Cat People, a film created in 1942 and directed by Jacques Tourneur. The main character, Irena Dobrovna is played by Simone Simon. A great acting role pulled off by Simone as she shows her character to the audience as a desended cursed member of a family forced out of their village in serbia. 'Simon, who had worked with Jean Renoir in La Bete Humaine (1938), is amazingly touching in her role as the cat woman' - http://www.combustiblecelluloid.com/catpeop.shtml. The alledged curse is, she turns into a panter if she is aroused to passion. Her father had mysteriously died and the children in her childhood would tease her by saying her mother was a cat person. At the beginning of the film, you'll pulled into her story, as she explains it to her future husband, Oliver Reed (Kent Smith), your also in the film believing her story. Personally if the girl i was seeing told me that this curse that she may have would turn her into a cat if she was kissed, I would be straight out that door, but he stayed around.
Irena and Olivers relationship grows extremely fast, from meeting in a zoo one day, to dating the next, to getting married by the end of the week, I was really confused at this point. Either this is the way it was done back in the 40's or it was just quick for the film. As the story unfolds, Irena is made to see a psychiatrist to get to the bottom of the irrational fear of becoming a cat. This idea backfires though because it unlocks the feelings of the hiden beast inside, and Irena starts to become more and more like a cat. the feelings go into overload when her husband tells her he is now in love with hi co-worker Alice (Jane Randolph).
There is two very powerful films in this movie involving Alice being stalked by Irena as herelf and partically her Panther side. Both seen are filled with shadows, dramatic music and powerful camera angles to portray the fear that Alice is feeling. I think the director is very clever here, even though the film is low budgetted, he really makes the film work. '"Cat People" wasn't frightening like a slasher movie, using shocks and gore, but frightening in an eerie, mysterious way that was hard to define; the screen harbored unseen threats, and there was an undertone of sexual danger that was more ominous because it was never acted upon.' - http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060312/REVIEWS08/603120301/1023
'The horror genre has had many of the greatest films of all time stem from it, and Cat People is, without doubt, one of the best and most important.' - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0034587/combined ,