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  #1  
Old 07-23-2005, 08:15 AM
Schnitte Schnitte is offline
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Villain holding pet cat in films - why?

Where does the classic movie cliché of the villain holding and fondling a cat while doing evil things (such as ordering someone to be killed) come from? You see it in so many films; I gues, for example, that Bloberg is doing it in the early James Bond pictures. Anybody knows the origins of this topos?


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  #2  
Old 07-23-2005, 08:31 AM
Ice Wolf Ice Wolf is offline
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The James Bond villain was Blofeld, not Bloberg. Seems the idea of white cats and villains is older than Fleming's books - at least 1932.
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Apart from the families themselves, the most interesting character in the book is Etienne Galant, Henri Bencolin’s nemesis, who, like Sherlock Holmes’ Moriarty (although the white cat recalls James Bond’s Blofeld)...
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  #3  
Old 07-23-2005, 08:51 AM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is online now
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It been parodied to death, of course, including an episode of Police Squad! where a mob boss, as he's talking, stuffs his cat into a desk drawer, then reaches into another desk drawer and pulls out a small dog. And Sledge Hammer featured a scene where a mob boss tosses his cat out the window in a moment of annoyance.

Or my memory might be faulty. I should kill an inefficient henchman to cheer myself up.
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  #4  
Old 07-23-2005, 08:53 AM
JThunder JThunder is offline
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Cats are evil. That's why.
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  #5  
Old 07-23-2005, 09:11 AM
The Scrivener The Scrivener is offline
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Not just any cat; a white Persian with a fabulously bejewelled collar. [Nitpick: it's "Blofeld. Ernst Stavro Blofeld..."]

Tentatively and strictly OTTOMH, this detail represents a tendency in portraiture of the aristocracy and upper classes of Europe. How many oil paintings have there been, after all, in which the well-heeled king, queen, or lesser grand poobahs have been carefully posed alongside symbolic tokens of their wealth, power, and status? (And often their children and beloved purebred pet(s) as well.)

As for Ian Fleming, he often portrayed his villains and their henchmen as being sexually deviant (often homosexual or lesbian, but also sado-masochistic and/or voyeuristic as well), aesthetically refined, epicurean, or with penchants for other sensual, hedonistic pleasures.

More specific to Blofeld, however, the cat is an emblem of the SMERSH head's decadence and degeneracy, insofar as it implies that suspicious Blofeld seeks certain creature comforts from a purebred, spoiled, and bejewelled cat instead of a woman's touch. (No, not that particular thrill; just the more general sensual pleasures associated with petting and stroking a purring, furry critter.)

Referring to the canonical Bond films now for the following analysis, this unnatural displacement of sensuality and affection appears to have accelerated for Blofeld at those times in his life when he lacked for attractive female companionship. Recall, if you will, that his cat-fetish was revealed in "From Russia With Love," when Blofeld hatched a plan involving using a KGB mole to turn a low-level KGB employee into a seductress in order to plant a rigged SPEKTOR encoding machine with MI6 and discredit and kill James Bond. Significantly, Blofeld's mole in the KGB was the spectacularly ugly, chain-smoking, sixty-ish lesbian SMERSH agent Rosa Klebb, she of the sensible shoes. This old hag appears to have been Blofeld's only female colleague at this time in his life. Small wonder, then, that he would reach for a fluffy Persian cat for the ritualized reassurance which obsessive petting can bring.

By contrast, the Persian cat is, IIRC, virtually absent from the dynamic, virile Blofeld of "On Her Majesty's Secret Service," in which the SMERSH titan is running a biological weapons development laboratory (posing as an allergy clinic) at the top of a Swiss alp and has scant time or inclination for cat-stroking. His nefarious plan this time calls for the dissemination of the sterility-inducing microbes through atomizers used by the uncannily beautiful, nubile, 20-something clinic patients, or "angels of death," as he called them. It's safe to say that the Telly Savalas version of E.S. Blofeld is by far the most sexualized portrayal of this evil overlord: although he is companioned by the middle-aged, stout, ugly, and Teutonic Frau Bundt, his henchwoman and manager of the angels of death, is he also surrounded by that bevy of gullible beauties who grant him vicarious access to their bedchambers (a virtual harem, if you will), and he also kidnaps Bond's lover, Tracy, and attempts to seduce her.

IIRC, the Persian cat was present, if not being stroked, in the opening (teaser) sequence from "Diamonds Are Forever," when Bond tracks down Blofeld (actually Blofeld's surgically-enhanced body-double) in a plastic-surgery clinic and spa. You may recall that as Bond buries Blofeld in a steaming mud bath ("welcome to hell, Blofeld," he grimly intones), the cat hisses, and the camera zooms in closely on its diamond-encrusted collar, for the diamond-themed title/credits montage... Are we to infer from the cat that the double had a Persian double, or was the cat Blofeld's devoted pet, and an indicator that the real Blofeld was actually in the vicinity?

Fast-forward to the pathetic, isolated, lair-less (and hairless!) and wheelchair-bound Blofeld from the teaser sequence of "For Your Eyes Only". This time, the heavy petting is a key aspect of villain identification and characterization. Blofeld is literally an urban isolato now, confined to a motorized wheelchair (albeit with a remote control to fly Bond's chartered helicopter) without any henchmen, and left with only the pampered Persian for companionship. Even the Persian cat deserts him, however, when Bond turns tables on the assassination scheme and scoops up the wheelchair on one of the chopper's skids...
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Old 07-23-2005, 10:15 AM
Peter Morris Peter Morris is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Scrivener

IIRC, the Persian cat was present, if not being stroked, in the opening (teaser) sequence from "Diamonds Are Forever," when Bond tracks down Blofeld (actually Blofeld's surgically-enhanced body-double) in a plastic-surgery clinic and spa. You may recall that as Bond buries Blofeld in a steaming mud bath ("welcome to hell, Blofeld," he grimly intones), the cat hisses, and the camera zooms in closely on its diamond-encrusted collar, for the diamond-themed title/credits montage... Are we to infer from the cat that the double had a Persian double, or was the cat Blofeld's devoted pet, and an indicator that the real Blofeld was actually in the vicinity?
It's directly shown that all of Blofeld's doubles have their own cats, but only the real one has the diamond collar.
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Old 07-23-2005, 10:26 AM
Zeldar Zeldar is offline
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Let's not forget the opening of The Godfather even if we decide that Don Vito isn't really a "villain."
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Old 07-23-2005, 11:08 AM
Tenar Tenar is offline
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Originally Posted by Zeldar
Let's not forget the opening of The Godfather even if we decide that Don Vito isn't really a "villain."
I read that the whole cat fondling thing was added to Godfather by Brando; it was not in the script.
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  #9  
Old 07-23-2005, 11:18 AM
Beware of Doug Beware of Doug is offline
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[Doug reaches for his Cecil mortarboard.]

Scrivener, if dancing-around-the-issue could be choreographed, you'd be George Balanchine. The kitty is not first and foremost an allegory to aristocracy in art. (We're talking Hollywood here, and low-to-middlebrow Hollywood at that.) The symbolism of the cat is mostly that IT'S A FREAKING CAT.

That said, you're not too far off the mark about the connotations of cats in the popular mind. They're cuddly, a bit decadent and even treacherous compared to all-American critters like dogs, and have from time immemorial been associated with feminine traits. As for being "spoiled and bejeweled," kitty surely didn't come from the litter that way. Those qualities say more about a cat's human than about the cat. (See decadent above.) Although with some cats I've known, you might be tempted to qonder whether it wasn't all their idea to begin with.

[Mortarboard off.]
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  #10  
Old 07-23-2005, 02:32 PM
The Scrivener The Scrivener is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beware of Doug
Scrivener, if dancing-around-the-issue could be choreographed, you'd be George Balanchine.
Really? I was hoping for Twyla Tharp.

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Originally Posted by BoD
The kitty is not first and foremost an allegory to aristocracy in art.
That wasn't what I meant to suggest, if that is what you took from what I wrote. My point was that while Blofeld's cat is a continuation of a long artistic tradition in which the purebreeds are emblematic of artistocracy and privilege, Blofeld's cat was also used by the evil overlord as a fetishized substitute for more normal human attachments -- and that all this dovetails with Fleming's signature brand of pretentious, megalomaniacal, and yes, decadent, hedonistic, and aesthetically refined evil overlords.

But now that you mention it, and since I didn't earlier, it's significant that Blofeld did in fact have aristo pretensions. A key plot point in OHMSS was Blofeld's application for validation of a hereditary title from the British Royal College of Arms (or some such institution) -- a claim grounded in historical documentation and Blofeld's having the characteristic earlobes -- which paved the way for Bond's infiltration of the clinic Piz Gloria by impersonating an English genealogy expert.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoD
(We're talking Hollywood here, and low-to-middlebrow Hollywood at that.)
Actually, the Broccoli (canonical) Bonds are Eon Productions, in partnership with United Artists, and often filmed partly at Shepperton Studios, IIRC. Not standard Hollywood per se, but generally British productions (albeit pointedly international in terms of locations) backed with American money and distribution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoD
The symbolism of the cat is mostly that IT'S A FREAKING CAT.
My, how tautological of you to say so. Beware of Doug, you're learning, but you're not a Cecil yet.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Morris
It's directly shown that all of Blofeld's doubles have their own cats, but only the real one has the diamond collar.
Thank you, Peter Morris. I have a number of Bond DVDs, but don't have a copy of "Diamonds" for reference (although I do own the soundtrack, go figure).
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  #11  
Old 07-23-2005, 05:05 PM
Superdude Superdude is offline
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I'm not a big James Bond fan, so I'm staying away from that aspect of this discussion. But I thought that Dr. Evil and his cat parodied the cliche very well.

Could another part of the "bad guy" attraction to cats have to do with the Egyptian adoration and worship of the animals?

Just curious.
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Old 07-23-2005, 07:37 PM
Snooooopy Snooooopy is offline
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Stroking a chinchilla just wouldn't have the same effect.
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Old 07-23-2005, 07:38 PM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
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Originally Posted by Snooooopy
Stroking a chinchilla just wouldn't have the same effect.
But it would sound a lot more like a naughty euphemism...
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  #14  
Old 07-23-2005, 09:12 PM
Beware of Doug Beware of Doug is offline
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Originally Posted by The Scrivener
Beware of Doug, you're learning, but you're not a Cecil yet.A Cecil? Hmph. The very idea. I might send a resumé for Little Ed's job if it ever came open, but let's leave it there.
Well met, Scrivener. Cece and I could use a (man? woman? other?) like you.

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  #15  
Old 07-23-2005, 09:18 PM
Baldwin Baldwin is offline
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What about Dick Whittington, Lord Mayor of London? Was he a villain? If so, was he foiled by one of James Bond's ancestors?
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  #16  
Old 07-23-2005, 11:13 PM
Nonsuch Nonsuch is offline
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Talking of parodies, don't forget the Powerpuff Girls episode "Cat Man Do," in which the white kitty is actually the bad guy, controlling her human handler telepathically.
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  #17  
Old 07-23-2005, 11:38 PM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Scrivener
As for Ian Fleming, he often portrayed his villains and their henchmen as being sexually deviant (often homosexual or lesbian, but also sado-masochistic and/or voyeuristic as well), aesthetically refined, epicurean, or with penchants for other sensual, hedonistic pleasures.

More specific to Blofeld, however, the cat is an emblem of the SMERSH head's decadence and degeneracy, insofar as it implies that suspicious Blofeld seeks certain creature comforts from a purebred, spoiled, and bejewelled cat instead of a woman's touch. (No, not that particular thrill; just the more general sensual pleasures associated with petting and stroking a purring, furry critter.)
Don't blame Fleming for that, though. The cat is solely a movie thing. Blofeld's description in the novel Thunderball simply said he was not known to have slept with a member of either sex, suggesting he was very relaxed or very discreet. In the follow-up novels On Her Majesty's Secret Service and You Only Live Twice, Blofeld associates with Irma Bunt, by all description a rather ugly middle-aged woman. Whether or not they shared a bed is left unstated, though she did address him as "Leiber" ("Dear").

Actually, on reflection, few of Fleming's literary Bond villains were sexual deviants. They either had large (hetero)sexual appetites or were rather indifferent to sex. The henchmen occasionally were described as being cruel toward women, but nothing that would get Anne Rice's heart to skip a beat.

By way of compiling a list of Fleming novels and short stories, and the major villains within (from memory, so don't nitpick me to death here):

Casino Royale (1953). Villain: Le Chiffre. Large heterosexual appetite, which prompted him to invest a sizable amount of France's Communist Party's (as well as Soviet terror agency SMERSH's) funds in a chain of brothels. This looked reasonably profitable (as well as having the side benefit of getting Chiffre access to as many women as he wanted), but a strict anti-pimping law shut the brothels down, forcing Le Chffre to play high-stakes baccarat to try to recoup the lost funds. Le Chiffre tries to torture information out of Bond by slamming him repeatedly in the scrotum with a fireplace tool, but there's no indication (I thought) of a homosexual angle. It simply seemed like this was the way for Le Chiffre to inflict maximum pain on bond with minimal effort.

Live and Let Die (1954). Villain: Mr. Big. Large heterosexual appetite.

Moonraker (1955). Villain: Hugo Drax. Bond speculated that Drax's gregarious personality and striking handsome-ugly looks might make him popular with the ladies, but any actual sexual activities of Drax are unstated.

Diamonds Are Forever (1956). Villains: Jack Spang (Rufus B. Saye); Seraffimo Spang, Wint, Kidd. Nothing particularly sexual or extreme about the first two, though Leiter suspected (probably correctly) that the hitmen partners Wint and Kidd were homosexual. When they kidnap and slap around the lovely Tiffany Case, though, they do go to the trouble of stripping her down to her panties.

From Russia, With Love (1957). Villains: Rosa Klebb, Red Grant, Kronsteen, General G. Klebb was definitely sadistic and bisexual. Grant was psychopathic and completely indifferent to sex. Kronsteen had a wife and children, General G.'s appetites are unstated, presumably hetero.

Doctor No (1958). Villain: Dr. Julius No. Dr. No's preferences are unstated. Some of his goons seem pretty cruel, but it's mixed up with a lot of racist crap about black men lusting after white women, so best not to dwell on it.

Goldfinger (1959). Villain: Auric Goldfinger. Goldfinger likes the babes and I suppose his occasional fetish for painting them gold (in at least one case with fatal results) counts as deviant. Or just artistic. He arranged occasionally for his Korean goons to be serviced by white prostitutes, with the indication that the women were were-paid because the Koreans liked to crudely defile them.


For Your Eyes Only (1960). Short story collection:
1. "From a View to a Kill". Villains: Russian spy group. No sexual aspect explored.
2. "For Your Eyes Only". Villains: Von Hammerstein, Gonzales. Cruel scummy bastards, but nothing particularly kinky about them.
3. "Quantum of Solace". Villain: None.
4. "Risico". Villain: Kristatos. Nothing particular stated about his sexuality.
5. "The Hildebrand Rarity". Villain: Milton Krest. Sadistic bastard who liked beating and playing mind-games on his wife.

Thunderball (1961). Villain: Ernst Stavro Blofeld; Emilio Largo, Count Lippe, Petacchi. Largo has large hetero appetites. Blofeld's tastes are deliberately kept vague. Lippe is also hetero and horny. Petacchi is also, but to a lesser degree.

The Spy Who Loved Me (1962). Villains: Horror; Sluggsy. There is a vague description of them raping the female character, but nothing particularly kinky about it.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1963). Villain: Ernst Stavro Blofeld, Irma Bunt. Blofeld's tastes are still unstated, as are Bunt's.

You Only Live Twice (1964). Villain(s): Ernst Stavro Blofeld, Irma Bunt. There's an implication Blofeld and Bunt are friendly-borderline-romantic, but no evidence they are sexual.

The Man With the Golden Gun (1965). Villain: Pistols Scaramanga, Hendriks, assorted hoods. The Secret Service file on Scaramanga suggested he had homosexual tendencies and a fetish for his pistol, but this comes off as complete bullshit whrn Bond first meets Scaramanga in a Jamaica whorehouse. The minor villians seem straight and unremarkable.

Octopussy and the Living Daylights (1966). Short stories:
1. "Octopussy". Villain: Major Dexter Smythe. Marries a woman right after the war, lives with her in an alcoholic stupor for several years until her accidental overdose. No indication of unusual or even particularly interesting sexual tates.
2. "The Living Daylights". Villain: "Trigger". Trigger is a female sniper that Bond is supposed to shoot dead, but instead relents and simply wounds her. If anyone shows sexual misdeeds in this story, it's Bond, for letting a one-sided infatuation interfere with his mission.
3. "The Property of a Lady". Villain: Unidentified resident director of KGB in London, Maria Freudenstein (misidentifed as "Freudenstadt" when referenced at the beginning of "The Man with the Golden Gun", which takes place after this story). M suspects Freudenstein was turned into a double agent through blackmail after some unpleasant sexual misadventure and Bond pegs ehr as an ugly duckling seeking revenge on the world, but nothing perverse. The KB director's tastes are unstated.




Referring to the canonical Bond films now for the following analysis, this unnatural displacement of sensuality and affection appears to have accelerated for Blofeld at those times in his life when he lacked for attractive female companionship. Recall, if you will, that his cat-fetish was revealed in "From Russia With Love," when Blofeld hatched a plan involving using a KGB mole to turn a low-level KGB employee into a seductress in order to plant a rigged SPEKTOR encoding machine with MI6 and discredit and kill James Bond. Significantly, Blofeld's mole in the KGB was the spectacularly ugly, chain-smoking, sixty-ish lesbian SMERSH agent Rosa Klebb, she of the sensible shoes. This old hag appears to have been Blofeld's only female colleague at this time in his life. Small wonder, then, that he would reach for a fluffy Persian cat for the ritualized reassurance which obsessive petting can bring.

By contrast, the Persian cat is, IIRC, virtually absent from the dynamic, virile Blofeld of "On Her Majesty's Secret Service," in which the SMERSH titan is running a biological weapons development laboratory (posing as an allergy clinic) at the top of a Swiss alp and has scant time or inclination for cat-stroking. His nefarious plan this time calls for the dissemination of the sterility-inducing microbes through atomizers used by the uncannily beautiful, nubile, 20-something clinic patients, or "angels of death," as he called them. It's safe to say that the Telly Savalas version of E.S. Blofeld is by far the most sexualized portrayal of this evil overlord: although he is companioned by the middle-aged, stout, ugly, and Teutonic Frau Bundt, his henchwoman and manager of the angels of death, is he also surrounded by that bevy of gullible beauties who grant him vicarious access to their bedchambers (a virtual harem, if you will), and he also kidnaps Bond's lover, Tracy, and attempts to seduce her.

IIRC, the Persian cat was present, if not being stroked, in the opening (teaser) sequence from "Diamonds Are Forever," when Bond tracks down Blofeld (actually Blofeld's surgically-enhanced body-double) in a plastic-surgery clinic and spa. You may recall that as Bond buries Blofeld in a steaming mud bath ("welcome to hell, Blofeld," he grimly intones), the cat hisses, and the camera zooms in closely on its diamond-encrusted collar, for the diamond-themed title/credits montage... Are we to infer from the cat that the double had a Persian double, or was the cat Blofeld's devoted pet, and an indicator that the real Blofeld was actually in the vicinity?

Fast-forward to the pathetic, isolated, lair-less (and hairless!) and wheelchair-bound Blofeld from the teaser sequence of "For Your Eyes Only". This time, the heavy petting is a key aspect of villain identification and characterization. Blofeld is literally an urban isolato now, confined to a motorized wheelchair (albeit with a remote control to fly Bond's chartered helicopter) without any henchmen, and left with only the pampered Persian for companionship. Even the Persian cat deserts him, however, when Bond turns tables on the assassination scheme and scoops up the wheelchair on one of the chopper's skids...[/QUOTE]
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  #18  
Old 07-23-2005, 11:40 PM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is online now
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Damn, please ignore all the unedited leftover quote from after the description of "Octopussy and the Living Daylights". I must've hit "submit" by accident before deleting it.
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Old 07-24-2005, 09:57 AM
Cub Mistress Cub Mistress is online now
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I am certainly going to be way out of my league here, but here goes nothing.

Cats have always seemed to me to be used as a symbol of decadence, deviance and feminine traits. On the other hand, dogs are usually used as symbols of loyalty, honesty, masculinity and The American Way. It's just this weird sort of split.
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Old 07-24-2005, 10:03 AM
Sage Rat Sage Rat is offline
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I always figured it was just a tad of humor, Big, evil, ugly, crime lord and his pwecious Mookums the white fwuffy kitty
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Old 07-24-2005, 10:07 AM
Schnitte Schnitte is offline
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Thanks to everybody here for your input; it actually seems to have a great deal to with the traditional cultural perception of cats as treacherous and mysterious, although Scrivener's theory of substitute mates has something plausible in it.

When thinking about this again the other day, I found it funny that the cat is used as an accessory (so to speak) in a totally different way in Wag the Dog: The innocent, helpless girl fleeing the burning village is taking her cat with her.
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Old 07-24-2005, 11:12 AM
DocCathode DocCathode is offline
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Originally Posted by Sage Rat
I always figured it was just a tad of humor, Big, evil, ugly, crime lord and his pwecious Mookums the white fwuffy kitty
I agree with you, except that I don't think it was originally intended as humorous. IMO Before it became a cliche, the cat helped show that the villain was capable of affection and that he was a twisted individual. The villain might be planning to start world war 3, sink the continents, etc. But, he isn't just an evil, selfish bastard. The cat is something he he truly loves and values above money, power, and possibly his own life. But, his feelings for the cat never spill over to humans. If he accidentally stepped on kitty, he'd be sad and guilty. If he firebombs an orphanage, he feels no remorse at all.

Contrast this with the tough as nails hero who (sometimes secretly) has a beloved pet. This type of hero acts hard and grizzled and world weary. They claim not to need anybody, and will not admit to having tender emotions. In this case, the pet serves as an outlet for the love and compassion that they feel but refuse to admit. The animal also serves to show the viewer that the hero is a good person, capable of compassion, empathy and love.
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Old 07-24-2005, 11:36 AM
DocCathode DocCathode is offline
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Two examples

Silence Of The Lambs

Buffalo Bill feels no remorse at all about abducting, killing, and skinning women. The victims beg for mercy, attempt to make him feel compassion or empathy, with no results. But, he cares about his dog a great deal. When told that the dog might have a broken leg, Bill becomes nearly hysterical with panic. He'd be perfectly willing to kill his family, his lovers, etc. He cares about his dog and nobody else.

Batman Beyond

For those unfamiliar with it, this was an animated series set a few decades in the future. Bruce Wayne has retired as the Batman. He lives alone. He has no wife or children. He rarely interacts with the outside world and is a bitter and angry man. But, he has a dog. Ace is a companion who won't put on a mask and utility belt and run off to be killed by a supervillain. There's no risk of business competitors manipulating Ace with bribes or blackmail. Bruce's love of Ace and his need for the dog are the signs that he hasn't become incapable of love. He's just afraid of the risks. When Ace is injured, or missing, Bruce becomes upset and worries that once again he'll lose somebody he cares about.

Re The white cat in particular

I'd say it's a symbol of aristocracy, decadence, etc. Any family can have some mixed breed mouser that survives on whatever it can catch and the odd table scrap. The purebred white cat is a symbol of having enough resources that you can waste them on non-functional things. If you want to show that the villian is rich, or has stranger priorities for money, give them a purely decorative animal which is rare and expensive. Tough as nails heroes tend to have pets that are cheap, easily available, or which were obtained at no costy through special circumstances.
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Old 07-24-2005, 11:37 AM
jayjay jayjay is online now
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Of course, we can't forget the nemesis of Inspector Gadget, Dr. Klaw! He always has his cat with him. And Gargamel has Azrael, of course...
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Old 07-24-2005, 12:19 PM
DocCathode DocCathode is offline
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Originally Posted by jayjay
Of course, we can't forget the nemesis of Inspector Gadget, Dr. Klaw! He always has his cat with him. And Gargamel has Azrael, of course...
Dr Klaw had no problem lying, cheating, stealing, and killing. The only thing that stopped him from killing MAD agents who failed was the censors. But, he loves Madkat. From Madkat's general demeanor, evil laugh, occasional mauling of MAD agents who failed at their assignments, it's clear that Klaw has taken MadKat as a surrogate child and raised the feline in his own evil image.

Azrael is an exception. She was just a common mouser. She's even more unnacceptable as a show piece due to her mauled ear. I think the answer here is loneliness. Gargamel has nobody. He took Azrael in because he wanted to be loved. Azrael does care for him and has learned to hunt Smurfs to please him. Gargamel is capable of using alchemy to create life. But when he creates Smurfette, she betrays him and joins the Smurfs. Presumably other experiments have had equally unsatisfactory results. But he has Azrael, a mangy outcast just like him.

Phantom 2040

There's no way to describe this show without it sounding like crap. It is not crap, but a damn fine cartoon. The world is standard cyberpunk-megacorps, cybernetic implants, pollution, genetically modified food like substance. Rebecca Madison is head of a megacorp and has big plans. Her son, Maxwell, has many subtle gay mannerisms, and may be somewhat insane. He often expresses opinions or asks questions as though he's just relaying information from his cat, Baudelaire. He's never without Baudelaire. AFAIK it was never revealed whether Maxwell was insane and thought Baudelaire was talking to him, was pretending insanity as part of his own big plan, or whether the cat was somehow talking to him.
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  #26  
Old 07-24-2005, 12:22 PM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocCathode
Dr Klaw had no problem lying, cheating, stealing, and killing. The only thing that stopped him from killing MAD agents who failed was the censors. But, he loves Madkat. From Madkat's general demeanor, evil laugh, occasional mauling of MAD agents who failed at their assignments, it's clear that Klaw has taken MadKat as a surrogate child and raised the feline in his own evil image.
Well, you'd be seeking validation, too, if your entire body consisted of just one arm.
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Old 07-24-2005, 12:33 PM
Tentacle Monster Tentacle Monster is offline
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Baron Silas Greenback had a white fuzzy caterpillar.

I think it was white, anyway. I need to get those Danger Mouse DVDs.
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  #28  
Old 07-24-2005, 12:34 PM
DocCathode DocCathode is offline
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Originally Posted by Bryan Ekers
Well, you'd be seeking validation, too, if your entire body consisted of just one arm.
A Doctor Klaw action figure was released in the late nineties. It ranked right down there with midichlorians.

Imagine the chief's older and thinner brother. Boots. Brown pants. Black Jacket. The face we all waited so long to see was concealed by cardboard. You had to take the figure out of the package to see the head. But, looking through the top of the plastic blister, I could see something white. Curiosity will make most of you read the spoiler. Gadget fans will be much happier if they don't. I wish I could forget the figure. Really, as bad as midichlorians.

SPOILER:
Which turned out to be hair. Imagine a head and face that's a mix of the Chief's and Gadget's. Add a white mustache. That's it. No Doctor Doom style mask to match the hand. No hideous scar. No revelation that he's a member of an alien race of cat people.


I wish that figure had never been made.
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  #29  
Old 07-24-2005, 12:44 PM
The Scrivener The Scrivener is offline
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First, a correction: I'd described Blofeld as a "SMERSH titan," when he was actually head of SPECTRE. His confederate Rosa Klebb ("From Russia With Love"), IIRC, held the rank of colonel in SMERSH while secretly working as a double agent for SPECTRE.


Bryan Ekers -- holy crap, that is some list you put together! I probably overstated somewhat Fleming's willingness to use homosexuality/lesbianism in characterizing his evil overlords and their key henchpersons, as your listing shows: most of the baddies were established as primarily heterosexual in their relationships. However, many of these guys were also sociopaths given to kinky expressions of the sado-masochism and voyeurism which my argument also addressed... and which your list is less concerned with. Such expressions usually didn't involve sex acts involving the villain per se, but rather were evidenced in the way the bad guys killed, tortured, bound, or otherwise humiliated Bond and his allies (such as the women whom Bond "turned" against their villainous employer or lover).

Take a guy as seemingly normal as Emilio Largo in the movie "Thunderball": sure, he's heterosexual, but he's also a sociopath who must exert total control over his trophy mistress, Domino (even ordering henchmen to beat her into confessing after she betrays him), and who relishes feeding his enemies (and even employees who fail him) to the sharks -- although the shark-feeding could be either watched or hidden under a pool-cover. (In the movie "The Spy Who Loved Me," the villain Stromberg takes pleasure in watching as his disloyal secretary is eaten by a shark in a special tank designed for voyeuristic observation, with Mozart playing in the background.)

A couple of the heterosexual villains (Le Chiffre, Goldfinger) even took pleasure in their sexual torture of Bond himself, in ways that explicitly targeted Bond's genitals. I agree with you that Fleming's description of Le Chiffre's torturing Bond suggests that his methods are primarily motivated by the instrumental need to get information from Bond in as efficient a way possible, but Fleming's prose suggests that the torture was nevertheless homoerotic and that the villain enjoyed doing it.
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Old 07-24-2005, 12:54 PM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Scrivener
Take a guy as seemingly normal as Emilio Largo in the movie "Thunderball": sure, he's heterosexual, but he's also a sociopath who must exert total control over his trophy mistress, Domino (even ordering henchmen to beat her into confessing after she betrays him), and who relishes feeding his enemies (and even employees who fail him) to the sharks -- although the shark-feeding could be either watched or hidden under a pool-cover. (In the movie "The Spy Who Loved Me," the villain Stromberg takes pleasure in watching as his disloyal secretary is eaten by a shark in a special tank designed for voyeuristic observation, with Mozart playing in the background.)
Fine, but these are movie characters, with at most vague similarity to Fleming's novels (there is no "Stromberg" character in Fleming's The Spy Who Loved Me, which in fact had nothing whatever to do with submarines, sharks or nuclear war).

Quote:
A couple of the heterosexual villains (Le Chiffre, Goldfinger) even took pleasure in their sexual torture of Bond himself, in ways that explicitly targeted Bond's genitals. I agree with you that Fleming's description of Le Chiffre's torturing Bond suggests that his methods are primarily motivated by the instrumental need to get information from Bond in as efficient a way possible, but Fleming's prose suggests that the torture was nevertheless homoerotic and that the villain enjoyed doing it.
We'll have to agree to disagree on this one, especially on Goldfinger. The interrogation scene in that novel (Little James is in imminent danger from a circular saw, not a laser) didn't strike me as having any particular erotic subtext, though Oddjob did have some fun softening Bond up first, through a simple but scientific beating.
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  #31  
Old 07-24-2005, 03:39 PM
Superdude Superdude is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocCathode
SPOILER:
Which turned out to be hair. Imagine a head and face that's a mix of the Chief's and Gadget's. Add a white mustache. That's it. No Doctor Doom style mask to match the hand. No hideous scar. No revelation that he's a member of an alien race of cat people.


I wish that figure had never been made.
After doing a google image search, I agree with you. I'll link to it in case anyone else wants their childhood ruined.

[url="http://www.midnightsociety.com/web/Finds/Shopping/Drclaw/drclaw.html"Here[/url]
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  #32  
Old 07-24-2005, 03:40 PM
Superdude Superdude is offline
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Could I get a mod to fix the coding, please?
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  #33  
Old 07-06-2014, 12:11 AM
tom_shannon tom_shannon is offline
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The earliest screen villain I saw holding and fondling a cat while doing evil things was the murderous and corrupt Mr. Saunders portrayed by George Coulouris in Lady On A Train, from 1945.
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