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Shadows: The Black Hearted

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'The Leopard Man', Val Lewton's third horror film for RKO Studios, is to be an adaptation of Cornell Woolrich's shocking murder mystery novel, Black Alibi. But in Lewton's hands, the project has become an opportunity to not only express his dark creativity, but also to tap into the childhood fears of its director, Jacques Tourneur, and to introduce the serial killer into American cinema.

But Lewton's team has more at stake than a simple movie.

Should the film become a success, then the creative partnership at the helm of their endeavours will be broken apart.

And should that happen, Val Lewton will be forced to make a terrible choice...

Featuring Mark Gatiss

WARNING: This episode may contain stories that some listeners find upsetting or disturbing.

If you'd like early access to new episodes of 'The Secret History Of Hollywood', plus more bonus content, such as eBook versions and bonus audio, you can sign up to become a patron for as little as $1 a month by clicking here. 

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Shadows: Song Of The Dead

Following the success of 'Cat People', Val Lewton has been assigned to create a film entitled 'I Walked With A Zombie'. 

RKO's B-movie boss, Lew Ostrow, is insistent that the film should follow the formula being employed by the horror department at Universal Pictures.

But Lewton's plans for the film are far more ambitious...

Featuring Mark Gatiss

To listen to Part 1 of 'Shadows' CLICK HERE

If you would like early access to new episodes of 'The Secret History Of Hollywood', and other bonus content, such as eBook versions and bonus audio, you can sign up to become a patron for as little as $1 a month by clicking here. 

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Shadows: The Cat Strikes

Part 2

Val Lewton has been hired by RKO Studios to oversee the creation of their new horror division. However, the job has come with a set of curious conditions...

Having had the name of his first movie, 'Cat People' decided for him in advance, Lewton must assemble a story that fits the title. But perhaps the solution to the problem lies in an almost forgotten story from Lewton's past.

As well as adhering to RKO's peculiar directives, Lewton must also contend with the demands of his new boss, Lew Ostrow, who is expecting an altogether different type of horror movie...

Featuring Mark Gatiss

To listen to Part 1 of 'Shadows' CLICK HERE

If you would like early access to new episodes of 'The Secret History Of Hollywood', and other bonus content, such as eBook versions and bonus audio, you can sign up to become a patron for as little as $1 a month by clicking here. 

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Shadows: The Boy From The Black Sea

Once upon a time, horror cinema was changed forever by the fiercely inventive imagination of a remarkable man...

In Part One of 'Shadows: The Val Lewton Story', hear the curious beginnings of a cinematic legend, whose uniquely terrifying creations were influenced by the dark brand of folklore upon which he was raised...

Featuring Mark Gatiss

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Bullets And Blood - Part 3

James Cagney is in exile.

The lives of Harry Warner's children have been threatened.

Jack Warner's megalomania is spiralling dangerously out of control.

Life in general is about to change forever, as Adolf Hitler begins his horrifying assault on humanity.

But the greatest threat to the Warner family's empire will come from within...

 

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Bullets And Blood - Part 2

During the 1930's, Warner Brothers Studios established themselves as the master purveyors of the contemporary crime drama, or as audiences have forever since called them, "The Gangster Movie"...


But all fiction springs from truth...


In Part Two of 'Bullets And Blood', hear the incredible stories behind some of the most enduring gangster fiction ever committed to film, from the shadowy machinations of Al Capone and his war on Chicago's North Side gang, to the macabre tale of "Il Diavolo" and his juvenile henchmen... 

And behind the screen itself, the dramatic saga of the Warner family continues, along with the story of the only star in Hollywood willing to take them on...

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Bullets And Blood - Part 1

The story of the Warner Brothers studio is the story of the American dream - an immigrant family who escaped a violent beginning, and arrived penniless in America, only to conquer its newest and most lucrative art form.

The Warner formula was simple - to thrill audiences with stories torn straight from the headlines, and as such, Warner Studios became the home of the crime film...

In Part One of 'Bullets And Blood', hear the incredible story of the Warner family, and of the iron-willed redhead from the belly of New York, who would go on to become their biggest star...