13 thoughts on “The Cat’s Meow (2001) Is the Cat’s Pajamas

  1. I really loved Ms de Vivaise’s blending of actual 1920s garments and her own designs. My favourite was Marion’s butterfly headband.
    One nice point the fashions conveyed was the difference in wealth and Hollywood hierarchy. Marion, Elinor and Margaret wore clothes that said ‘star ‘ while Louella and the starlets were dreesed in appropriate clothing that conveyed their status.

    A historical note. This trip was the making of Louella’s career.

  2. Although it doesn’t fit this site’s criteria, the 1928 silent comedy, Show People, would make a good second feature with The Cat’s Meow. The reason is that you have Marion Davies, Charlie Chaplin, Elinor Glyn, Louella Parsons, (as well as several other major Hollywood figures), all playing themselves and interacting. Marion Davies also plays the young ingenue hoping to make it in the pictures. She had a flair for comedy.

    1. “Show People” is absolutely wonderful, and it shows what a shame it was that Davies for years was thought of primarily as the inspiration for Susan Alexander in “Citizen Kane”– an untalented beauty whose wealthy benefactor tries to buy her a career.

      And those metal wave clips pictured above bring back memories– my maternal grandmother (born in 1888) had a set of those on her dresser, and I fondly remember the way the teeth would spread apart when you squeezed the spring and gingerly clipping them around my fingers.

  3. How do I feel about the costumes? They were the “cat’s meow”! Okay, bad joke. Honestly? They were absolutely gorgeous. And I really enjoyed the story, even if I have a few comments about it.

    1. Yeah, the plot is the typical Hollywood “based on a true story” that’s 90% nonsense and 10% actual research. But in this case, I feel like they got the right balance between writing an engaging plot that offers up one possible scenario for Ince’s death that actually doesn’t stray too far from plausibility. Something happened on that yacht and was brushed aside/covered up. It’s not too far of a stretch, considering everything already known about W.R.H., to think that he either had something to do with it or made it all go away to to protect whoever did it. I felt like the way the plot treated his paranoia (factual) and his relationship with Marion Davies (also factual) offered a plausible scenario as to how Ince was shot (questionable) and why (the whole Davies/Chaplin affair, which was also plausible, though unsubstantiated).

      So all in all, I think it did a decent job of trying to adhere to history while not sacrificing it for the sake of an engaging plot. It did have the benefit of an incomplete story to begin with, in that no one knows what happened other than *something* that was hushed up, so embroidering on what little is known works in this situation.

      1. Elements of the same plot (covered up murder on Hollywood mogul’s yacht) are in the film Sunset … a pleasant little romp through movieland in the silent era.

  4. Love the site and how much detail/explanation you offer.

    I wonder if you have any recommendations of movies in which more working class fashions of the 1920s are on display/accurate?

  5. How marvelous! I just caught this the other day on cable and wondered if the Frock Gals did a write-up of this movie?

    To my delight, you did!!!!!

    I also splurfed by soda all over my screen when I read the line about a “boatload of annoying flappers.”

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