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Overview for Jacques Tourneur
Jacques Tourneur

Jacques Tourneur


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Also Known As: Died: December 19, 1977
Born: November 12, 1904 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Paris, FR Profession: Director ... director editor script clerk office clerk


Master of macabre suspense who hit his peak in the 1940s with such atmospheric gems as the Val Lewton-produced horror classic "Cat People" (1942), the quietly absorbing psychodrama "Experiment Perilous" (1944) and one of the masterworks of film noir, "Out of the Past" (1947). Tourneur worked on the films of his father, the gifted visual stylist Maurice Tourneur, in the US and then in Paris, where he made his directorial debut in 1931. He returned to America in 1935, making shorts and B features at MGM before hitting his stride with several brilliantly understated features for producer Val Lewton at RKO: "Cat People," "I Walked With a Zombie" (1942), and "The Leopard Man" (1943).

Tourneur inherited his father's gift for atmospheric, evocative compositions and put it to good use in westerns ("Canyon Passage" 1946), films noirs ("Out of the Past" 1947) and thrillers ("Berlin Express" 1948). His films from the mid-1950s, for various studios, were less effective, though the British-made "Curse of the Demon" (1957) marked a notable return to his earlier form.

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