The Cat’s Meow (2001)

The Cat’s Meow (2001) — What we know: William Randolph Hearst took out his yacht with a bunch of friends, among them film producer Thomas H. Ince. Ince was declared dead shortly after his return, officially of heart failure supposedly from ulcers. What actually happened has become rumors and an enduring Hollywood mystery and legend. Peter Bogdonovich’s The Cat’s Meow is about that fateful yacht trip including such famous people as Hearst (Edward Herrman) and his paramour actress Marion Davies (Kirsten Dunst), gossip columnist Louella Parsons (Jennifer Tilly), novelist Elinor Glyn (Joanna Lumley), movie star Charlie Chaplin (Eddie Izzard), actress Margaret Livingston (Claudia Harrison), and of course the ill-fated Mr. Ince (Cary Elwes). The movie chronicles Hollywood excess circa 1924 and the suspicions and shady behavior that has become an oft-told but never-proven account of what happened on that trip. The movie is swiftly-paced and well-executed and I’d recommend it for fans of old Hollywood.

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