When Cats Fight

Appropriately, Sharon Tate lets out a hiss as she takes on Nancy Kwan in "The Wrecking Crew."

Women Settling
Matters in the
Tradtional Way 

​     The term "catfight" is widely used to describe any verbal or physical confrontation between women. Even the common office squabble is liable to draw an excited "Meow!" from some eager male co-worker.​​

​     There's something incredibly sexy about two women squaring off. Perhaps it's a hearkening back to some primeval dream of two females fighting for the right to reproduce with a male. 

​     Yet, beyond the basic necessity of having two women to face off, there's no settled definition of a catfight.

    Our friend Brolly  -- a noted expert on such matters -- insists a catfight must involve hair-pulling. And he differentiates a catfight from a fistfight, as exemplified by Brigitte Bardot and Claudia Cardinale in "Frenchie King."​   
     To women boxers and martial artists, of course, catfighting is a  contemptible thing, the province of amateurs and drunks.

​     Professional wrestlers, too, feel they perform on a higher plane than mere catfighters. And that's even though they often resort to the same unprofessional tactics -- like hair-pulling and scratching -- that their dress-shredding, floor-rolling sisters employ.

​     The term "catfight" goes back to an 1824 book, "The Cat-Fight: A Mock Heroic Poem, Supported with Copious Extracts from Ancient and Modern Classic Authors," by Ebenezer Mack. We confess not to have read it. 

    Credit for creating the modern concept of the catfight  goes to the aptly named Irving Klaw and other fetish artists of the 1950s. Their staged "glamour" fights between scantily clad young women found a fervid audience. 

​     Catfights soon moved from porn to Hollywood, finding their way into westerns, women-behind-bars movies, "blaxploitation" films, and even James Bond with the famous "Gypsy" fight. 

    The big prime-time moment for catfighting came in "Dynasty," the popular U.S. TV show of the 1980s, which pitted Linda Evans against Joan Collins. (That was based on an earlier fight between Evans and Stefanie Powers in "McCloud.")

     Perhaps unfortunately, that encounter set the model that is too often still followed: two enraged women flopping around the room, ripping clothes and hair, while showing no fighting talent or skill. It's often played for humor.

    Some TV catfights aspire to higher standards, of course, with no better example than the battles fought by Emma Peel on "The Avengers." (Mrs. Peel, of course, warrants her own section on kingofhairpul.com!)

    What we present here in "Catfighting" reflects the broad nature of the term. We've got some "glamour" fights; TV and movie encounters; even a hair-pulling contest. Whenever two (or more) women fight outside of of the ring, this is its home. 

    Shall we get started? "Meow!"
Above, the iconic porn star Bettie Page gets her hair pulled.
At left, a classic blonde-brunette catfight, photo dated to 1950.
Fetish publications still featured "apartment wrestling" into the 1980s, such as this hair-pulling matchup from "Fighting Hellcats" magazine.
Una Merkel and Marlene Dietrich about to engage in a long, floor-rolling catfight amid cheering cowboys in "Destry Rides Again"
Martine Beswick vs. Aliza Gur in the "Gypsy" fight from the James Bond adventure, "From Russia With Love"
Diana Rigg as Emma Peel, right, brought skill and panache to her catfights, like this one against Katherine Schofield in "The Cybernauts"
On of the great movie battles involved Brigitte Bardot, left, and Claudia Cardinale in "Frenchie King." But was it a catfight, or just a fistfight?
Wrestling in mud is one of the less dignified forms of catfighting, as Pam Grier and Roberta Collins find out in "The Big Doll House"
Linda Evans, left, and Joan Collins engage in perhaps the most-watched catfight, on the American hit TV series, "Dynasty"
Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek in "Bandidas," where their delightful slap-fight was just crying out for some good hair-pulling action.

What It's All About:
The Hair-Pulling

That's why we're here, folks. Two angry women digging their hands into each other's long locks -- our lifelong passion. We bring you the finest examples we can find!

Catfighting in the Hollywood Hills

Anger suddenly boils over, and Carla and Beth go at it with feminine fury. The two beauties are complemented by their stunning locale, the Santa Monica Mountains!

`The Legend of
Frenchie King'

Brigitte Bardot vs. Claudia Cardinale in an improbable French Western. Two of the most beautiful women in the world take part in a knock-down, drag-out catfight that's among the greatest ever filmed.

A Gene Rodenberry ​Catfight

After "Star Trek" was canceled, Rodenberry came up with a pilot about a post-apocalyptic Earth with -- what else? -- catfighting. It didn't sell, but worth the effort!

Bikini Battle

Tina and Sylvia engage in a savage catfight, clad in skimpy string bikinis. Which long-haired beaty will win -- and keep her top on?