Pale imitation of 1942’s “Curse Of The Cat People.” I had to fight to stay awake in what’s supposed to be a psychological thriller billed as a horror film. This is Barbara Shelley’s first English movie following several she made in Italy.
Leonora Brandt (Barbara Shelley) is called to America to visit her uncle (Ernest Milton). He lives in a mansion made for dark and stormy nights. He has a pet leopard. Leonora came over from London along with her new husband Richard and their friends Allan and Cathy. While having a few drinks Leonora runs into her old boyfriend, Dr.Brian Marlowe (Robert Ayres). He’s a married psychiatrist. He leaves to go home and the group thinks it’s time to go.
They head for uncle’s place. When they arrive he’s out with his leopard. Housekeeper Anna lets them in. When he comes back he’s not happy Leonora brought company. He takes her into another room and explains the family curse that’s been around for seven hundred years.
He shows her the leopard and says the curse makes family members one with the animal. When the uncle dies the curse will pass on to Leonora. Outside the uncle calls on the cat to kill him. Now the leopard and Leonora are one.
Richard and Cathy can’t keep their hands off each other. They’re out in the woods having at it when Leonora spots them. She commands the leopard to kill and that wraps up her marriage.
Dr.Marlowe takes her back to London and puts her in a sanitarium for a rest. At night she looks into a mirror and sees herself as a leopard. She tells Marlowe that she can call up the leopard at anytime and in fact the animal is already outside. Marlowe’s not buying it and says she should go out with his wife Dorothy for the day. That night he wants them to meet him for dinner at a little place near the docks.
After killing Dorothy’s pet caged bird she tells Dorothy she doesn’t want to go and she should meet him herself. Dorothy looks inside the cage and has a minor reaction. She leaves and waits on the street for Marlowe. Then along comes Leonora. Also hanging around…the leopard.