Curse of the Cat People



Old-fashioned horror fantasy isn't too scary for tweens.
  • Review Date: May 3, 2003
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 1944
  • Running Time: 70 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that children may be concerned about Mrs. Farren's delusions and how upsetting they are for her daughter. They should know that most old people are fine, but that some have an illness that makes them forgetful.

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

Amy (Ann Carter) is a dreamy kindergartener, not very clear about what is real and what is fantasy, and "a very sensitive and delicately adjusted child," according to her teacher. Her father Oliver (Kent Smith), still in great pain from his first wife's tragic death, is very protective, and worries about her "losing herself in a dream world." Amy befriends Julia Farren (Julia Dean), an old lady in the care of her daughter, Barbara (Elizabeth Russell). Jealous of the attentions Julia gives to Amy, Barbara threatens to harm Amy. The ghost of Amy's mother appears as her guardian angel, saving Amy and bringing her closer to her father.

Is it any good?


Despite the title (insisted on by the studio following the producer's very successful -- and scary -- The Cat People), CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE is a gentle story of a lonely and sensitive girl and her "friend," who may be imaginary or may be the ghost of her father's first wife. This movie is not for everyone, but children who can identify with Amy will like it, and may be able to talk about themselves in talking about her. Oliver worries that Amy's dreams will lead to madness, as he believes they did for Irena. Amy just wants someone who will be her friend, and has a hard time connecting to other children.

The counterpoint is Mrs. Farren, whose delusion that her child is dead is deeply upsetting to her daughter, in her own way as needy for friendship as Amy is. This movie does a good job of showing how Amy and her parents worry about each other, and that parents make mistakes.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how Amy blames herself when her parents argue about her; you may want to make it clear that children are not responsible for family conflicts. Children may be concerned about Mrs. Farren's delusions, and how upsetting they are for her daughter. They should know that most old people are fine, but that some have an illness that makes them forgetful.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 2, 1944
DVD release date:October 4, 2005
Cast:Jane Randolph, Kent Smith, Simone Simon
Director:Robert Wise
Run time:70 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Curse of the Cat People was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written bywhovian852 April 9, 2009

Very good movie

Part psycho-drama, part fantasy this movie is definitely thought provoking. It should be noted that while the content is appropriate for all ages, it probably won't be appreciated by younger viewers.


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Star Wars Guide