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Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows (2007)

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 »

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Narrator (voice)
...
Val Lewton (voice)
...
Himself (voice) (archive footage)
Val E. Lewton ...
Himself, son of Val Lewton
Alexander Nemerov ...
Himself, author of 'Icons of Grief'
...
Himself
Glen Gabbard ...
Himself, Dr., author of 'Psychiatry and the Cinema'
...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself
Geoffrey O'Brien ...
Himself, author of 'The Phantom Empite'
Ann Carter ...
Herself (as Ann Carter Newton)
...
Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

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 included strong female characters who find themselves in difficult situations and who have to grow up quickly. He is best remembered for the horror films he made at RKO starting in 1940. Starting with only a title - his first was The Cat People - he would meticulously oversee every aspect of the film's completion. Although categorized as horror films, his films never showed a monster, leaving it all to the viewers imagination, assisted by music, mood and lighting. Written by garykmcd

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2 September 2007 (USA)  »

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Martin Scorsese Presents: Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Orson Welles' voice is heard narrating the trailer of Citizen Kane (1941) as a brief clip of it is shown. See more »

Crazy Credits

All credited performers following Robert Wise are identified by a graphic or orally by the narrator. See more »

Connections

Features My Own True Love (1949) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting documentary
7 July 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Martin Scorcese waxes poetic over one of his favorite talents, Val Lewton, the producer of cult classics such as The Cat People, The Seventh Victim, I Walked with a Zombie, etc. Lewton's unique outlook on life was present in all of his dark films, which were actually B horror movies with some heavy messages. The most interesting of these for me was The Cat People, which I first saw as a child, and Curse of the Cat People, which I saw recently, and these were my main reasons for watching this documentary, that and the fact that Nazimova was his aunt. I confess that I saw The Seventh Victim and either I wasn't paying attention or I'm thick or both, but I didn't get it. I'm not a horror person so I definitely wouldn't be able to get through anything else of his.

Of interest was the fact that he started off in movies working for David O. Selznick, so he learned from a master. The other interesting thing is that not much is really known about Lewton himself, evidently a very private person. Like many artists, he wasn't fully appreciated while he was alive - which wasn't long. He died when he was 46.

The Cat People remains one of the most fascinating movies ever made, and it was good to hear one person comment that the Kent Smith character seems like a really nice guy but actually isn't -- my feelings exactly; and what a treat to see the child Veronica Lake lookalike, Ann Carter Newton, all grown up, and hear what she had to say about making The Curse of the Cat People.

Viewers should find this interesting, and if you like the genre and aren't familiar with Lewton's work, you will be inspired to see it.


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