The Cat's Meow
The Cat's Meow (2001)

The year is 1924 and billionaire publisher William Randolph Hearst (Edward Hermann) has arranged a birthday cruise aboard his yacht, Oneida, for financially distressed film pioneer Thomas H. Ince (Cary Elwes). But trouble is in the air, for… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Release Date: August 3, 2001
DVD Release Date: August 20, 2002
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Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Critic Score: 75% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: The Cat's Meow is a deliciously evoked period piece and whodunit.

Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

The strongest achievement of The Cat's Meow may be the performances, especially those of Kirsten Dunst (Davies), Edward Herrmann (Hearst), and even Eddie Izzard (Chaplin).

Mark Caro
Chicago Tribune

As the story progresses, the tension dissipates, probably because once Bogdanovich has set his wheels in motion, he just lets them spin.

David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews

...a missed opportunity that's rarely as engrossing or intriguing as its premise might have indicated.

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Derek Elley

The '20s-set pic is given considerable bounce by a splendid cast, led by Kirsten Dunst in an eye-opening perf as Marion Davies.

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Manohla Dargis
L.A. Weekly

Despite all the closed-door hanky-panky, the film is essentially juiceless.

Emanuel Levy

It's good to see Peter Bogdanovich working again, but his Hollywood tale feels like a minor, trashy TV melodrama

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

Featherweight but fun.

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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail

The result is good gossip, entertainingly delivered, yet with a distinctly musty odour, its expiry date long gone.

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Nell Minow
Common Sense Media

This story about a possible murder isn't for kids.

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More reviews for The Cat's Meow

Flixster Audience Score: 52% Flixster User Reviews
familiar stranger
Went for it just because it's based on true events. Turns out it's based on rumors. No problem. Was surprised to learn that Chaplin was so scandalous.… More
John Ballantine
Gawd this is a boring film. Hearst and Chaplin were probably rolling over in their graves at their portrayals in this film. Neither of them were particularly… More
Alice Shen
Just okay. Somewhat stilted dialogue but that may just be Kirsten Dunst's modern inflection and forced gaiety.
Jeffrey Meyers
An interesting account of Thomas Ince's death from the talnted Peter Bogdanovich, a consummate Hollywood insider/historian. It succeeds at being mostly… More
Dann Michalski
Quirky and entertaining, The Cat's Meow is a captivating period film about a fascinating piece of Hollywood lore. Inspired by true events and based on a… More
Alec Barniskis
Its an interesting idea for what might have really happened and I love Edward Herrman's performance as Hearst, the problem is that once the murder happens… More

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