Val Lewton (7 May 1904 – 14 March 1951) was an American film producer and screenwriter, who is best known for a sequence of nine brooding horror films he produced for RKO Pictures in the 1940s. Events 558 - In Constantinople, the dome of the Hagia Sophia collapses Year 1904 ( MCMIV) was a Leap year starting on Friday (link will display calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Leap year starting on Events 1489 - The Queen of Cyprus, Catherine Cornaro, sells her kingdom to Venice. Year 1951 ( MCMLI) was a Common year starting on Monday. Events of 1951 January The United States of America —commonly referred to as the A film producer is a person who creates the conditions for making movies. Screenwriters or scenarists are Scriptwriters who write the Screenplays from which Films and Television programs are made
Lewton, born Vladimir Ivan Leventon, was born in what is now Yalta, Ukraine. Yalta (Ялта Yalta is a city in Crimea, southern Ukraine, on the north coast of the Black Sea. Ukraine (Україна Ukrayina, /ukrɑˈjinɑ/ is a country in Eastern Europe. He was a nephew of the actress Alla Nazimova. Alla Nazimova (Алла Назимова born Mariam Edez Adelaida Leventon (Мириам Эдес Аделаида Левентон May 22, 1879 In 1909, he immigrated with his sister and mother to the United States, where his name was changed to Val Lewton. He was raised in suburban Port Chester, New York. Port Chester is a village in Westchester County, New York, United States.
He studied journalism at Columbia University and authored eighteen works of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. Columbia University is a private University in the United States and a member of the Ivy League. Lewton once lost his job as a reporter for the Darien-Stamford Review after it was discovered that a story he wrote about a truckload of kosher chickens dying in a New York heat wave was a total fabrication. Darien is a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. Stamford is a city in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States.
In 1932 he wrote a best-selling pulp novel No Bed of Her Own. The book was later made into the film No Man of Her Own, with Clark Gable and Carole Lombard. No Man of Her Own is a light comedy film starring Clark Gable and Carole Lombard as a married couple in their only film together several years before Clark Gable (February 1 &ndashNovember 16) was an iconic American Actor nicknamed "The King of Hollywood" in his heyday Carole Lombard ( October 6, 1908 – January 16, 1942) born Jane Alice Peters in Fort Wayne Indiana, was an Oscar-nominated
Lewton worked as a writer for the New York City MGM publicity office, providing novelizations of popular movies for serialization in magazines which were sometimes later collected into book format. He also wrote promotional copy. He quit this position after the success of his 1932 novel "No Bed of Her Own," but when three later novels that same year failed to succeed as well, he journeyed to Hollywood for a job writing a screen treatment of Taras Bulba for David O. Selznick. Taras Bulba is a romanticized short historical novel by Nikolai Gogol. David O Selznick, born David Selznick ( May 10, 1902 &ndash June 22, 1965) was one of the iconic Hollywood producers The connection for this job came through Lewton's mother, Nina Lewton.
Though a film of Taras Bulba did not follow, Lewton was hired by MGM to work as a publicist and assistant to Selznick. Taras Bulba is a romanticized short historical novel by Nikolai Gogol. His first screen credit was "revolutionary sequences arranged by" in David O. Selznick’s 1935 version of A Tale of Two Cities. David O Selznick, born David Selznick ( May 10, 1902 &ndash June 22, 1965) was one of the iconic Hollywood producers A Tale of Two Cities is a 1935 film directed by Jack Conway and Robert Z Lewton also worked as an uncredited writer for Selznick’s Gone with the Wind, including writing the scene where the camera pulls back to reveal hundreds of wounded soldiers at the Atlanta Depot. Gone with the Wind is a 1939 American dramatic - romantic - War film adapted from Margaret Mitchell 's 1936 Lewton also functioned for Selznick as a story editor, a scout for discovering literary properties for Selznick's studio, and acted as a go-between with the Hollywood censorship system.
In 1942, Lewton was named head of the horror unit at RKO studios, at a salary of $250 a week. As head of the B-horror unit he would have to follow three rules: each film had to come in under a $150,000 budget, each film was to run under 75 minutes, and Lewton's supervisors would supply the title for each film.
Lewton's first production was Cat People. Cat People is a Horror film produced by Val Lewton and directed by Jacques Tourneur. The film was directed by Jacques Tourneur, who subsequently also directed I Walked With a Zombie and The Leopard Man for Lewton. Jacques Tourneur ( November 12, 1904 &ndash December 19, 1977) was a French - American Film director. I Walked with a Zombie is a Horror film directed by Jacques Tourneur. The Leopard Man ( is a horror movie directed by Jacques Tourneur based on the book Black Alibi by Cornell Woolrich. Made for $134,000, the film went on to earn nearly $4 million, and was the top moneymaker for RKO that year. This success enabled Lewton to make his next films with relatively little studio interference, allowing him to avoid the sensationalist material suggested by the film titles he was given, instead focusing on ominous suggestion and themes of existential ambivalence.
Lewton always wrote the final draft of the screenplays for his films, but avoided an on-screen co-writing credit except in two cases, The Body Snatcher and Bedlam, for which he used the pseudonym "Carlos Keith", which he had previously used on the novel, Where the Cobra Sings. The Body Snatcher ( is a Horror film directed by Robert Wise based on the short story The Body Snatcher by Robert Louis Stevenson Bedlam ( is a film starring Boris Karloff and Anna Lee, and was the last in a series of stylish B films produced by Val Lewton for
After Jacques Tourneur left RKO's horror film unit, Lewton gave first directing opportunities to Robert Wise and Mark Robson. Robert Wise ( September 10, 1914 &ndash September 14, 2005) was an American sound effects editor film editor and Academy Mark Robson ( December 4, 1913 – June 20, 1978) was a Canadian -born Film editor, Film director and When RKO head Charles Koerner died in 1946, the studio went through personnel and management upheavals, ultimately leaving Lewton unemployed and in ill health after suffering a minor heart attack. Through connections, he rewrote an unused screenplay based upon the life of Lucrezia Borgia . This article is about the historical person For the biographical opera see Lucrezia Borgia (opera. The actress Paulette Goddard at Paramount Studios particularly liked Lewton's treatment, and in exchange for the script Lewton was given employment through July 1948. Paulette Goddard ( June 3, 1910 – April 23, 1990) was an Oscar -nominated American Film and Theatre Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American motion picture production and Distribution company, based in Hollywood California. (The Goddard film "Bride of Vengeance," heavily rewritten, was released in 1949. ) While at Paramount, Lewton also produced the film "My Own True Love," released in 1949.
Following his association with Paramount, Lewton worked again for MGM where he produced the Deborah Kerr film "Please Believe Me," released in 1950. Deborah Jane Kerr-Trimmer, CBE (30 September 1921 &ndash 16 October 2007 was a Scottish stage television and film actress During this time Lewton attempted to begin an independent production company with his former protégés Wise and Robson, but when a disagreement over a first property to produce arose, Lewton was kicked out. Lewton spent time at home working on a screenplay titled "Ticonderoga" about the famous American Revolutionary War battles at Fort Ticonderoga. Fort Ticonderoga is a large Eighteenth-century Fort built at a strategically important narrows in Lake Champlain where a short traverse gives access Universal Studios made an offer on the work, and though the screenplay was not used, Lewton was given producer duties on the film "Apache Drums," released in 1951. Universal Studios (sometimes called Universal Pictures or Universal City Studios) a subsidiary of NBC Universal, is a major Global American This film is usually considered the film most like Lewton's earlier RKO horror films.
Hollywood producer Stanley Kramer tendered an offer to Lewton to work as an assistant producing a series of films at Columbia Studios. Stanley Kramer ( September 29, 1913 &ndash February 19, 2001) was an Academy Award -nominated American Film director }} Columbia Pictures Industries Inc is an American Film production and distribution company Lewton resigned at Universal and began preparation to work on the film "My Six Convicts" but after suffering gallstone problems, he had the first of two heart attacks which weakened him such that he died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on March 13, 1951, at the age of 46. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is a Hospital located in Los Angeles California. Events 1138 - Cardinal Gregorio Conti is elected Antipope as Victor IV, succeeding Anacletus II. Year 1951 ( MCMLI) was a Common year starting on Monday. Events of 1951 January
A number of books and two documentaries on Lewton have been produced. A 2008 documentary film on Lewton, Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows, narrated by admirer Martin Scorsese, premiered on Turner Classic Movies on January 14, 2008. Documentary film is a broad category of visual expression that is based on the attempt in one fashion or another to " Document " reality Turner Classic Movies ( TCM) is a cable television channel featuring commercial -free classic movies mostly from the Turner Entertainment and Warner Events 1129 - Formal approval of the Order of the Templar at the Council of Troyes. 2008 ( MMVIII) is the current year in accordance with the Gregorian calendar, a Leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common