Rediscovered: Val Lewton

Autograph Hound Saturday once more, and Brian Leno is back to give us a glance at one of his most recent acquisitions in the Department of Serious John Hancocks.

Take it, Brian:

I haven’t seen too many Val Lewton signatures in my time, but frankly I don’t look too often.

I realize he is pretty much priced out of the ballpark for me.

However, I came upon this copy of The Young Manhood of Studs Lonigan and idly noticed it was signed.

I enjoyed the Lonigan books when I was younger — even though I already have a James T. Farrell I thought I would take a look at it.

When the description read that it was inscribed by Val Lewton, I was mildly shocked.

And it was cheap.

The seller provided no picture, so I wrote and asked if he’d email me a photo of the signature. He did — and amazingly dropped the price by half, possibly figuring I was hoping it had been inscribed by Farrell.

Needless to say I emitted my best Tarzan yell and swooped it up.

Lewton really needs no introduction. Produced many atmospheric thrillers, including The Cat People, Bedlam and I Walked with a Zombie. 

He also did the screenplay for The Body Snatcher which is a great film starring Boris Karloff, who once said he appreciated working with Lewton.

Hey, if he’s good enough for Boris he’s good enough for me.

One last tidbit. Lewton appeared in the July 1930 issue of Weird Tales with “The Baghetta,” a little gem.

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