows that the photography by Mohr in the film was as dynamic as Gilbert Warrenton's just three years previous. And this is WITH the added handicap of sound.

Also, the film was released in November, 1930, just as DRACULA was wrapping up production, thereby making it almost a neck-in-neck cut-off point from Universal's Old-Dark-House style mystery-horrors to the supernatural horrors that DRACULA and FRANKENSTEIN would usher in. THE CAT CREEPS was a big gamble for the studio in that it had two strikes against it going in-- it was a remake of a recently released silent picture, and it was also based on a stage play. Had it been released but a few months later to cash in on the success surrounding DRACULA, I don't think it would not be lost today.
J. Theakston
"You get more out of life when you go out to a movie!"
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Ed Hulse

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PostMon Nov 30, 2009 8:46 pm

I don't have a picture of the Cat either, but since we're discussing the film again I'll take the opportunity to remind Nitratevillains that it might well be extant.

THE CAT CREEPS was listed in a 1934 Home Film Library brochure as being available for purchase or rental in 16mm. (The same brochure offered Universal's silent Charlie Chan feature, THE CHINESE PARROT.) As numerous Universals once thought lost have turned up in 16mm, I hold out hope that CAT CREEPS will resurface someday. Perhaps only one print was struck, but it could still survive.
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Jay Salsberg

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PostTue Dec 01, 2009 8:20 am

Ed, do you have a copy of said brochure that you can scan and post? If these two films were available through Universal's Show-at-Home division, then that's breaking news, as they have not previously been reported to have been available on 16mm.

Both films were remade by other studios, so I think it's safe to assume that Universal destroyed the negatives as a condition of the sale of film rights.
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Ed Hulse

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PostTue Dec 01, 2009 7:56 pm

Unfortunately, Jay, I sold that brochure -- along with a pile of vintage rental-library catalogs that came from an estate I was liquidating -- many years ago. I wish I'd had the good sense to xerox some of the rarer items in that lot. But trust me, CAT CREEPS and CHINESE PARROT were listed, and I just about flipped when I saw them.
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Ray Faiola

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PostThu Dec 03, 2009 7:32 am

Has anybody ever come across a Kodascope print of SHOW BOAT?

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Classic Film Scores on CD
http://www.chelsearialtostudios.com
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Jim Reid

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PostThu Dec 03, 2009 7:40 am

I didn't think that Universal was part of the Kodascope library since they did the Show-At-Home prints. But then in 1936 it was the "New" Universal, wasn't it?
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Harlett O'Dowd

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PostThu Dec 03, 2009 7:54 am

Jim Reid wrote:I didn't think that Universal was part of the Kodascope library since they did the Show-At-Home prints. But then in 1936 it was the "New" Universal, wasn't it?


I believe the 1936 version was on the cusp of the "new" Universal - filmed under the old regime (perhaps the last important film of the lot) but may have been released under the new one.
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Jay Salsberg

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PostThu Dec 03, 2009 8:14 am

Universal's Show-at-Home line was a precurser of Castle Films (films for purchase), while Eastman's Kodascope library were 16mm rentals intended for schools, churches & home use.
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colbyco82

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PostWed Dec 09, 2009 9:26 pm

Since the photo search was a dry run...has anyone had a chance to listen to the sound discs? It might be interesting to hear them, though Im not sure the film would be very talkative so it might be a whole lotta dead air.
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Henry Nicolella

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PostMon Dec 14, 2009 3:36 pm

I have two copies of the sound track: the complete version-dead spaces and all-runs about 72 minutes and a version with the silent passages edited out, roughly 60 minutes .The latter is the only one I've listened to. It's of course pretty much like the Paul Leni film as far as the story goes but the hero isn't a bufoon. There's a little music at the beginning (presumably for the credits) and then at the very end. Lots of storm noises and baying hounds (that particular effect is not too convincing). Thought there'd be more creaking doors and the like. Some of the dialogue delivery is pretty over the top, especialy Mam Pleasant and the asylum guard."One of you-willlll-dieeee" "Did I SCARE you?" And so on. The leads are ok, the aunt mildly amusing and Jean Hersholt's dialogue very brief as the bogus doctor.
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David Pierce

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PostTue Dec 22, 2009 6:26 pm

THE CAT CREEPS was listed in a 1934 Home Film Library brochure as being available for purchase or rental in 16mm. (The same brochure offered Universal's silent Charlie Chan feature, THE CHINESE PARROT.) As numerous Universals once thought lost have turned up in 16mm, I hold out hope that CAT CREEPS will resurface someday. Perhaps only one print was struck, but it could still survive.


There were numerous 16mm prints made to service the various rental libraries around the country. THE CAT CREEPS also shows up on page 65 of the 1936 YMCA 16mm rental catalog as available from their New York exchange.

I've been experimenting with the digital distribution of print materials by scanning some non-theatrical catalogs that offered silent films. These initial efforts (including the YMCA catalog) are posted here:
http://issuu.com/nontheatrical
along with a not yet perfect copy of "Motion Pictures Not for Theatres" by Arthur Edwin Krows, which is the authoritative history of early non-theatrical film. All of the files should be word searchable. I'm not sure if I like the issuu interface, but it does provide a way to share rarities without giving them away.

David Pierce
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silentfilm

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PostWed Dec 23, 2009 10:57 am

Those catalogs are fascinating.

I have a full run of Blackhawk Films catalogs from 1973-1984, plus Niles, Cinema 8, Reel Images, a few Thunderbird, and other small guage distributor catalogs.
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spadeneal

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PostThu Dec 24, 2009 8:30 pm

David thanks very much for this. These are GREAT!

spadeneal
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colbyco82

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PostTue Feb 23, 2010 8:08 pm

I found an interesting item on eBay. One photo has Lois Collier's name typed on it, but it looks more like most are stills from the spanish version of the the 1930 film. Though im not sure that they are all from the spanish version. I think I can spot Elizabeth Patterson (Susan) from the American version in a couple.

http://cgi.ebay.com/5-The-Cat-Creeps-Mo ... 5ad766e2bd
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Prince Saliano

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PostWed Jun 09, 2010 4:54 pm

I am fascinated by this title too. Where is it? How did it get "lost"? I'm on a quest to see it!
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Re: The Cat Creeps (1930)

PostWed Jun 09, 2010 5:00 pm

colbyco82 wrote:I have a fascination with this mostly-lost Universal horror film from 1930. How it got lost is a mystery to me, but I was wondering if anyone has a photo of the "Cat" costume used in the film. It is shown in the short subject "Boo" but you cannot make it out very well. I just wanted to compare it to the costume used in the 27 version. Any help would be appreciated.


Have you thought to check with the Herrick for stills from the film?
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Scoundrel

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PostFri Jun 18, 2010 9:21 am

What compounds the "loss" of THE CAT CREEPS is the fact that it
had a Spanish version LA VOLUNTAD DEL MUERTO with Lupita Tovar
filmed at the same time..which is also lost.

There is a wonderful article on both films in John Soister's book
OF GODS AND MONSTERS.
" You can't take life too seriously...you'll never get out of it alive."


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colbyco82

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PostFri Jun 18, 2010 5:03 pm

I have never heard of that book before, but it sounds like a great one I will try and find.
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Scoundrel

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PostFri Jun 18, 2010 8:04 pm

Soister's book is an excellent ( but expensive ) pleasure:

http://www.amazon.com/Gods-Monsters-Cri ... 953&sr=1-4
Last edited by Scoundrel on Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
" You can't take life too seriously...you'll never get out of it alive."


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colbyco82

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Re: The Cat Creeps (1930)

PostSat Aug 19, 2017 5:35 pm

Still hoping this one will be found...but until then I found this interesting cast photo i had never seen before...


http://www.rupertjulian.com/blog-archive/2017/6/the-cat-creeps-1930-a-new-cast-portrait-find
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35MM

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Re: The Cat Creeps (1930)

PostWed Aug 23, 2017 12:38 pm

Could this be it? Antonio Moreno in the Spanish version.
Image

Maybe this one:
Image
CURSES!

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