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Fritz the Cat (1972)

Unrated | | Animation, Comedy, Drama | 14 April 1972 (USA)
A hypocritical swinging college student cat raises hell in a satiric vision of various elements on the 1960s.

Director:

Ralph Bakshi

Writers:

Ralph Bakshi (screenplay), Robert Crumb (characters)
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Popularity
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Cast

Cast overview:
Skip Hinnant ... Fritz the Cat (voice)
Rosetta LeNoire ... Bertha / Additional Female Crows (voice)
John McCurry John McCurry ... Blue / John / Additional Voices (voice)
Judy Engles Judy Engles ... Winston Schwartz / Lizard Leader (voice)
Phil Seuling Phil Seuling ... Pig Cop #2 (voice)
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Storyline

A persiflage on the protest movements of the 60s. Its hero is the bold and sex-obsessed tom-cat Fritz the Cat, as created by the legendary underground artist Robert Crumb. Quitting university Fritz the Cat wanders through the hash, Black Panther and Hell's Angels scenes to find to himself. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

We're not rated X for nothin', baby! See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Yiddish

Release Date:

14 April 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fritz the Cat See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$850,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White (end credits)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Ralph Bakshi, two types of animators didn't work on the film for long. The first just wanted to draw dirty pictures, had no animation experience, and were fired for it. The second had animation experience, but couldn't bring themselves to tell their family what they did for a living, and quit. See more »

Goofs

When Duke and Fritz leave the bar, the knife on the floor disappears. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: Hey, yeah - the 1960s? Happy times, heavy times.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Earlier prints of the film have the photographs during the end credits in black and white, while the 2001 MGM DVD release has the photographs in sepia tone. See more »

Connections

Featured in Starz Inside: Comic Books Unbound (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Yesterdays
(1952)
Written by Jerome Kern & Otto A. Harbach
Performed by Billie Holiday, vocal
Joe Newman, trumpet
Paul Quinichette, tenor sax
Oscar Peterson, piano/organ
Freddie Green, guitar
Ray Brown, bass
Gus Johnson, drums
See more »

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User Reviews

How far have we progressed in 30 years?
24 March 2003 | by pjmuckSee all my reviews

I came across the recently released DVD of this film in, of all places, the children's video section of Virgin Megastore. Whether or not this poorly miscategorized placement was of simple ignorance or whether the intent weas subversive and it was intentionally and deliberately placed in the children's section, I found myself grinning and reluctant inform anyone of the error. After all, nobody gave me any forewarnings when I was a kid either, as some things you just have to discover on your own, and the thought of some poor innocent parents popping this film on for their kid only to look on in horror at the visions that would soon unfold sounded dastardly and funny indeed.

I was 7 years old when Fritz the Cat first hit the screen, and while I didn't see the film for the first time until I was well into my twenties, the film nevertheless had a lasting impact on my childhood. This film had taken on a reputation of mythical proportions in my Brooklyn hometown neighborhood, partly due to the older teens on my street who were all too eager to share shocking details contained therein, as only the best subversive intentions can do, and further securing the film's status as "every parent's nightmare". To a child about to undergo serious growing pains and a naturally growing curiosity towards all things "adult-related", Fritz the Cat was very much my earliest childhood memory of the themes of sex, drugs, rock-n-roll, racism, you name it, and it was a symbol for naughtiness that all coming of age kids couldn't wait to catch a sneak peak of, or at least couldn't wait to reach the age when we could view such subject matter freely.

As a movie, it hasn't lost any of it's impact in 30 years, and fewer films truly capture the grittiness and raw edge of New York city in the 70's (French Connection is another good example). I dare say that it could be considered more offensive now than ever, as I fear that today many just might not "get it," despite our self-proclamation that we've come a long way in maturity and tolerance of such sensitive issues. Modern society has become so politically correct and desensitized to controversial issues that we're less tolerant and understanding of the original intent of a film such as this, especially when it's messages are not consistent with our modern value system. Thus, some of the obvious stereotypes presented in this film (such as the pigs portraying cops and the crows portraying blacks, for example), could never be presented in a film today. Granted, these images were meant to be offensive in the 70's as well, but they were obviously taken in a different light back then, as they were indicative of a specific brand of biting satire found in the 70's and hippie culture and a reflection of how that particular generation could openly address such social issues. These issues, such as racism, are clearly still relevant today, we just address them in a different manner, which is why Fritz the Cat still has potency yet is more or less looked upon as a curious time capsule of a bygone era today.


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