(aka 'Martin Scorsese Present's Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows')

Directed by Kent Jones
USA 2007

 

This new Turner Classic television documentary - "Martin Scorsese Presents Val Lewton: Man in the Shadows" is available from Warner Home Video individually on DVD (reviewed below) and is also in a new release of The Val Lewton Horror Collection. which contain the exact same impressive titles as the previously released Val Lewton set - Cat People / The Curse of the Cat People / I Walked with a Zombie / The Body Snatcher / Isle of the Dead / Bedlam / The Leopard Man / The Ghost Ship / The Seventh Victim and Shadows in the Dark.

This Val Lewton expose, written by Kent Jones, is narrated by film luminary Martin Scorsese using extensive clips from his films. Lewton was noted as 'producer who fashioned a lasting body of beautiful and unsettling films on meager budgets' but this only touches the surface of the man and his clandestine existence. To compete with Universal's bountiful horror output of the 1930's and 1940's - Lewton was given the task at RKO of creating competing genre films with a much inferior budget. What evolved from his efforts were an atmospheric, poetic, memorable and psychologically deep series of films that cascade with viable importance into the history of cinema
.

Gary W. Tooze

 

Television Premiere: January 14th, 2008

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DVD Review: Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Martin Scorsese Presents Val Lewton : The Man in the Shadows is also available in the 2008 boxset of Val Lewton Horror Collection  which includes Cat People / The Curse of the Cat People / I Walked with a Zombie / The Body Snatcher / Isle of the Dead / Bedlam / The Leopard Man / The Ghost Ship / The Seventh Victim / Shadows in the Dark.

        

Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC
Runtime 1:16:33 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.52 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English (CC), French, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• none

DVD Release Date: January 29th, 200
8
Keep Case
Chapters: 6

 

Comments:

This is a 1:33, interlaced, single-layered transfer from television, but more importantly than the tech specs of the DVD is its content.  This 86 minute documentary is quite excellent - captivating from the beginning and I especially enjoyed the 'ghost read excerpts' from Lewton's diary. This production certainly can only improve the appreciation of Lewton's films which I actually want to re-watch right now.

Dialogue is clear and audible and there are optional English (CC) or French subtitles available.

There are no extras and my advice is if you don't already own the Lewton set's films on DVD (ex. Cat People, The Leopard Man, I Walked with a Zombie etc.) - there is no point in buying this as after you watch it you will ravenously crave to get them all anyway - so just buy the Val Lewton Horror Collection (with documentary). If you do already own the first set - then this is a wonderful addition for less than $15 although I suspect many keen will simply watch it on TV (it premiered a week ago). It's a shame this wasn't around prior to the release of the first Lewton collection but perhaps that helped inspire Kent Jones to write it. 

Gary W. Tooze

 

 



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Subtitle Sample

 

 


 

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DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Martin Scorsese Presents Val Lewton : The Man in the Shadows is also available in the 2008 boxset of Val Lewton Horror Collection  which includes Cat People / The Curse of the Cat People / I Walked with a Zombie / The Body Snatcher / Isle of the Dead / Bedlam / The Leopard Man / The Ghost Ship / The Seventh Victim / Shadows in the Dark.

        

Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC




 

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Gary Tooze

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