''The Cat's Meow'' is a 2001 drama film directed by Creator/PeterBogdanovich, and starring Creator/KirstenDunst, Creator/EddieIzzard, Edward Herrmann, Cary Elwes, Creator/JoannaLumley and Creator/JenniferTilly. The screenplay by Steven Peros is based on his play of the same title, which was inspired by the mysterious death of film mogul Thomas H. Ince.

The film takes place aboard publisher William Randolph Hearst's yacht on a weekend cruise celebrating film mogul's Thomas Ince's 42nd birthday in November 1924. Among those in attendance are Hearst's longtime companion and film actress Marion Davies, fellow actor Creator/CharlieChaplin, writer Elinor Glyn, columnist Louella Parsons and actress Margaret Livingston; the celebration, however, ends in an unusual death, which would go on to become subject of Hollywood folklore.

!!''The Cat's Meow'' provides examples of the following tropes:

* BasedOnATrueStory[=/=]{{Dramatization}}: The movie sticks close to the known facts regarding the death of Thomas Ince but, as no one knows what actually happened on the yacht, those parts are necessarily made up.
* {{Blackmail}}
* CostumePorn: The film makes good use of [[GorgeousPeriodDress popular]] [[NiceHat 1920s]] [[LittleBlackDress fashions]].
* DoomedByCanon: Thomas Ince has to die mysteriously, and the death must remain unsolved (or at least unpunished).
* TheFlapper: Didi and Celia.
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: All of them. Ince was a real guy who was a pioneer in the EarlyFilms era and made epics like ''Film/{{Civilization}}''.
* HorribleHollywood
-->'''Elinor Glyn''': ''Only in a place like this do reporters and autograph hounds have absolutely no scruples about stampeding mourners at a funeral. Welcome to Hollywood, a land just off the coast of planet Earth.''
* IntrepidReporter: Lolly Parsons, who uncovers the truth regarding Ince's death, and who assures Hearst his secret will be safe in exchange for a lifetime contract with the Hearst Corporation, thus laying the groundwork for her lengthy career as one of Hollywood's most powerful gossip columnists.
* MeaningfulFuneral: The film opens with a funeral and builds the mystery surrounding such a strange death.
* MurderByMistake: [[spoiler: Ince puts on Chaplin's hat and sits down to chat with Marion. Hearst shoots Ince in the back of the head, mistaking him for Chaplin.]]
* MurderTheHypotenuse: [[spoiler: This was what Hearst intended to do, as he (rightly) suspected that something was going on between Marion and Charlie Chaplin.]]
* TheRoaringTwenties: The film takes place during the height of the roaring 1920s.
* TwentiesBobHaircut: Surprisingly uncommon, though Didi does sport one.
* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue: At the end of the movie, Elinor Glyn narrates what became of the principal characters after the events of the film.