Martin Scorsese narrates this tribute to Val Lewton, the producer of a series of memorable low-budget horror films for RKO Studios. Raised by his mother and his aunt, his films often ... See full summary »
Nell Bowen, the spirited protege of rich Lord Mortimer, becomes interested in the conditions of notorious St. Mary's of Bethlehem Asylum (Bedlam). Encouraged by the Quaker Hannay, she tries... See full summary »
On a Greek island during the 1912 war, several people are trapped by quarantine for the plague. If that isn't enough worry, one of the people, a superstitious old peasant woman, suspects ... See full summary »
Tom Merriam signs on the ship Altair as third officer under Captain Stone. At first things look good, Stone sees Merriam as a younger version of himself and Merriam sees Stone as the first ... See full summary »
For many average film-goers the name of Val Lewton means absolutely nothing. For genre enthusiasts(in horror)the name begins to have greater meaning, and if you are a horror fan of the the horror films of the 30s and 40s - then Val Lewton is not just an important name but a giant. Val Lewton was a producer that produced a group of atmospherically charged, elegantly filmed, subtly contexed films from a period roughly from 1942 to 1945 or so. These films were horror films that were meant to help dig RKO out of the mire that Orson Welles had put them in with his Citizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons. RKO would give Lewton a title and he would assemble the script, the director, the crew team, the actors, and then blend them all together to make not only viable box office hits but some of the most powerfully symbolic, metaphorical, suggestive horror films ever made. Included in these films were Cat People, I Walked with a Zombie, The Body Snatcher, and The Leopard Man. Shadows in the Dark chronicles Lewton's impact in the genre and gives us some information about his life. It is a short(53) minutes that goes by very pleasantly and leaves you wanting to know more about the man and his films. Horror icons and writers such as George Romero, William Freidkin, Richard Matheson, and so on give their takes on the legacy of Lewton and his films. Val Lewton's son is on hand to probably give the best insights into the world of his father. This is a wonderful documentary that comes with the five disc set released in 2005 with 9 of Lewton;s films. Although the documentary is very engaging and has lots of information in it I had not realized, I had wished that they would have examined each film in a bit more depth. It certainly left me hungering for more.
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