Born in Paris, France, he was the son of noted director Maurice Tourneur. As a young man, Jacques went to live in New York City and proceeded to Hollywood with his father. He is famous for directing three "horror" movies (in fact, film noir–influenced films of understated terror) with producer Val Lewton at RKO Radio Pictures in the nineteen forties: Cat People, I Walked with a Zombie and The Leopard Man. Night of the Demon is one of the best horror/supernatural films in movie history. He also directed one of the classics of film noir, Out of the Past.
In 1964 Tourneur directed an episode of The Twilight Zone, Night Call (Episode 139, February 7, 1964): superb and an excellent showcase for Tourneur's directing style.
In the fall of 2002 I published an article on Georges Franju's film Eyes Without a Face in Kinoeye.
I wrote another, much longer essay on horror film entitled "Heidegger, the Uncanny, and JacquesTourneur's Horror Films." It appeared in the fall of 2003 in Dark Thoughts: Philosophic Reflections on Cinematic Horror.
In January 2005 I published a review of Robert Warshow's The Immediate Experience.
Posted to Video by Ashok K. Banker on October 3, 2005 10:53 AM
Halloween Roundup II: Val Lewton and JacquesTourneur Whisper in the Dark
The opening line of H.P. Lovecraft's story, The Whisperer in Darkness, tells us most of what we need to know not only about his approach but JacquesTourneur's: "Bear in mind closely that I did not see any actual visual...
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