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Old Posted Oct 19, 2010, 7:39 PM
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GaylordWilshire GaylordWilshire is offline
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Cooper, Lynch and Kurtz: West Adams/Bison Archives
Cooper, Lynch and Kurtz: West Adams/Bison Archives
900 West Adams, ca. 1940. The pictures above were taken a
few years before The Curse of the Cat People was filmed.


I finally had the chance to watch The Curse of the Cat People again. When I've seen it before I didn't know that Mrs. Farren's house once stood at 900 West Adams, which gsjansen, JeffDiego, myself and maybe others have written of here previously. The film is actually much more interesting than I remembered it, and not just because of the house. But for the purposes of this forum I'll talk about the spooky old Waters/Farren place... here are a couple of obsessive observations. As Amy is following her friends around the Adams/Portland corner of the house in one particularly evocative scene, there is a terrific sense if Victorian West Adams--the great stone and iron fence that JeffDiego mentioned, the brooding turretted house, the lush vegetation. In the movie, trailing potted plants cover the "900" inscribed on each gatepost (probably on purpose--although the street number is seen above the door; see pics here), and you can see the adjacent Christian Science church's balustrade in these scenes, still there today. There are other quick exterior establishing shots of the house that look more like a painting that is only a close approximation of the real house. Closeups of the real front door are seen, with characters entering the actual house, though interiors are apparently studio sets--decorators did a good job of replicating most of the details of the actual house's front doors on these sets. JeffDiego mentioned that he thought the scenes of the unseen Mrs. Farren talking to Amy from a high window appear to have been filmed at another location-- this definitely looks to me to have been the carriage house (which still stands) right behind the main house. What you can see of the carriage house and its small tower in the movie match what is visible from the street--at least in Google Street View shots, that is (see prior posts of the carriage house, which also show remnants of the stone-and-iron fence). OK--this is probably way more detail than you ever wanted to know about The Curse of the Cat People, but I think its 1944 release date and mysterious look and feel, and the starring role of a great old L.A. house (even if it's supposed to be in Tarrytown, N.Y.), make it part of noir-era Los Angeles if not really noir is the usual sense. Btw--I wonder if the producers of The Addams Family remembered Curse when they were searching for a "haunted" house for the '60s tv series, but, finding 900 West Adams gone, then discovered 21 Chester Place?

American Film Institute
Mrs. Farren entertaining Amy at home. Notice the cat eating the canary.

Last edited by GaylordWilshire; Oct 20, 2010 at 11:46 AM.
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