Saturday, March 26, 2011

Judy Garland & Robert Goulet in Gay Purr-ee (1963)

This will be the third in Brini's Obscurity Factory screening series for Monday, March 28th. It's really an obscure classic. Judy Garland plays Mewsette, a simple French country cat who happens to be very beautiful. She yearns for the sophistication of Paris and decides to make her way there, much to the chagrin to her virile boyfriend Jaune Tom (Goulet). When he finds out she's left, he and his sidekick Robsepierre (Red Buttons) set out to find her. They aren't in time to save her from the clutches of Meowrice and his evil band of alley cats who want to sell Mewsette off to the highest bidder as a mail order bride.

Featured in the film is a charming original score by E.Y. Harburg and Harold Arlen. The animation was spearheaded by the Chuck Jones team. Look for a beautiful sequence of paintings done in the style of famous artists featuring Mewsette. Also look... or listen rather for Hermione Gingold, Morey Amsterdam and Mel Blanc in the cast.

This film is rarely screened anymore, though it is available on DVD. It can also be watched (albeit with commentary by a Disney fan) on YouTube, but you're better off coming to the screening on Monday if you're in New York. The trailer can be seen above, uploaded to YouTube by TheManThatGetAway. The poster above can be bought at

Obscurity factor: 5 (fondly remembered by many from their childhood, available on DVD, rarely screened)


  1. I greatly enjoy the soundtrack to this movie. I recall seeing a bit of it on TV back in the early-70s, but watched it in its entirety a few years ago. I liked it, but my partner thought it was dull although he liked the animation. I recall reading that at the time of its release, the film critic for "Newsweek" (I think) wondered who exactly the audience was for this. He asked if it might be aimed at recherche eight-year-olds, which I think is very funny. I do believe that at the time of its release adults stayed away because it was a cartoon, and it was not terribly popular with children because it was too sophisticated for most of them. I read that the soundtrack album sales suffered also because of this, as adults who liked Judy and saw the record in stores may have assumed the songs were aimed at children. Do you have any thoughts on this?

  2. It does have a very adult theme, so I can understand the issues they had marketing it. It's interesting to note that The Flintstones was originally aimed at adults as well, like The Simpsons and The Family Guy are today, so the phenomenon of pitching cartoons to adults isn't new. Another reason for its floundering could be that it didn't have the cache and marketing know-how of a studio known for animated films behind it, like Disney. Though it wasn't a big success (hence it's inclusion on this blog) it is fondly remembered by many.

  3. Listening to Judy always makes me cry... not sure why but when she starts belting out the tunes the tears start rolling......

  4. It's her vulnerability... she's so available it's easy to feel all her emotion. It's right there on the surface.