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Cat’s Eye (1985, Drew Barrymore, James Woods)

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An anthology of Stephen King anecdotes, part new material, part dramatisation of two short stories. The disparate elements are threaded together by the fate of a cat. First it is tortured by a strange mobster-run agency (personified by Alan King) whose regime to induce client James Woods to quit smoking entails threat and sadism. Then it is taken up by a cuckolded gambler, Kenneth McMillan, who persuades his wife’s toyboy, Robert Hays, to make a death-defying circuit of the exterior of his penthouse. Finally it is adopted by Drew Barrymore, who is oppressed by a buck-toothed gremlin. Happily the cat sees off this spooky rival.

This is minor King with rather too many invocations of his own myth but there are striking performances, especially from Woods with his cold-sweat-inducing bout with nicotine cold turkey.

production details
USA | 94 minutes | 1985

Director: Lewis Teague
Writer: Stephen King

cast
Mike Starr as Ducky
Alan King as Dr. Vinnie Donatti
James Naughton as Hugh
James Woods as Richard ‘Dick’ Morrison
Drew Barrymore as Amanda
Kenneth McMillan as Cressner
Robert Hays as Johnny Norris
Candy Clark as Sally Ann
Tony Munafo as Junk
James Rebhorn as Drunk Businessman
Mary D’Arcy as Cindy
Jack Dillon as Janitor
Susan Hawes as Mrs. McCann
Shelly Burch as Jerrilyn
Sal Richards as Westlake
Jesse Doran as Albert
Patricia Kalember as Marcia
Charles S. Dutton as Dom
Laura Warner as Cigarette Girl / Casino Girl / Bridge Driver

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