VAL LEWTON | THE ACCLAIMED HOLLYWOOD PRODUCER AT RKO 1941 - 1946
             
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ISLE OF THE DEAD [1945]

Film was originally titled Camilla during production
Premiered in New York City on September 7, 1945
Two production periods:
July 1944 and December 1944
[film was halted for star Boris Karloff to have back surgery]
Filmed in Black and White
Sound by RCA Sound System [mono track]
Two film lengths recorded: 72 minutes and 70 minute
6,457 film footage
Produced by RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.

Isle of the Dead Karloff

Karloff

Pontikonissi Isle of the Dead Photo

[above] Photograph found in Lewton's scrapbooks archived at the Library of Congress. Notice the "X" marking the island of Pontikonissi at Corfu, Greece.

[below] A beautiful modern shot of the same
island by photographer George Pallas.
(Copyright George Pallas, used by permission.
See more George Pallas work here.)

This Greek island cemetary is also figured in the Arnold Boecklin painting Isle of the Dead, which shows up several times in the art direction of Lewton films (e.g., I Walked with A Zombie). It is also, by way of Boecklin's painting, the source for the Rachmaninoff 1909 symphony also titled Isle of the Dead. (Read about the Rachmaninoff symphony here.)

[below] Two versions of Boecklin's painting Isle of the Dead. He painted five versions altogether. Both Lenin and Freud had reproductions of this painting on their walls, and Adolf Hitler purchased one of Bocklin's originals outright. It was on the wall of his study in the bunker where he committed suicide just before the arrival of the Russian red army. A Russian general was sent to carry the painting directly to Moscow.
Boecklin Isle of the Dead

Arnold Boecklin Isle of the Dead second version


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Lewton Links

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Lewton RKO Films
Cat People*
I Walked With A Zombie*
The Leopard Man*
The Seventh Victim*
The Ghost Ship*
Curse of the Cat People*
Youth Runs Wild
Mademoiselle Fifi*
Isle of the Dead
The Body Snatcher*
Bedlam

Other Lewton Films
My Own True Love*
Please Believe Me*
Apache Drums*
Misc Films

*Pages under construction

CAST AND CREW PAGES

Sir Lancelot Pinard
SIR LANCELOT PINARD

Simone Simon
SIMONE SIMON

Frances Dee
FRANCES DEE

Jane Randolph
JANE RANDOLPH

cinemagraphe

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