- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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A minor beef.
- Jack Grattan
I only have one qualm with this documentary. Scorsese only gives mention to cinematographer Nick Musuraca as a "capable technician". This man, more than any other (with the exception of Gregg Toland's work on CITIZEN KANE) was the prime architect of RKO's distinct visual look, starting in 1940's STRANGER ON THE THIRD FLOOR (the first TRUE film noir), and extending through the Val Lewton horror films to such varied films as OUT OF THE PAST (noir), BLOOD ON THE MOON (western) and I REMEMBER MAMA (family drama). One of the greats.
Val Lewton: The Man In The Shadows
- J Darren
A thorough look at this artist's work. It is well balanced in describing the obstacles and triumphs when creating film both on and off the set. To be shrewd with your ego, pocketbook, and have a good circle of friends and family is a necessary mix. This film successfully demonstrates that Val was that rare individual mature enough to sacrifice money and status to stay focused on what was important. Towards the end he did not waver, understanding it was important to keep his core group together and then everything else would flow from that. Unfortunately it seems Wise and others lacked that clarity. I thank Scorsese for this documentary as it is so important artists support other artists.
Yes, it is a great documentary about Lewton and the RKO team that made poetry on minuscule budgets, but much of the information has already been presented in books and in the documentary "Shadows In the Dark: The Val Lewton Legacy" that is part of the Val Lewton Horror Collection. (The exception being the interview with Ann Carter Newton, the former child actress who starred as Amy Reed in "The Curse of the Cat People" -- that was a coup.) While Scorsese and company gave some fine insight into Lewton and the films, TCM teasers for the documentary led me to expect more personal stuff from Scorsese on how Lewton influenced his own filmmaking. I was slightly disappointed when that didn't happen. Still, for those unfamiliar with Lewton and the important role he plays in film history, "The Man In the Shadows" is a beautiful introduction to him and his films (the "I Walked With a Zombie" segment was especially creepy, and the scream to introduce Boris Karloff was brilliant!).
WOW! Thanks Martin! Thanks TCM!
Absolutely loved it! A great tribute to a quiet man. What an amazing, talented, mind! A must-see for young filmmakers, historians and buffs. Martin Scorsese is a priceless source of film history! Keep him talking! I want to see him do more like this! I have never had the oppourtunity before to see I Walked with a Zombie, and it has been on my must-see wish list for years! Thanks for giving me the chance to see this great, classic film! Keep 'em coming!
Val Lewton Unplugged
This was a great documentary by Martin Scorsese. I've always been drawn to Val Lewton's films exploring the dark side of life. However, with Scorsese's narration and allowing us to take a look at Mr. Lewton's life, it better explained why he made the films he did. It was sad to see how he was bumped from studio to studio because of the almighty dollar. His early demise left a giant hole in the movie field.