Screenplay: Steven Peros
Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Released: 2001 at the London and Commonwealth Film Festivals in the UK and 2002 in the USA, KC Medien-Dan Films Production, Lions Gate Films
The Cat's Meow premiered in LA on 10th April 2002, opened in New York and LA on the 12th April and went on general release throughout the USA on 26th April that year.
In the UK, the film was screened as part of the London Film Festival on 8th November 2001 and on 7th July 2002 at the AMC Great Northern Cinema, Manchester as part of the Commonwealth Film Festival.
Eddie plays Charlie Chaplin in this fact-based story set in 20’s Hollywood.
Centring on a weekend soiree, hosted by multi-millionaire newspaper magnate, William Randolph Hearst (Edward Herrmann) on his luxury yacht, The Cat's Meow follows the business and sexual intrigues that occur between invited guests, ranging from Hearst's own employees, such as legendary gossip columnist, Louella Parsons (Jennifer Tilly), Charlie Chaplin, British novelist Elinor Glyn (Joanna Lumley) and Hearst's mistress, the actress Marion Davies (Kirsten Dunst). These, together with other assorted starlets, a famous Hollywood film producer and associated servants and functionaries engage in various revels and prohibited activities.
This louche atmosphere, combined with simmering tension between Hearst and one of the guests, who he suspects of paying rather too much attention to Marion Davies, starts off as decadent fun and then leads to accidental tragedy.
“….wonderfully played with devilish wit….” Hollywood Reporter
“….Izzard captures so well the mixture of self-absorption and sheer fecklessness in Chaplin’s character….” Variety
“….his depiction of the Little Tramp off screen offers an incisive picture of Chaplin’s charm and irresponsibility.” New York Times
“Eddie Izzard is knockout as Charlie Chaplin.” New York Post