The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson of the Packard Campus.
Thursday, November 8 (7:30 p.m.)
I Walked with a Zombie (RKO, 1943)
Producer Val Lewton and director Jacques Tourneur created this atmospheric chiller on a low budget, utilizing limited sets and only a handful of extras. Frances Dee plays a nurse who comes to a tropical island to treat the wife of a sugar plantation owner (Tom Conway) who suffers from an unexplained mental paralysis. She soon discovers skeletons in the family closet and local voodoo rituals and legends that cannot be ignored. The mesmerizing story is loosely adapted from Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. Screenwriter Ardel Wray recalled that before filming, “We were all plunged into research on Haitian voodoo culture. Val [Lewton] was an addictive researcher, drawing out of it the overall feel, mood, and quality he wanted, as well as details for actual production. He even found some genuine voodoo musicians for the film.” 35mm film print produced by the Library of Congress Film Preservation lab in 2000. 69 min.
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