The Leopard Man (May 8, 1943)
Released on May 8, 1943: (running time 66 minutes) One by one people are being clawed to death in a small New Mexico town, and an escaped pet leopard is blamed for the violence.
Produced by Val Lewton
Directed by Jacques Tourneur
Written by Cornell Woolrich with screenplay by Ardel Wray and Edward Dein
The Actors: Dennis O'Keefe (Jerry Manning), Margo (Clo-Clo), Jean Brooks (Kiki Walker), Isabel Jewell (Maria the fortune teller), James Bell (Doctor Galbraith), Margaret Landry (Teresa Delgado), Abner Biberman (Charlie How-Come), Tuulikki Paananen (Consuelo Contreras), Ben Bard (Police Chief Roblos), Ed Agresti (Mexican police officer), Robert Anderson (Dwight Brunton), Jack Chefe (nightclub waitor), David Cota (boy singer), Sidney D'Albrook (waiter serving Helene and Dwight), Rosita Delva (young lover), Jacqueline deWit (Helene), John Dilson (coroner), Joe Dominguez (police officer), John Eberts (nightclub waiter), Fely Franquelli (Rosita), Elias Gamboa (Señor Delgado), William Halligan (Brunton the rich man), Ariel Heath (Eloise), Rose Higgins (Indian weaver), Brandon Hurst (cemetary keeper), Robert Karnes (nightclub customer), Colin Kenny (nightclub customer), Kate Drain Lawson (Señora Delgado), Dora Leyva (nightclub customer), Jacques Lory (Philippe), Charles Lung (Manuel the grocer), Mary MacLaren (Nun), Richard Martin (Raoul Belmonte), Belle Mitchell (Señora Calderon), Ottola Nesmith (Señora Contreras), William H. O'Brien (bartender), Bob O'Connor (Mexican Police Officer), Tom Orosco (window cleaner), Juan Ortiz (plain clothes policeman), Manuel Paris (man blowing smoke), Rene Pedrini (frightened waiter), John Piffle (flower vendor), Jose Portugal (young lover), Betty Roadman (Clo-Clo's mother), George Sherwood (Police Lieutenant), Bobby Spindola (Pedro Delgado), Marguerita Sylva (Marta), John Tettener (minister), Rosa Rita Varella (Clo-Clo's sister), Russell Wade (man in black car and man outside cemetary)
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The Leopard and the Lady Killer
Times are tough for nightclub singer Kiki Walker and her manager/boyfriend Jerry. They are booked into a small village resort in New Mexico, and a pretty Spanish castanet dancer also appearing in the nightclub gets all the attention.
The gal playing the part of the Spanish dancer called Clo-Clo is an actress with with only one name – Margo. She was born with the name María Marguerita Guadalupe Teresa Estela Bolado Castilla y O'Donnell . . . . Okay, Margo it is. Her father was a surgeon and her uncle was famous band leader Xavier Cugat, and Margo first danced in public at the age of nine with her uncle’s band, later becoming an actress in a few movies.
Two of the movies she is famous for are this one and the 1936 movie ‘Winterset’ with Burgess Meredith. She was married to actor Eddie Albert, who was most famous for his role in the television situation comedy “Green Acres.”
As our murder thriller opens we meet the struggling singer who is appearing after the Spanish dancer. Her agent has just come up with a spectacular way to get his singer more attention than the seductive Clo-Clo . . . . He has hired a very tame but very scary looking leopard from Charlie How-Come, a fellow who makes a living showing off his leopard pet.
When Kiki walks into the nightclub wearing a sleek black dress and holding on to a leash with the leopard, all eyes are on Kiki and the Spanish dancer is a bit angry. The Spanish beauty begins clicking her castanets very fast and very loudly, moving ever closer to the frightened leopard. Suddenly the leopard lunges and the American singer lets go of the leash. The frightened leopard rushes for the door and is quickly out into the dark New Mexico night.
Nearby a young girl is sent to the grocers for a bag of corn meal, and reluctantly the girl goes out into the dark streets, and after getting a bag of corn meal she heads back home. On the way she sees two glowing eyes in the darkness, and it turns out that the escaped leopard is watching her. The frightened girl starts running with the leopard chasing her. When she reaches her home she pounds loudly on the door and screams for her mama to open the door and let her in. Mama is not quick enough to get the door open before we hear the growl of the leopard mixed with the young girl’s screams . . . . And then we see her blood slowly seeping under the door.
This will not be the only death in our story, merely the beginning of a deadly reign of terror. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
'Dynamite' the leopard
The town procession
Jean Brooks screams when she sees the leopard
Ariel Heath and James Bell
Dennis O'Keefe and Abner Biberman
Dennis O'Keefe and James Bell
Dennis O'Keefe kisses Jean Brooks
Jacqueline deWit, Sidney D. Albrook and Robert Anderson
James Bell and Ben Bard
James Bell, Dennis O'Keefe and Abner Biberman
James Bell and Dennis O'Keefe
James Bell and Jean Brooks
Jean Brooks, Dennis O'Keefe and James Bell
Jean Brooks with the leopard
Kate Drain Lawson
Margaret Landry sees the leopard
William Halligan and Margo