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The Leopard Man

The Leopard Man(1943)

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According to a pre-production news item in Hollywood Reporter, producer Val Lewton initially assigned DeWitt Bodeen to write the screenplay for this film. Another Hollywood Reporter pre-production news item notes that Rita Corday was to play a lead in the film. Corday does not appear in the released film, however, and the extent of Bodeen's contribution to the screenplay has not been determined. A news item in Los Angeles Times adds that RKO negotiated with Lon Chaney, Jr. to appear in this picture. According to an RKO Legal Files memo from Lewton to Wynn Rocamora, the agent for the actress Margo, Lewton offered to restructure Cornell Woolrich's novel to expand the part of "Clo-Clo," the role that Lewton wanted Margo to play. According to a contemporary interview with writer Ardel Wray as reprinted in a modern source, the film exteriors were shot around Santa Fe, New Mexico. This was director Jacques Tourneur's third and last picture for Lewton. It also marked Ben Bard's first screen appearance since the 1934 film The White Parade (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.5084).