Friday through Sunday

Bedlam (1946)

An actress tries to improve the conditions at London’s notorious Bedlam asylum, but the sadistic head of the asylum (Boris Karloff) has her declared insane.

With Boris Karloff, Anna Lee, Billy House, Richard Fraser, Glenn Vernon, Ian Wolfe, Jason Robards, Leland Hodgson.

Produced by Val Lewton. Directed by Mark Robson. Written by Charles Keith and Mark Robson. Photographed by Nicholas Musuraca. Music by Roy Webb. RKO. 80 minutes.

Plays Friday through Sunday (April 28-30) at 7:30 (plus weekend matinee at 3:50).

The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)

This picture was not made by Val Lewton, but we include it because its central character, the producer Jonathan Shields (played by Kirk Douglas), is at least partly based on Val Lewton.

The low-budget horror film, The Doom of the Cat Men, is an obvious reference to Lewton’s Cat People. A discussion between the producer and director applies perfectly to Lewton’s films:

“Put five men dressed like cats on the screen, what do they look like? / Like five men dressed like cats. / When an audience pays to see a picture like this, what do they pay for? / To get their pants scared off them. / And what scares the human race more than any other single thing? The dark. / Of Course. / Why? Because the dark has a life of its own. In the dark all sorts of things come alive. Suppose we never do show the cat men.”

Apart from any connection with Val Lewton, The Bad and the Beautiful is one of the best pictures ever made about the motion picture business. And it has one of the best ever musical scores, by David Raksin.

With Kirk Douglas, Lana Turner, Walter Pidgeon, Dick Powell, Barry Sullivan, Gloria Grahame, Gilbert Roland.

Directed by Vincente Minnelli. Produced by John Houseman. Written by Charles Schnee. Photographed by Robert Surtees. Music by David Raksin. MGM. 118 mins.

Plays Friday through Sunday (April 28-30) at 5:20, 9:00.