Being a true film buff himself, Martin Scorsese inspired cast and crew with a series of nighttime screenings of films that called forth the themes and styles used in "Shutter Island."
Some of the films are classics, some are obscure, but they're definitely worth a look to see what movies inspired the greatest living American director while making "Shutter Island" starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
Here's the list of films according to the movie's production notes:
OTTO PREMINGER'S "LAURA" -- How love can be the most dangerous thing to ever happened to a woman.
JACQUES TOURNEUR'S "OUT OF THE PAST" -- the film's tagline says "A MAN - Trying to run away from his past... A WOMAN - Trying to escape her future!"
EDWARD DMYTRYK'S "CROSSFIRE" -- "Shutter Island's" paranoia theme involving DiCaprio's wartime hero mirrors this film's sentiments.
NICHOLAS RAY'S "ON DANGEROUS GROUND" -- this is a police drama about a cop sent to investigate the murder of a young girl.
KARL MALDEN'S "TIME LIMIT" -- Malden's intense directorial debut about a military investigation
ORSON WELLES' "THE TRIAL" -- Based on Franz Kafka's novel, "The Trial" or "Le procès" is a surreal film about a man being detained for an unknown crime.
JOHN HUSTON'S WARTIME DOCUMENTARIES "SAN PIETRO" AND "LET THERE BE LIGHT"
Scorsese is also a horror buff, and he showed the following influential scary films for inspiration:
ROBERT WISE'S "THE HAUNTING" -- proving the existence of ghosts can be a very tricky experience
JACK CLAYTON'S "THE INNOCENTS" -- Deborah Kerr plays a governess who believes that the house and grounds are haunted!
Scorsese also showed many horror films from producer Val Lewton including:
MARK ROBSON'S "THE SEVENTH VICTIM" -- Slave to SATAN! Yikes!
And perhaps, the most telling film that Scorsese showed to his cast and crew was FREDERICK WISEMAN'S "TITICUT FOLLIES," a controversial documentary that was banned in 1967. The film explores the treatment of inmates at a hospital for the criminally insane called Titicut Follies which is very similar to "Shutter Island's" Ashecliffe Hospital. This documentary showed the cast and crew the deplorable conditions suffered by asylum patients in the '50s and '60s.
This list of films shows that even when Scorsese goes "Hollywood" with a typical psychological thriller, the maestro still hearkens back to the good old days of Tinseltown.
That's why his films, even with a pedantic theme like "Shutter Island," still work! Now, run to your nearest video store or put these movies in your Netflix queue.
Check out my written review of "Shutter Island" right here.
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