The Cat's Meow

Synopsis: In November of 1924, a mysterious Hollywood death occurred aboard media mogul William Randolph Hearst's yacht. Among the famous guests that weekend were: film star Charlie Chaplin; starlet Marion Davies (who was also Hearst's mistress at the time); silent-film producer Thomas H. Ince (known for creating the first Hollywood-studio facility and for creating an "assembly line" system for filmmaking); and feared gossip columnist, Louella Parsons.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): Peter Bogdanovich
Production: Lions Gate Films Releasing
  1 win & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
114 min

Stop pushing.

Stop pushing.

Please, calm down.

In November of 1924,

during a weekend yacht party

bound for San Diego,

a mysterious death occurred

within the Hollywood community.

However, there was no coverage

in the press, no police action,

and of the 1 4 passengers

on board,

only one was ever questioned

by authorities.

Little evidence exists now,

or existed at the time,

to support any version

of those weekend events.

History has been written

in whispers.

This is the whisper

told most often.

The yacht, you see,

belonged to

William Randolph Hearst.

Only in a place like this

do reporters and autograph hounds

have absolutely no scruples about

stampeding mourners at a funeral.

Welcome to Hollywood,

a land just off the coast

of the planet earth.

After we all leave,

the man in the box

will disappear.

Just his ashes

will remain.

After all, it's fire

that can hurt you, not ashes.'re listening to KFI.

And stay tuned

for our weekend music marathon,

with our own

KFI studio orchestra.

I fear this bizarre

yet fascinating town,

but I can't leave it.

You see, I'm never quite certain

if I'm visiting the zoo,

or if I'm one

of the animals in a cage.

Don't you dare!

I will not be seen arriving early.

Yes, ma'am.

I want to avoid

the solution to this riddle

but the man in the box

forces us to confront it.

All of us were there

that weekend.


I am not here.

The birthday boy is early.

He must be anxious.

My God, this thing

must be 200 feet.

- 220.

- He owns that?

And the ocean it's sitting in

and the sky above.

What are you doing?!

The old boy should give you the ship

as a birthday present, Tom.

We could sell it and

get the studio out of hock.

Don't be melodramatic,

George, no one's in hock.

We're not far away.

I don't know about this new strategy.

It's like I told you,

people's tastes have changed.

They want to read more modern stories.

Contemporary, adult.

Like the kind you read

in Hearst's magazines.

Will it be like this

all the way to San Diego and back?

Besides, he has a lot

of other assets to offer.

Yeah, cash.

I still don't think it's

the right time. Too obvious.

Relax, George.

No one's going to be obvious.

Business. Business.

Yes, take that bag.

Kono, a starving man

eats the wooden planks

of his log cabin.

- Is that funny?

- No, Mr. Chaplin. Not funny.

Don't hold back.

Tell me what you really think.

Huh? Hmm?

Don't tell me

Elinor Glyn has arrived on time?

Good God,

perhaps even early?

Oh... all right then.

Hello, you little bastard.

The "little" I object to.

I see your young passion flame

is not accompanying you.

Lita? She's not here?

I seem to have forgotten her.

Let's keep it

that way, shall we?

Oh my God!

...they cost him a fortune.

Mr. Chaplin, it is an honor,

and I mean a true honor

to meet you, sir.

Louella Parsons.

I write for Mr. Hearst's paper

the New York American.

I've been there a whole year.

Louella Parsons of the East,

meet Elinor Glyn of the West.

Elinor is the finest and naughtiest

writer in the entire world.

Oh, you don't have to tell me that.

I wish I could be introduced

as being "of the West."

Whatever makes you happy, dear.


I'll leave you two alone.

I have something-or-other

to attend to.

Mr. Chaplin, did you happen

to notice the rave review

I gave your last picture,

"A Woman of Paris"?

Yes, I did.

Thank you, that was most kind.

So deserved, so deserved.

It just stinks

that nobody went to see it.

At least you won't lose your shirt

on the next picture too.

I hear at least you have

Rate this script:(3.00 / 2 votes)

Steven Peros

Steven Peros is an American playwright, screenwriter, director, and television writer. He is the author of both the stage play and screenplay for The Cat's Meow, which was made into the 2002 Lionsgate film directed by Peter Bogdanovich and starring Kirsten Dunst, Eddie Izzard, Edward Herrmann, Cary Elwes, Jennifer Tilly, and Joanna Lumley. Additional Film Writing credits include his directorial debut, Footprints (2011), which was hailed as "One of the Ten Best Films So Far This Year" by Armond White, Chairman of the New York Film Critics Circle and was similarly praised by critics Kevin Thomas, F.X. Feeney, Mick LaSalle, and White during the film's initial release. He followed this with The Undying (2011), which he directed and co-wrote, and which starred Robin Weigert, Wes Studi, Jay O. Sanders, and Sybil Temtchine. As a playwright, The Cat's Meow had its world premiere in Los Angeles in 1997 and is published by Samuel French, Inc.. It has been performed in four countries as of 2013. His earlier play, Karlaboy (1994) also premiered in Los Angeles where it received a Drama-Logue Award for Outstanding Achievement in Writing. It is also published by Samuel French.Steven George Peros was born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in North Babylon, New York, where he attended public school. He graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Film and Television. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Cat's Meow" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 23 Sep. 2021. <'s_meow_5188>.

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