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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 4:59 am  Post subject: The Val Lewton Collection
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The Val Lewton Collection

He began his film career in the early 1930s as an MGM publicist and assistant to David O. Selznick. His first screen credit was "revolutionary sequences arranged by" in David O. Selznick’s 1935 version of A Tale of Two Cities. Lewton also worked as an uncredited writer for Selznick’s Gone with the Wind, including writing the scene where the camera pulls back to reveal hundreds of wounded soldiers at the Atlanta Depot.

In 1942, Lewton was named head of the horror unit at RKO studios. He was paid $250 a week. As head of the B-horror unit he would have to follow three rules: each film had to come in under a $150,000 budget, each film was to run under 75 minutes, and Lewton's supervisors would supply the title for each film.

Lewton's first production was Cat People. The film was directed by Jacques Tourneur, who subsequently also directed I Walked With a Zombie and The Leopard Man for Lewton. Made for $134,000, the film went on to earn nearly $4 million, and was the top moneymaker for RKO that year. This success enabled Lewton to make his next films with relatively little studio interference, allowing him to avoid the sensationalist material suggested by his film titles, instead focusing on ominous suggestion and themes of existential ambivalence.

Lewton always wrote the final draft of his films' screenplays, but avoided an on-screen co-writing credit except in two cases (The Body Snatcher and Bedlam) for which he used the pseudonym "Carlos Keith". (He had previously written a novel, Where the Cobra Sings, under the Carlos Keith pen name.)

After Jacques Tourneur left RKO's horror film unit, Lewton gave first directing opportunities to Robert Wise and Mark Robson.

Lewton died of a heart attack on March 14, 1951, at the age of 46. A new documentary film on Lewton, Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows, narrated by admirer Martin Scorsese, premiered on Turner Classic Movies on January 14, 2008.



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  1. Cat People (1942)
  2. The Leopard Man (1943)
  3. The Seventh Victim (1943)
  4. Ghost Ship (1943)
  5. I Walked With A Zombie (1943)
  6. Curse of the Cat People (1944)
  7. Isle of the Dead (1945)
  8. The Body Snatcher (1945)
  9. Bedlam (1946)


Cat People (1942)
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Subtitles: Cat.People.1942.Subs.English.Spanish.French.zip|61575
Additional Files: Cat.People.1942.Commentary.English.mp3|54345624
Movieinfo:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0038343/
Review: Long before Nastassja Kinski went catty on us in 1982's Cat People, this Val Lewton original subtly scared the bejesus out of people with its tale of a woman (Simone Simon) who believes she suffers from a curse that can cause her to turn into a panther. Her husband doesn't really buy it, so he sends her to the head shrink... which doesn't really help. Moody and intense, the film is hardly a gore-fest, and the body count is minimal. But the way it messes with your head -- and Jacques Tourneur's deft ability behind the camera -- make it quite the '40s standout.


The Leopard Man (1943)
ed2k: Leopard%20Man%20(Jacques%20Tourneur%201943).avi
Review: Adapted from the Cornell Woolrich novel Black Alibi, The Leopard Man is a lesser but still fascinating psychological-horror effort from producer Val Lewton. Someone has been killing off the citizens of a small New Mexico town, and the most likely suspect is a huge leopard, purchased for a local nightclub act by press agent Jerry Manning (Dennis O'Keefe). Neither Manning nor his star Clo-Clo (Margo) are totally convinced that the big cat is responsible, and as it turns out they're right. The haunting finale takes place during the annual "Dance of the Dead" festivities, during which the genuine predator is revealed. The opening sequence of Leopard Man, atmospherically detailing the last few moments of murder victim Teresa Delgado (Margaret Landry), is so powerful that the rest of the film seems anticlimactic. Long available only in its 59-minute reissue form, the film was restored to its original 65-minute running time in the mid-1980s.


The Seventh Victim (1943)
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Codec:XVid
Size:699Mb
Movieinfo:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0036341/
Review: Producer Val Lewton once more utilized leftover Magnificent Ambersons sets for his psychological horror piece The Seventh Victim. Kim Hunter arrives in New York's Greenwich Village in search of her errant sister Jean Brooks. Gradually, the naive Hunter is drawn into a strange netherworld of Satan worshippers. The story is a bit too complex for its own good (especially with only a 71-minute running time to play with), but editor-turned-director Mark Robson and screenwriters Dewitt Bodeen and Charles O'Neal keep the thrills and shudders coming at a satisfying pace. Lewton regular Tom Conway offers his usual polished performance, while veteran character actresses Isabel Jewell and Evelyn Brent look appropriately gaunt and possessed in the "cult" sequences.


Ghost Ship (1943)
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Subtitles: The.Ghost.Ship.1943.DVDRip.XviD-FRAGMENT.Subs.rar|1499175
Subtitle Language:English/French/Spainish
Movieinfo:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0035937/
Review: RKO horror producer Val Lewton dished up seven reels of brooding psychological terror with The Ghost Ship. Richard Dix stars as the ship's captain, a tortured soul who teeters on the verge of madness. Seaman Russell Wade notices the captain's deterioration, but his warnings are dismissed by the crew. Captain Dix completely goes over the edge, sadistically playing a game of cat and mouse with the luckless Wade—and endangering the lives of everyone on board. While the viewer may notice that Ghost Ship closely resembles the Jack London tale The Sea Wolf, playwrights Samuel R. Golding and Norbert Faulkner felt that the film was too close for comfort to an unproduced play of their own. The writers sued RKO, forcing the studio to withdraw Ghost Ship from theatres and prohibiting future TV showings.


I Walked With A Zombie (1943)
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Codec:XviD 2-pass
Size:698Mb
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Language:English
Movieinfo:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0036027/
Review: RKO producer Val Lewton seemed to thrive upon taking the most lurid film titles and coming up with pocket-edition works of art. Saddled with the studio-dictated title I Walked With a Zombie, Lewton, together with scripters Curt Siodmak and Ardel Wray, concocted a West Indies variation on Jane Eyre. Trained nurse (Frances Dee) travels to the tropics to care for Christine Gordon, the wife of seemingly abusive Tom Conway. At first, Dee merely believes her patient to be comatose. But as the drums throb and the natives behave restlessly, Dee tries to bring her patient back to life by jungle magic. Conway is racked with guilt, believing himself responsible for his wife's condition; his guilt is stoked by Conway's drunken brother James Ellison, who has always loved Gordon. Utilizing very limited sets and only a handful of extras, director Jacques Tourneur manages to evoke an impression of an expansive tropical island populated at every turn by voodoo worshippers. Many of the sequences, notably Frances Dee's first languid stroll into the midst of the native ceremonies, have an eerie dream-like quality that pervades even the most worn-out, badly processed TV prints of I Walked With Zombie.


Curse of the Cat People (1944)
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Codec:DivX 5.0
Size:699Mb
Resolution:512x384
Audio:101 kb/s, monophonic VBR
Language:English
Subtitles: The.Curse.of.the.Cat.People.(1944).french.rar
Subtitle Language:French
Movieinfo:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0036733/
Review: Officially a sequel to Lewton's 1942 chiller classic Cat People, this has some of the same characters as the previous film but offers a completely different perspective - that of a child. Carter is the disturbed little girl who lives in a dream world, conjuring up an imaginary playmate. Simon is Irena, the ghost of her father's first wife, who nine out of ten cats prefer. Marvelously eloquent, and touchingly accurate in accessing the secret landscape of a child's mind.


Isle of the Dead (1945)
ed2k: Isle%20Of%20The%20Dead.avi
Review: “Inspired by Swiss artist Arnold Böcklin's famous painting, this seminal horror film marked the first of three collaborations between RKO producer Val Lewton and British genre star Boris Karloff. Set during the 1912 Balkan Wars, Isle of the Death featured Karloff as Greek general Pherides who, along with an American journalist (Marc Cramer), visits the gravesite of his late wife on a deserted island. They find the grave desecrated and a group of travelers held hostage by the superstitious beliefs of Kyra (Helene Thimig). One by one, the inhabitants of the island are felled by what Dr. Drossos (Ernest Dorian aka Ernst Deutsch) terms the plague, but what Kyra insists is the work of Thea (Ellen Drew), a young nurse she believes to be a "varvoloka," an ancient Greek vampire.” ~ Hans J. Wollstein, All Movie Guide


The Body Snatcher (1945)
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Codec:XviD 2-pass
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Subtitles: The.Body.Snatcher.1945.DVDRip.XviD-FRAGMENT.subs.rar|2033718
Subtitle Language:English/French/Spainish
Movieinfo:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0037549/
Review: In The Body Snatcher (1945), from a story by Robert Louis Stevenson, guilty secrets come to the forefront again. Set in 1831 Edinburgh, young medical student Donald Fettes (Russell Wade) is taken in as an assistant to eminent anatomist Dr. MacFarlane (Henry Daniell). Cabman John Gray (Karloff) supplies the team with cadavers, both fresh and far too fresh. But when Fettes objects and MacFarlane is being plagued by Gray, it soon becomes apparent that the resurrection artist holds a mysterious secret over the doctor's head. Lugosi has a somewhat small role as MacFarlane's servant, who learns of Gray's trade and attempts to blackmail him.


Bedlam (1946)
ed2k: Bedlam.(1946).DVDRip.Xvid-MP3.-.POKIKI.avi
Codec:XVid
Size:700Mb
Resolution:512x384
Audio:86 kb/s, monophonic VBR MPEG-1 Layer 3
Language:English
Movieinfo:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0038343/
Review: One of Val Lewton's final films, this collaboration with Boris Karloff is also one of his most tragically underrated. The story is reminiscent of Shock Corridor, with a wealthy do-gooder (Anna Lee) investigating conditions in the notorious St. Mary's of Bethlehem Asylum -- aka Bedlam. No sooner has she arrived than the head of Bedlam (Karloff) has her committed on the spot, whereupon she discovers the horrors of Bedlam firsthand. Lee is appropriately scatterred as the heroine who wants to do good, but Karloff owns the show as the creepy Master Sims. The set is also fantastic.” – Christopher Null, filmcritic.com


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 5:03 am  Post subject:
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Dead But Dreaming
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2006 3:07 am
Posts: 337
Location: Lost in space and time
Woot! Here is my first ever dead donkey collection. I think I've
done everything right (at least it looks normal). If anybody sees
anything amiss, feel free to let me know and I'll edit the collection.

For those who like 'classic' horror, these are all good. I especially
recommend Cat People for spooky ambiance and Bedlam for great
Karloff dialog. Enjoy!

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