Directed by Edward Dmytryk • 1962 • United States
Starring Laurence Harvey, Capucine, Jane Fonda
One of Saul Bass’s most iconic title sequences—in which a black cat slinks through a gritty urban nightscape—sets the lurid tone for this deliriously entertaining hothouse melodrama based on Nelson Algren’s explosive novel. In the midst of the Great Depression, Dove Linkhorn (Lawrence Harvey) sets out from Texas to New Orleans in search of his lost love, Hallie (Capucine). Little does he know that she has become the prized attraction at the Doll House Cafe, a notorious bordello ruled with icy authority by the possessive madam Jo Courtney (Barbara Stanwyck), who will do anything to keep Hallie for herself. Jane Fonda costars in one of her earliest screen roles.