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The Val Lewton documentary was very good !!


FredCDobbs
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I was surprised to learn that he made his best 11 films all within 5 years.

 

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0507932/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

 

 1946 Bedlam (producer)

 1945 Isle of the Dead (producer)

 1945 The Body Snatcher (producer)

 1944 Mademoiselle Fifi (producer)

 1944 Youth Runs Wild (producer)

 1944 The Curse of the Cat People (producer)

 1943 The Ghost Ship (producer)

 1943 The Seventh Victim (producer)

 1943 The Leopard Man (producer)

 1943 I Walked with a Zombie (producer)

 1942 Cat People (producer)

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I agree that it is a well-made documentary and worth watching. However, I do not recommend seeing it until after viewing Lewton's films-- because the documentary does give away plot details and shows too many clips of scenes that are best viewed for the first time within the context of Lewton's films.

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I watched it, too, for the second time as I love his horror (psychological) films.  "The Body Snatcher" is my favorite and I think the cast is exceptional.  Heck, they all are good and stand up to repeated viewings.  You see (and hear) new things in them each time.  Anyway, I really like this documentary. 

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I agree that it is a well-made documentary and worth watching. However, I do not recommend seeing it until after viewing Lewton's films-- because the documentary does give away plot details and shows too many clips of scenes that are best viewed for the first time within the context of Lewton's films.

 

Dammit! I hate it when they do that! Just like that documentary about the Ealing Comedies TCM showed a while back that maliciously reveals the ending to every film they ever made, and half of their strength is in the delicious twist endings. It still burns me up.

 

It's like doing a documentary about Agatha Christie and telling who did it in every one of her books.

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I skipped the Lewton doc and Cat People- because it bores me to tears and I think it's one of the most overrated films of the classic era- but I did check out Curse of the Cat People for the first time in ages and ages last night.

 

It was a film I first saw on VHS as a kid, when I voraciously devoured classic horror movies (they were my gateway to classic films.)

 

I liked it then (in spite of the fact that it's in no way horrific) and I liked it last night. It's a lovely film- just every frame is beautiful and the sets are superb. The acting is also first rate- with the notable exception of the always dull as dishwater Kent Smith and Jane Randolph. The little girl is one of the most charming child actors ever, and the crazy old Miss Havishamesque lady is also terrific; it's also a nice turn by Simone Simon, who never looked lovelier. I had forgotten though how really short it is- barely over an hour in length.

 

One of the oddest- yet best- sequels ever.

 

(I admit I'm not a huge fan of Lewton, but his two non-horror horror movies, Curse of the Cat People and Bedlam are two movies  that I do like very, very much and both made big impressions on me as a kid.

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I skipped the Lewton doc and Cat People- because it bores me to tears and I think it's one of the most overrated films of the classic era- but I did check out Curse of the Cat People for the first time in ages and ages last night.

 

It was a film I first saw on VHS as I kid, when I voraciously devoured classic horror movies (they were my gateway to classic films.) I liked it as a kid (in spite of the fact that it's in no way horrific) and I liked it last night. It's a lovely film- just every frame is beautiful and the sets are superb. The acting is also first rate- with the notable exception of the always dull as dishwater Kent Smith and Jane Randolph. The little girl is one of the most charming child actors ever, and the crazy old Miss Havishamesque lady is also terrific. I had forgotten though how really short it is- barely over an hour in length.

 

One of the oddest- yet best- sequels ever.

 

(I admit I'm not a huge fan of Lewton, but his two non-horror horror movies, Curse of the Cat People and Bedlam are two that I do like very, very much and both made big impressions on me as a kid.

I agree that BEDLAM is also very well made.  My favorite Lewton film is THE CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE-- for some of the reasons you mentioned. A few of the sets were left over from Orson Welles' THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS (the creepy old mansion that the two neighbor women lived in, was previously seen as the Amberson mansion). 

 

***spoiler ahead***

 

What I really love about CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE is how all the characters' individual stories combine to make one cohesive whole. For instance, I believed that the little girl would turn out to be exactly like the old woman's daughter, who never felt loved or acknowledged. And when Irena's ghost is superimposed over the old woman's daughter, it suggests another reading that they are one in the same. Also, the little girl calls the old woman's daughter her friend, like she calls Irena's ghost her friend, and at the same time we have her father deciding he has to be a friend to his daughter. Quite a few ways to interpret the text. It all works on so many levels.

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