Puss in Boots (1987)


USA. 1987.


Director – Eugene Marner, Screenplay – Carole Lucia Satrina, Based on the Fairy-Tale by Charles Perrault, Producers – Yoram Globus & Menahem Golan, Photography – Avi Karpick, Music – Rafi Kadishson, Songs – Michael Abbott & Anne Croswell, Visual Effects – Filmoptic, Mattes – Peter Melrose, Special Effects Supervisor – Nani Rozenstein, Makeup – Charles Biderman, Production Design – Marek Dobrowolski. Production Company – Cannon


Jason Connery (Corin), Christopher Walken (Puss), Carmela Marner (Princess Vera), Yossi Graber (King), Elki Jacobs (Lady Clara), Amnon Meskin (Ogre)


In his will, a miller leaves something to each of his three sons. However, all that his youngest son Corin receives is a cat. Corin sets out with the cat to seek his fortune. Along the way, the cat turns into a person. The wily cat fools the king into believing that Corin is the fictional Marquis of Carabas by arranging for Corin to be found bathing in a stream when the king passes. The cat claims that all of Corin’s belongings were stolen, whereupon the king generously outfits him. When the cat then boasts that Corin has vast riches, they are placed in the difficult position of having to provide proof of these lest the king kill them both.

Puss in Boots is another of the cheap fairy-tale adaptations that producers Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus and their Cannon Films tried to foist off on preadolescent audiences in the late 1980s under the Cannon Movie Tales label. Puss in Boots comes from the writing and directing team of Carole Lucia Satrina and Eugene Marner who made one other Cannon Movie Tale Beauty and the Beast (1987).

Puss in Boots travels through its plot with a light efficiency, even if one can see all its moves miles in advance. As in Beauty and the Beast, Eugene Marner succeeds in disguising the usually cheap Cannon production values. Some of the more familiar Cannon-isms creep in though – the king and his buffoonish advisers, the banal songs. (At one point, a song offering up marriage advice daringly throws together the rhyming line “his hand looks like an orange peel/his handshake makes your blood congeal”).

However, the casting of Jason Connery is a major mistake – his humourless and dim-witted performance turns what should be a simple peasant into a moronic imbecile. The casting of no less than Christopher Walken as the cat is an equal mistake. Walken’s characteristic twitchy weirdness is completely at odds with a role that should take over and enervate the film. If nothing else, Christopher Walken’s presence, in light of the cult figure he became in the 1990s, makes Puss in Boots one of the most fascinatingly sought after of all the Cannon Movie Tales.

The other Cannon Movie Tales are:– Beauty and the Beast (1987), The Emperor’s New Clothes (1987), The Frog Prince (1987), Hansel and Gretel (1987), Red Riding Hood (1987), Rumpelstiltskin (1987), Snow White (1987) and Sleeping Beauty (1988).

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