Mark Robson remembers RKO, Val Lewton

Written by Joe D on July 4th, 2011

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