Serbian-born New York fashion artist Irena (Simone Simon) is haunted by an ancient Balkan legend that she is cursed to turn into a deadly big cat if ever she becomes sexually aroused. When she falls for architect Oliver (Kent Smith), she attempts to put her fears aside, but an encounter with a mysterious woman – who calls her ‘moya sestra’ (my sister) – troubles her so much that she is unable to consummate the marriage.
After moving into Irena’s Central Park apartment, Oliver soon becomes concerned over his new wife’s obsession with the big cats at the nearby zoo and her fear of being touched. Irena then agrees to see a psychiatrist (Tom Conway), while Oliver finds emotional support from work colleague Alice (Jane Randolph). But when Irena becomes jealous of their relationship, a couple of attempts are made on Alice’s life by what could be a black panther. Could the curse be true after all? Oliver isn’t quite sure, but a late night visitor to his office soon could make him change his mind…
A film noir classic directed by the great creator of the macabre, Val Lewton. Cat People remains one of the most enduring horror films that RKO ever made! The OEG Region 2 DVD release features a Fullscreen PAL 4:3 unrestored print of the feature, and includes an analysis of the film by film critic James Oliver.