Lewton Doc Airs This Monday on TCM

Val Lewton and Martin ScorseseAre you as sick and tired of reality shows and reruns as I am? Well, relief is in sight — at least for one night. On Monday, January 14, at 8:00 pm ET (with an encore at midnight), Turner Classic Movies will be airing Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows, a new documentary produced and narrated by Martin Scorsese.

Much like his former boss David O. Selznick, producer Lewton was so thoroughly involved in his films that he often received more credit for their success than the directors. He spearheaded numerous films for RKO in the ’40s, including genre classics Cat People (1942) and I Walked with a Zombie (1943). According to Yahoo! News, the documentary came out of casual discussions between Scorsese and film critic/archivist Kent Jones, who have known each other since 1991 and have collaborated on other film projects.

Scorsese credits Lewton’s The Leopard Man with being “the only film where the psychological tension got so strong that I had to leave the theater.” He goes on to say that “while making his Academy Award-winning film The Departed, he watched Lewton’s films continuously and found inspiration.” Jones adds, “Lewton was able to do more with less. It’s the simplicity of it.

TCM will be following up Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows with a mini Lewton film festival including Cat People, I Walked with a Zombie, The Leopard Man, Isle of the Dead, and Bedlam (among others). For more details, check out the show’s official site.

Debi Moore

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Debi Moore

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  • weeman01

    Nice! I boght the Val Lewton horror collection 2 weeks ago, and the documentary on that set isn’t that good. I’m sure this one will be better.