Val Lewton

Val Lewton

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Val Lewton

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Val Lewton (May 7, 1904–March 14, 1951) was an American film producer and screenwriter, with Jewish Ukrainian origins, who is best known for a sequence of nine brooding horror films he produced for RKO Pictures in the 1940s.

Val Lewton was born Vladimir Ivan Leventon in Yalta, Ukraine, in 1904. He was Jewish, the son of a ne'er-do-well moneylender named Max Hofschneider and Nina Leventon, a pharmacist's daughter.He was a nephew of the actress Alla Nazimova. In 1909, he emigrated 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.

He studied journalism at Columbia University and authored eighteen works of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. 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.

In 1932 he wrote a best-selling pulp novel No Bed of Her Own, which was later used in the making of the film No Man of Her Own, with Clark Gable and Carole Lombard.

Film career

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 form. He also wrote promotional copy. He quit this position after the success of his 1932...
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