Here is the 3rd installment in my Val Lewton article extravaganza! This time it’s from Life Magazine. It’s mainly about Bedlam , the last of Lewton’s films for RKO, notable for it’s use of Hogarth prints as inspiration. Then there’s a short section on Lewton and a great photo of him in a screening room. Val got a lot of good press. Lewton constantly amazed his contemporaries by producing quality period films on a minuscule budget. His techniques are still well worth studying .
As promised, I’m posting a scan of another article about the great Val Lewton. This one is from Liberty magazine back in 1946. This was just after Lewton left RKO for Paramount, where he would be morassed in political intrigue and backbiting. It was not a good move for Val. This article is sort of an overview of the Horror film genre with special emphasis on Lewton. By the way I just got another old film magazine with an article on Curse Of The Cat People and a remembrance by DeWitt Bodeen, writer of said film. I’ll post that one soon as well.
Here’s the linkLiberty Horrors
Here as promised is a scan of a great article from an old issue of The Velvet Light Trap. Mark Robson describing his early days at RKO, where he worked his way up in the editorial department and eventually was given a shot at directing by Val Lewton. Those were the days, Robson’s accomplishments as an editor should not be overlooked, his work on I walked wih a Zombie and Cat people is nothing short of genius. He invented an amazing optical trick that is used in both films and I’ve never heard anyone discuss, it’s a transitional wipe that creates an undercurrent of fear and unease in the audience, I described it in my piece on Cat People. Robson and Robert Wise formed a production company after they left RKO , Lewton was supposed to be a part of it but was kicked out by his former proteges, two men he had raised up from editor to director. I don’t know all the details but Robert Wise said he regretted not telling Val in person. I guess they got rid of him by messenger. Too bad, Lewton’s wife said it devastated him and he passed away soon after. If anyone knows the true story write in and let us all know, set the record straight on what seems, on the surface at least, to be a grave injustice or business as usual in Hollywood, U.S.A. Click here for the article.Velvet Light Trap Robsen