Friday through Sunday

I Walked With a Zombie (1943)

A rich American planter brings a nurse to Haiti to care for his mysteriously ill wife. The Haitians think she has become a zombie.

Despite its low budget, this film creates a languid visual world worthy of Josef von Sternberg.

“The film sees Voodoo going on and accepts what the natives believe. … The result is uncanny: the ridiculous suddenly becomes beautiful and arresting.” David Thomson.

This was the film debut of Sir Lancelot, a celebrated calypso singer from Trinidad, who had acting roles in several of Lewton’s films.

“An unqualified horror masterpiece. Essential viewing.” Baseline Movie Guide.

“Exceptional Val Lewton chiller with rich atmosphere, mesmerizing story.” Leonard Maltin.

With James Ellison, Frances Dee, Tom Conway, Edith Barrett, James Bell, Christine Gordon, Theresa Harris, Sir Lancelot, Darby Jones, Jeni Le Gon. Produced by Val Lewton.

Directed by Jacques Tourneur. Written by Curt Siodmak and Ardel Wray, based on an original story by Inez Wallace. Photographed by J. Roy Hunt. Music by Roy Webb. RKO. 68 minutes.

Plays Friday through Sunday (March 31-April 2) at 7:30 (plus weekend matinee at 4:45).

Cat People (1942)

A Serbian emigré in New York City believes that she suffers from a hereditary curse and will become a panther if her passions are aroused.

This picture cost only $134,000 to make but grossed over $2,000,000.

“Testifies to the power of suggestion and the priority of imagination over budget in the creation of great cinema.” Baseline Movie Guide.

“Indeed, Val Lewton was so artistic, and so smart, that he grasped this rare insight: You don’t actually show the frightening thing.” David Thomson.

With Simone Simon, Tom Conway, Jane Randolph, Jack Holt, Kent Smith, Alan Napier, Elizabeth Dunne, Elizabeth Russell, Mary Halsey, Alec Craig. Produced by Val Lewton.

Directed by Jacques Tourneur. Written by DeWitt Bodeen. Photographed by Nicholas Musuraca. Music by Roy Webb. RKO. 73 minutes.

Plays Friday through Sunday (March 31-April 2) at 6:05 and 8:50.