Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday's Film Adaptions: No Bed of Her Own by Val Lewton

Winter 1931. New York is in the grip of the Depression. When Rose Mahoney loses her typing job, the peppy, hardboiled blonde believes she will quickly find another. But soon, meager savings dwindling, she is homeless, cast alone into the underbelly of the cold, dark city . . .

Val Lewton is remembered for his magnificent 1940s horror films, most famously Cat People, but before movies, Lewton was a prolific novelist. First published in 1932 and unavailable for over half a century, this racy, fantastically readable pulp-noir offers a strange and vivid snapshot of its era as it follows Roses's attempts to survive a world of despair, decadence, hypocrisy and greed, with only her wits to protect her.

Preface by Val E. Lewton
Afterward by Damien Love

A card sharp on the run falls for a beautiful librarian.

Release Date: December 30, 1932
Release Time: 85 minutes

Clark Gable as Jerry 'Babe' Stewart
Carole Lombard as Connie Randall
Dorothy Mackaill as Kay Everly
Grant Mitchell as Charlie Vane
George Barbier as Mr Randall
Elizabeth Patterson as Mrs Randall
J. Farrell MacDonald as 'Dickie' Collins
Tommy Conlon as Willie Randall
Walter Walker as Mr Morton
Paul Ellis as Vargas
Lillian Harmer as Mattie - The Librarian (uncredited)
Charley Grapewin as George - The Clerk

Author Bio:
Originally named Vladimir Ivan Leventon, Lewton immigrated with his sister and mother to the United States in 1909. He was raised in Port Chester, New York. He was nephew to the famous actress Alla Nazimova.

He studied journalism at Columbia University and authored eighteen works of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. His 1932 novel No Bed of Her Own was a bestseller and made into the film No Man of Her Own starring Clark Gable and Carole Lombard in 1932. Lewton went to work for famed Hollywood producer David O. Selznick in the early 1930s and was involved in many of his most successful and famous works of the period including David Copperfield (1935), A Tale of Two Cities (1935), and, as an uncredited writer, Gone With the Wind (1939).

In 1942 he accepted a position as head of the horror unit at RKO studios. Over the next four years in collaboration with such directors as Jacques Tourneur, Robert Wise and Mark Robson he produced some of the most influential horror films of all time including Cat People, I Walked With a Zombie, The Leopard Man, The Seventh Victim, The Ghost Ship, The Curse of the Cat People, Isle of the Dead, The Body Snatchers, and Bedlam (the last three with Boris Karloff). Lewton, like his famous former boss, was a hands on producer. His influence can be seen in almost every aspect of his films regardless of director. He is perhaps most famous for creating suspense in his films by what is not seen and his use of sound was revolutionary at the time. Val Lewton died of a heart attack in 1951 at the age of 46. A documentary film Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows, narrated by admirer Martin Scorsese, premiered on Turner Classic Movies on January 14, 2008.



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