The Cat's Paw (1934) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Cat's Paw1934

The Cat's Paw (1934)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Harold Lloyd plays Ezekial Cobb, a missionary's son who has spent his entire life in China. Cobb is sent to his father's home church in California, where it is hoped he will find a wife. A true babe in the woods, Cobb is befriended by politician Jake Mayo (George Barbier). Mayo is a cog in a crooked political machine whose bosses plan to set up a "reform" candidate for mayor, so that they can continue their underhanded activities unmolested. The candidate drops dead, so Mayo sets up the innocent Cobb as the mayor-to-be--a "cat's paw" to deflect attention from the system's corruption. But once elected, Cobb takes his duties quite seriously and begins to clean up the town. The machine frames Cobb with planted evidence of wrongdoing, destroying the lad's political career. Undaunted, Cobb remembers the story of an ancient Chinese leader, who, similarly disgraced, took the law in his own hands and executed all known criminals in his last days of power. Cobb orders that every crook in town be rounded up and brought to a dark cellar. He insists that they confess their crimes or face instant death--and backs up his words by "beheading" two of the crooks on the spot! Actually, these executions are cleverly designed magical illusions, and no one is really killed; but the terrified criminals are so hoodwinked by Cobb's apparent cold-bloodedness that they literally climb over one another to confess. Cobb is exonerated, and honesty is restored to his administration. While not Harold Lloyd's best feature film, The Cat's Paw is definitely his most unorthodox.


Harold Lloyd
as Ezekiel Cobb
Una Merkel
as Petunia Pratt
George Barbier
as Jake Mayo
Grace Bradley
as Dolores Dace
Alan Dinehart
as Mayor Morgan
Grant Mitchell
as `Silk Hat' McGee
Fred Warren
as Tien Wang
Warren Hymer
as Spike Slattery
J. Farrell MacDonald
as Police Chief Pat Shigley
James Donlan
as Red the Reporter
Edwin Maxwell
as District Attorney Neal
Frank Sheridan
as Police Commissioner Moriarty
David Holt
as Ezekiel as a Boy
Vince Barnett
as Wilks, a Gangster
Matt McHugh
as Taxi Driver
Sam Adams
as Irish cop
Samuel S. Hinds
as Rev. Julian Cobb
Alec B. Francis
as Rev. Thatcher
Nell Craig
as Mrs. Cobb
Charles Sellon
as Rev. Junius P. Withers
John Ince
as Burke, a Politician
DeWitt Jennings
as Pete, Policeman
Dick Cramer
as Police Sergeant
Ernie Alexander
as Man on Street
Tom Dugan
as Man on Street
Don Brodie
as Gangster
John Wray
as Man on Street
Noel Madison
as Gangster
Fuzzy Knight
as Gangster
Herman Bing
as Gangster
Billy Dooley
as Reporter
Kit Guard
as Gangster
Lalo Encinas
as Chinese guard
Paul Panzer
as Gangster
Jim Mason
as Gangster
Dewey Robinson
as Chinese Guard
Chief John Big Tree
as Chinese Guard
Arthur Hoyt
as Reporter
Jack Herrick
as Gangster
Eddie Fetherston
as Photographer
Eddie Boland
as Photographer
Walter James
as Club doorman
Sidney Jarvis
as Extra at photo session
Fred Walton
as Boarder
George Davis
as Boarder
Rosa Gore
as Boarder
Jack Kennedy
as Mulligan
Frank La Rue
as Jim, politician
Ivan Linow
as Chee Foo, strongarm
Tom London
as Murph, Cop
Edward Hearn
as Radio Listener
Frances Morris
as Radio Listener
Brooks Benedict
as Club Patron
Charles McMurphy
as Cop at elevator
Pat Somerset
as Club patron
Larry Steers
as Club patron
Phil Tead
as Reporter
James Wang
as Chinese elder
Harry Wilson
as Gangster
Ernest Wood
as Reporter
Noah Young
as Strongarm
Frederick Burt
as Keen Lung
Eddie Fetherstone
as Photographer
James B. Leong
as Lee Chang, Chinese villager
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Critic Reviews for The Cat's Paw

All Critics (4)

Very slow stock-comedy stuff for the first forty minutes...

April 21, 2020 | Full Review…

Harold Lloyd performs with a sedateness which may baffle some of his old admirers. But the story is lively. A family picture.

July 22, 2019 | Full Review…

The story is nearly always exciting, and it leads to an exceptionally ingenious climax.

October 3, 2018 | Full Review…

Though one of Lloyd's weaker comedies, it's still striking as a curio.

May 1, 2014 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

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