Treacherous bank robber Rudy is shot and left for dead by “Doc” McCoy, but has sneakily put on a bullet-proof vest and survives with a shoulder wound. He makes it to a veterinarian’s surgery, where he proceeds to get friendly with a kitten, and the veterinarian’s wife.
In Samuel Peckinpah’s 1992 film of Jim Thompson‘s hard-boiled pulp novel, Al Lettieri plays Rudy. In Roger Donaldson’s remake, it’s Michael Madsen. Lettieri is scarier, but Madsen has a strange Rita Hayworth hair-do and his kitten shows up better than Lettieri’s, which is black. When oh when will film-makers learn that black cats rarely show up well on screen?
Both kittens look content to be nestling cosily on the chest of a crazy killer, and their presence adds extra tension to the latter part of the story for the average cat-lover, who doesn’t really give a fig about what happens to Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw or Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger, but who will be fretting lest Rudy mistreat the cat in a whimsical sociopathic fit of pique.
Fret ye not. Many, many people get beaten or shot or blasted during the final showdown, but as far as one can see, both kittens survive unharmed.
Al Lettieri: My kitten is better than your kitten.
Michael Madsen: No actually, mine is better. Look how it nestles.
Al Lettieri: I still think mine is cuter. Also, you have hair like a girl.
- Michael Madsen’s Kids Told Him To Star In Justin Bieber Video (contactmusic.com)