7.4/10
476
14 user 10 critic

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 »

Director:

Kent Jones

Writer:

Kent Jones
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

More Like This 

Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A seemingly tame leopard used for a publicity stunt escapes and kills a young girl, spreading panic throughout a sleepy New Mexico town.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Dennis O'Keefe, Margo, Jean Brooks
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

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 »

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Richard Dix, Russell Wade, Edith Barrett
Cat People (1942)
Fantasy | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An American man marries a Serbian immigrant who fears that she will turn into the cat person of her homeland's fables if they are intimate together.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Simone Simon, Tom Conway, Kent Smith
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The young, friendless daughter of Oliver and Alice Reed befriends her father's dead first wife and an aging, reclusive actress.

Directors: Gunther von Fritsch, Robert Wise
Stars: Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Jane Randolph
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

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 »

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Boris Karloff, Ellen Drew, Marc Cramer
Bedlam (1946)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

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 »

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Boris Karloff, Anna Lee, Billy House
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Canadian nurse is hired to care for the wife of a sugar plantation owner, who has been acting strangely, on a Caribbean island.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Frances Dee, Tom Conway, James Ellison
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A ruthless doctor and his young prize student find themselves continually harassed by their murderous supplier of illegal cadavers.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Henry Daniell
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A documentary on the late Elia Kazan.

Directors: Kent Jones, Martin Scorsese
Stars: Martin Scorsese, Elia Kazan, Elias Koteas
San Francisco (1936)
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A Barbary Coast saloonkeeper and a Nob Hill impresario are rivals for the affections of a beautiful singer, both personally and professionally in 1906 San Francisco.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald, Spencer Tracy
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Martin Scorsese describes his initial and growing obsession with films from the 1940s and 50s as the art form developed and grew with clips from classics and cult classics.

Directors: Martin Scorsese, Michael Henry Wilson
Stars: Martin Scorsese, Allison Anders, Kathryn Bigelow
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The survivors of a plane crash in a remote area are attacked by blob-like alien creatures that turn their victims into blood-thirsty vampires.

Director: Hajime Satô
Stars: Teruo Yoshida, Tomomi Satô, Eizô Kitamura
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Martin Scorsese ... Narrator (voice)
Elias Koteas ... Val Lewton (voice)
Orson Welles ... Himself (voice) (archive footage)
Val E. Lewton Val E. Lewton ... Himself - Son of Val Lewton
Alexander Nemerov Alexander Nemerov ... Himself - Author of 'Icons of Grief'
Roger Corman ... Himself
Glen Gabbard Glen Gabbard ... Himself - Author of 'Psychiatry and the Cinema' (as Dr. Glen Gabbard)
Jacques Tourneur ... Himself (archive footage)
Kiyoshi Kurosawa ... Himself
Geoffrey O'Brien Geoffrey O'Brien ... Himself - Author of 'The Phantom Empite'
Ann Carter ... Herself (as Ann Carter Newton)
Robert Wise ... Himself (archive footage)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Edith Atwater ... (archive footage)
Ben Bard ... (archive footage)
Edith Barrett ... (archive footage)
Edit

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

TV-PG
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Turner Classic Movies

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Japanese

Release Date:

2 September 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

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

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

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

References Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A good documentary on the films of Val Lewton...
14 January 2008 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

VAL LEWTON gave us many wonderful horror films throughout the '40s, but at one time he worked as a reader for David O. Selznick and told the producer his feelings about GONE WITH THE WIND: "This is the biggest piece of rubbish I've ever read. You'll be making the biggest mistake of your career if you decide to make this." (paraphrasing, of course). Well, he may never qualify as an accurate prophet, but he did know how to use subtle horror to make films like THE CAT PEOPLE and I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE.

MARTIN SCORSESE narrates this thoughtful documentary on the producer with many interesting film clips from the low-budget horror films that are now considered film classics of their kind by a man who was "drawn to the darkness of the shadow world." He trusted many of his associates when he began filming the features at RKO with men like Jacques Tourneur, Nicholas Musuraca, DeWitt Bodeen, Roy Webb, and later Mark Robson. His films had an hypnotic effect on audiences, providing subtle horror through the power of suggestion.

In private, he was a sensitive man, never fully satisfied with his work or his assignments, but happily married to a woman who understood him and his needs. He was really not tough enough to be a Hollywood survivor and had a few heart attacks before the major one that killed him at the age of 46.

The documentary tells how he ignited the career of BORIS KARLOFF when Karloff was assigned to films like ISLE OF THE DEAD, THE BODY SNATCHERS and BEDLAM. As the war drew to a close, people began to turn away from horror films and Lewton's career began to decline when the defining films of his earlier career were no longer being made.

His low-budget films really were low-budget: for CAT PEOPLE he was given a budget of $150,000, but the film was a huge hit, made a million at the box-office when only A-budget features made as much and stayed in big city theaters longer than CITIZEN KANE that year!


5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 14 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed