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That Darn Cat! is a 1965 Walt Disney Productions film starring Hayley Mills and Dean Jones in a story about bank robbers, kidnapping and a mischievous cat. It was based on the book Undercover Cat by Gordon and Mildred Gordon and was directed by Robert Stevenson. The title song was written by the Sherman Brothers and sung by Bobby Darin. That Darn Cat! was the last of six films Hayley Mills made for the Disney Studios. The 1997 remake featured a cameo appearance by Dean Jones. The remake's main star was Christina Ricci.

While out one night, "DC" ("Darn Cat"), a mischievous Siamese cat, follows a bank robber to an apartment where he and his partner are holding a bank employee hostage. The desperate hostage starts to write "HELP" on her gold watch, but is forced to place it on DC and smuggle him out before she can finish. The next day, Patti, DC's owner, finds the watch on him and putting two and two together, calls the FBI. Hilarity Ensues.

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Not to be confused with That Poor Cat.


Tropes:

  • Awful Wedded Life: The MacDougalls.
  • Bumbling Sidekick: Downplayed with Iggy, as it is clear that for all his ineptitude, he is not one to take chances with. However during the battle with the good guys, while the fight between his partner Dan and Zeke is played straight, the one between Iggy and Patti with DC is played primarily for laughs.
  • Catchphrase: "That darn cat!"
  • Cats Are Mean: As Patti tells Zeke, DC is only really nice to people who give him food. Otherwise, he's aloof bordering on hostile.
  • Cats Have Nine Lives: After DC steals Gregory's freshly-butchered duck, he threatens to "give him a pants full of buckshot! Nine times if necessary!"
  • Chase Scene: Several. There's one when the FBI agents first try to follow DC, which ends with them storming Patti and Ingrid's house, one at the Drive-In Theater, which ends with DC disrupting the movie, and one at the end when Zeke follows DC to the robbers, Patti follows Zeke, and Canoe follows Patti.
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  • Chekhov's Boomerang: Zeke's allergy to cats, while providing some laughs, is what helps give away his bluff to the bank robbers that he is DC's owner.
  • The Chessmaster: Patti, especially when she manipulates a discouraged Zeke and the FBI into trying one more time to follow DC, by prodding reluctant jeweler Mr. Hofstedder to give them a false tip that the gold watch found on the cat indeed belonged to kidnap victim Mrs. Miller, as his store sold it to her. It works.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Canoe notices that DC is wearing a watch before Patti does, but all he takes away from the discovery is that it's past his bedtime.
    • Also, during an inspection of the bank robbers' apartment by their cranky landlady Mrs. Davis, a dollar bill from their loot which prior to her arrival, had been accidentally blown up to the ceiling by a fan, literally falls into her hands and she happily pockets it as rent money, without even stopping to consider where it came from.
  • Cranky Landlord: Landlady in this case, namely Mrs. Davis.
  • Crying Wolf: According to Ingrid, this is not the first time Patti has gone to the authorities with a premonition that someone is in trouble.
  • Damsel in Distress: Mrs. Miller, the bank employee, although she makes at least one attempt to be a Damsel out of Distress.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Almost everyone, but special mention goes to Mr. MacDougall.
    • Mrs. Davis also, especially when her two male tenants try to give her an alibi about having a woman in their apartment.
    Mrs. Davis: I didn't come in from Stupidsville on last night's bus!
  • Detective Animal: DC.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Mr. MacDougall, after having to put up with his wife for the whole movie, finally gets his own back when he calls the police on her.
    • Mrs. Miller makes several desperate attempts to outwit her captors, but it is only thanks to the team of DC, Patti and Zeke that she survives.
  • Drive-In Theater: Canoe takes Patti to one. Then DC follows them, and Zeke follows him, and things go downhill from there.
  • Dumb Jock: Canoe. See Comically Missing the Point above.
  • Evil Duo: Dan and Iggy, the bank robbers.
  • Evil Has Standards: Although Dan is the brains of the holdup duo, as well as the tougher one, he is not as keen on killing Mrs. Miller as Iggy is. It is only after she tries to set their apartment on fire, coupled with their nosy landlady's announcement that her sister is coming over for a visit, that he concurs with his partner that their hostage must be disposed of, and the sooner the better.
  • Evil Vegetarian: Iggy of all people, or at least he hates seeing blood. Even Dan finds that amusing.
  • FBI Agent: Zeke.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Dan, until it becomes clear that being "nice" won't work.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Ingrid believes that she is the responsible sister and Patti is foolish.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Just check out the dialogue between Mrs. Davis and her two male tenants when she first confronts them about the woman she suspects they're hiding in their room!
  • The Ghost: Mrs. Davis' unnamed sister, who as she informs the bank robbers is coming over from Australia for an extended visit, and whom she implies is even crankier and more sensitive to noise than she is, being the matron of a women's prison. Although we never actually get to see this character, her imminent arrival drastically increases the thieves' need to dispose of their unwanted "guest", Mrs. Miller.
    • Gregory's mother to a lesser extent, as he often talks about her, especially when trying to seduce Ingrid.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Canoe grows ever jealous and suspicious while Patti works with Zeke, to the point where he follows her around in disguise.
  • Henpecked Husband: Mr. MacDougall.
  • Hot on His Own Trail: The FBI agents follow DC... to his own house, which they think is the kidnappers'. They promptly surround it, while keeping Zeke (who's in the house, along with Patti) informed by radio. He tells them to go in. They do.
    Zeke: [after the agents barge in and hold him at gun-point before they realise their mistake] What is this?
    Agent: The cat came in here, sir.
    Zeke: Are you nuts? There's no cat in - [sneezes]
    Patti: [checks under the bed and sees DC] DC!
    Zeke: That darn - [sneezes] cat!
  • Invisible Parents: Patti and Ingrid's parents are apparently touring Europe at the time of the film, so Ingrid has a temporary Promotion to Parent.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Gregory is a pompous ass, but being a regular victim of DC's mischief, he has every right to hate the cat.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Curiously for all his murderous tendencies, Iggy does have a soft spot for cats.
  • Lost Food Grievance: Gregory is livid after DC steals his prized gadwall from the former's back yard.
    Gregory: Ooh! Where is that sneaky, miserable guttersnipe! He's got my duck!
  • Momma's Boy: Gregory never stops talking about Mother Dearest when he's trying to seduce Ingrid.
  • Nervous Wreck: Mrs. Miller, and who can blame her.
  • Nosy Neighbor: The MacDougalls. Or rather, Mrs. MacDougall; her husband tries to stop her being this, which culminates in him calling the police which she's out looking over people's walls.
    • As the thieves' meddlesome landlady Mrs. Davis lives downstairs from their apartment, this trope qualifies her as well.
  • Only Known by Initials: DC, which stands for "darn cat." Apparently, this name was given as an alternative to the "something much worse" Mr. Randall called him.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Dan calls Iggy out over his choice of a hideout.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Dan and Iggy. While Dan is clearly the tougher of the two, he is less blood-thirsty, and very much the brains, while Iggy is a quirky little ferret who is all too eager to bump off their hostage, Mrs. Miller.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Mr. MacDougall, when his wife returns and threatens to murder him.
  • The Stakeout
  • Straight Man and Wise Guy: Dan and Iggy, but downplayed and in a sinister way.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: Dan and Iggy again, though Dan is smoother, smarter, and tougher.
  • Title Drop: Done quite literally with a dog that gets outsmarted by DC, who barks the main title after DC gets away.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Mrs. Miller is all but forgotten in the final battle and wrap-up scene; we don't even get to see her freed.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Possibly, as the bank robbers consider Patti as an alternate hostage instead of Mrs. Miller, just before the final battle starts.

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