Val Lewton: The Man In The Shadows

Format:TV Movie
Country:  USA
Genre:Documentary, Biography
Rating:6.5  Rate
Collection:  Seen It     Wishlist 
Community: 3 Have Seen

DirectorKent Jones
Selected CastMartin Scorsese as Narrator

On DVD & Blu-ray World


Val Lewton: The Man In The Shadows - Warner Home Video - USA (2008)

Cat People [1942] - The Criterion Collection - USA (2016)


Comments and Reviews
George Slv
3rd Aug 2016
 Usually I think the directors seem to get much too much credit. Hitchcock this Hitchcock that. He was hired after someone else wrote and worked to produce the picture, to direct it. They were not "Hitchcock's films". Now here is the opposite.

2nd Aug 2016
 Rated 6/10
Val Lewton is a deeply respected hero of American cinema, but his works are best appreciated without scholars telling you why Lewton's contributions are so important. To begin with, it's disrespectful to the directors of Lewton's films to have film historians waxing on about every detail and crediting Lewton almost exclusively, as if he was the director. In the event that you never noticed before, Hollywood is collectively its own biggest fan. Watching Turner Classic Movies on a regular basis will expose you to film experts and movie people gushing over past works as if they were God himself, or perhaps interim Dr. Frankensteins acting as proxy creators. Martin Scorsese is almost as well known for his embellishments on the topic as he is for his own pictures.

Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows is a library of prose praising the visual style, the dialog, the lighting, the mood -- attributes normally credited to the director, as if the actual directors of these films were merely showing up and collecting a check while Lewton commandeered every job on and off the set. The fault is, as noted before, the self-referential adoration from the industry itself of its own offspring. Imagine for a moment having to hear such praise of one's work from carpenters, mechanics, teachers, civil servants, construction crews...it would be appalling to be subjected to poetic essays on the greatness of their jobs which are, truth be known, of much greater significance to society as a whole.

The moral of the story: the entertainment industry needs to get over itself, do its job and go home. The single benefit of this production is that the films highlighted can be looked at as more detailed trailers, even though the films represented are quite a bit overstated. Let movies entertain you and forget the idea that experts need to teach you how to enjoy them.

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2022 Film Challenge - 382 Movies - List by Dr Doom

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