Val Lewton


Producer
Val Lewton

About

Also Known As
Cosmo Forbes, Carlos Keith, Vladimir Ivan Hofschneider
Birth Place
Russia
Born
May 07, 1904
Died
March 14, 1951
Cause of Death
Heart Attack

Biography

Versatile and prolific writer of novels, nonfiction and poetry who entered film as a protege of David O. Selznick in the early 1930s. Lewton went on to produce a number of stylish, low-budget horror films for RKO, notably the atmospheric "Cat People" (1942), the engagingly macabre "I Walked With A Zombie" (1943) and the chilling "Bedlam" (1946)....

Photos & Videos

The Seventh Victim - Movie Posters
The Seventh Victim - Scene Stills
Isle of the Dead - Scene Stills

Family & Companions

Ruth Lewton
Wife
Married in 1929.

Bibliography

"Val Lewton: The Reality of Terror"
Joel Siegel, Viking (1984)
"Yasmine"
Val Lewton

Biography

Versatile and prolific writer of novels, nonfiction and poetry who entered film as a protege of David O. Selznick in the early 1930s. Lewton went on to produce a number of stylish, low-budget horror films for RKO, notably the atmospheric "Cat People" (1942), the engagingly macabre "I Walked With A Zombie" (1943) and the chilling "Bedlam" (1946).

Life Events

1909

Immigrated to the USA

1928

With MGM publicity department

1942

Produced "Cat People"

Photo Collections

The Seventh Victim - Movie Posters
Here are some original-release American movie poster for RKO's The Seventh Victim (1943), produced by Val Lewton.
The Seventh Victim - Scene Stills
Here are some scene stills from RKO's The Seventh Victim (1943), produced by Val Lewton.
Isle of the Dead - Scene Stills
Here are a number of scene stills from RKO's Isle of the Dead (1945), starring Boris Karloff, directed by Mark Robson, and produced by Val Lewton.
The Ghost Ship - Movie Posters
Here are a few American movie posters for Val Lewton's The Ghost Ship (1943), starring Richard Dix.
The Leopard Man - Publicity Stills
The following are publicity stills for the RKO horror film The Leopard Man (1943). Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Leopard Man - Poster Art
Here in black-and-white are some sample poster art images from RKO's The Leopard Man (1943), produced by Val Lewton.
Bedlam - Publicity Stills
Here are a few publicity stills from Val Lewton's Bedlam (1946), starring Boris Karloff and Anna Lee. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Cat People - Theater Displays
Here are photos of theater marquees and lobby displays decorated for RKO's Cat People (1942). Studio publicity departments regularly chronicled the more elaborate publicity campaigns and theater decorations for their records.
I Walked with a Zombie - Movie Posters
Here are a few original American movie posters for Val Lewton's I Walked with a Zombie (1943).
Isle of the Dead - Lobby Card
Here is a Lobby Card from RKO's Isle of the Dead (1945), produced by Val Lewton and starring Boris Karloff..
Cat People - Simone Simon Publicity Stills
Here are several stills of Simone Simon, taken to publicize RKO's Cat People (1942), produced by Val Lewton. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
The Body Snatcher - Publicity Stills
Here are a few publicity stills taken for RKO's The Body Snatcher (1945), produced by Val Lewton and starring Boris Karloff. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
The Curse of the Cat People - Behind-the-Scenes Photo
Here is a photo taken behind-the-scenes during production of RKO's The Curse of the Cat People (1944), produced by Val Lewton and directed by Robert Wise.
Cat People - Behind-the-Scenes Photo
Here is a photo taken behind-the-scenes during production of RKO's Cat People (1942), directed by Jacques Tourneur and starring Simone Simon.
The Body Snatcher - Movie Poster
Here is the American One-Sheet Movie Poster from The Body Snatcher (1945). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
The Curse of the Cat People - Lobby Card
Here is a lobby card from RKO's Curse of the Cat People (1944), produced by Val Lewton. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Bedlam - Lobby Card
Here is a lobby card from RKO's Bedlam (1946), produced by Val Lewton and starring Boris Karloff. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
The Leopard Man - Scene Stills
Here are a number of scene stills from Val Lewton's The Leopard Man (1943).

Videos

Movie Clip

Cat People (1942) - That's What Makes Me Dangerous Increasingly troubled newlywed immigrant Irina (Simone Simon) is unaware that friend Alice (Jane Randolph) has nothing but benevolent intentions toward her worried husband Oliver (Kent Smith), thus a famous sequence from director Jacques Tourneur, in the original Cat People, 1942.
Mademoiselle Fifi (1944) - In Occupied France Opening from director Robert Wise and screenwriters Josef Mischel and Peter Ruric, from a Guy de Maupassant story, establishing France during the 1870 Prussian occupation, Charles Waldron a priest, Kurt Kreuger the improbably named title character, in Mademoiselle Fifi, 1944, starring Simone Simon.
Mademoiselle Fifi (1944) - Little Launderesses Or Liberals Introducing the protagonist, Simone Simon as laundress Elisabeth, catching a stage during the 1870 Prussian occupation of France with her social superiors (the bourgeoisie Alan Napier, Romaine Callender, Helen Freeman, Norma Varden, and Edmund Glover the priest), Jason Robards the voluble merchant, John Emery the agitator, in Mademoiselle Fifi, 1944.
Mademoiselle Fifi (1944) - More Than A Patriot Everybody happier as resourceful laundress Elisabeth (Simone Simon) has shared her plentiful poultry with her famished upper-class stage coach companions, congratulated especially by Norma Varden and Jason Robards Sr., during the 1870 Prussian occupation of France, in RKO’s Mademoiselle Fifi, 1944.
Mademoiselle Fifi - With Fifi Fellow travelers listen in as Prussian Lieutenant "Fifi" von Eyrick (Kurt Kreuger) attempts to bend Elizabeth (Simone Simon) to his will in Mademoiselle Fifi, 1944.
Please Believe Me (1950) - No Point Getting On The Boat We've already met Deborah Kerr as English Alison, believing reports she's inherited a vast Texas estate, now boarding the ship from London, she meets Robert Walker and James Whitmore, whose motivations are not quite clear, then Peter Lawford and Mark Stevens who are more forthright, in MGM's Please Believe Me, 1950, produced by Val Lewton.
Cat People (1942) - Torn To Ribbons Jealous Irina (Simone Simon), still wrongly believing that old friend Alice (Jane Randolph) may be carrying on with her husband, decides to give her a fright at the pool, in the celebrated scene from producer Val Lewton and director Jacques Tourneur, in the original Cat People, 1942.
Curse Of The Cat People, The (1944) - There's A Witch In It Young Amy (Ann Carter), ditched by her playmates, is drawn toward an old house then scolded by the lurking Barbara Farren (Elizabeth Russell) in producer Val Lewton's semi-sequel The Curse of the Cat People, 1944.
Curse Of The Cat People, The (1944) - God Should Use A Rose Amber Spot Julia Farren (Julia Dean), occupant of the spooky house in Sleepy Hollow, announces herself to the mystified Amy (Ann Carter), and casts doubt on the woman who claims to be her daughter, from producer Val Lewton's The Curse of the Cat People, 1944.
Curse of the Cat People, The (1944) - It's Sleepy Hollow Young Amy (Ann Carter) demonstrates odd propensities as her kindergarten class visits Sleepy Hollow, the fictional settlement near the real Tarrytown, NY, from the Washington Irving story, in this opening scene from producer Val Lewton's quasi-sequel The Curse of the Cat People, 1944.
Curse Of The Cat People, The (1944) - I Wish For A Friend Amy (Ann Carter), the misfit daughter of Oliver (Kent Smith, who struggles with the memory of his late wife Irina, from The Cat People, 1942) relates a perfectly true story to him, leading to a spat with her mother (Jane Randolph) and a spooky interlude, in The Curse Of The Cat People, 1944.
Cat People (1942) - Their Own Corrupt Passions Irina (Simone Simon), haunted by her Serbian heritage, has agreed to see shrink Louis (Tom Conway), who offers analysis before she returns to husband Oliver (Kent Smith), visiting with friend Alice (Jane Randolph), in Cat People, 1942, from producer Val Lewton and director Jacques Tourneur.

Trailer

Curse Of The Cat People, The - (Original Trailer) In the 1944 sequel to Cat People (1942), a lonely child creates an imaginary playmate with surprisingly dangerous results.
Tale of Two Cities, A (1935) - (Re-issue Trailer) Ronald Colman stars in A Tale of Two Cities (1935), Charles Dickens' classic story of two men in love with the same woman during the French Revolution.
Youth Runs Wild - (Original Trailer) Teenagers rebel, sassing their parents and dancing to loud music, right in the middle of World War II in the expose Youth Runs Wild (1944).
Isle of the Dead - (Original Trailer) Boris Karloff is trapped on the Isle of the Dead (1945) where visitors are felled by the plague...or is it the dread "varvoloka"?
I Walked With A Zombie - (Original Trailer) A nurse in the Caribbean resorts to voodoo to cure her patient in the horror classic I Walked With A Zombie (1943).
Star is Born, A (1937) - (Original Trailer) A fading matinee idol marries the young beginner he's shepherded to stardom in A Star is Born (1937) starring Janet Gaynor & Fredric March.
Please Believe Me - (Original Trailer) Horror movie producer Val Lewton turned to romantic comedy for his last film Please Believe Me (1950).
Cat People (1942) - (Re-issue Trailer) A newlywed fears that an ancient curse will turn her into a bloodthirsty beast in Cat People (1942), directed by Jacques Tourneur and produced by Val Lewton.
Leopard Man, The - (Re-issue Trailer) When a leopard escapes during a publicity stunt, it triggers a series of murders in producer Val Lewton's The Leopard Man (1943).
Body Snatcher, The - (Re-issue Trailer) Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi make sinister partners in the horror classic The Body Snatcher (1945), directed by Robert Wise.
Seventh Victim, The - (Original Trailer) A girl's search for her missing sister puts her in conflict with a band of satanists in The Seventh Victim (1943) starring Kim Hunter.

Family

Max Hofschneider
Father
Died in 1908.
Nina Lewton
Mother
Changed family name to Lewton when she settled in the USA; died in 1967 at age 92.
Alla Nazimova
Aunt
Actor.
Lucy Olga Lewton
Sister

Companions

Ruth Lewton
Wife
Married in 1929.

Bibliography

"Val Lewton: The Reality of Terror"
Joel Siegel, Viking (1984)
"Yasmine"
Val Lewton