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Frames from the TV movie,

Cinematographer: Jules Brenner
Filmography on IMDB

Prologue: 'They found us again' What's this fellow doing here? What's this fellow writing here? What's this fellow doing here? Getting nervous - his man's about to show up Just checking on you, son Investigator/writer in his room Confronting the slick Straker James Mason as Straker The Marsden house - why does everyone think it may be haunted? A night's work for the boys While some wives play Family concerns Love blooms amidst the terror Inside, at last Safe at home Hello... No, go away How nice to meet you this evening Fateful steps Funny what can crawl out of a root cellar Oooof!  There's that stake I've been dreading It's time to do what we've come here for You've been so hard to find Embrace me I will... with this stake

"Salem's Lot" is from the book by Stephen King. Screenplay by Paul Monash.

Shot in Northern California and Warner Bros. (Burbank). A CBS release. This TV movie has continued to be rerun through the years and is a favorite Halloween release, especially on TBS.

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"I may be a cinematographer, but I love the written word. If I had to choose the single most important element of a motion picture--an almost impossible choice given such a collaborative medium--I'd have to say it's the screenplay. I therefore relish working on a film whose source material is a well-written book.

"Salem's Lot is one of Stephen King's best, exemplifying what he is all about as a writer. On one page he could describe a person--a resident of Salem's Lot--so that you "know" him or her and, more, that you care. Caring about the characters is what successful drama is all about. A few pages, a few characters, and before you know it, you have a sense of the town--almost like you live there! This is, for me, powerful writing. How great it was, then, to help translate a favorite book to the screen.

"One of the most meaningful parts of making films is having the opportunity to meet great artists. It was a tremendous thrill to be in the company of James Mason, whose great persona and deep talent was part of my film-going life since boyhood. Another was meeting Stirling Silliphant, one of the writers who contributed a screenplay version of Salem's Lot prior to Paul Monash's final shooting script. As executive producer, he was a stimulating presence on the set."

                                                                               ~~ Jules Brenner
Cast: James Mason, Ken McMillan, David Soul, Bonny Bedelia, Geoffrey Lewis, Lance Kerwin, Lew Ayres, Ed Flanders, Kenneth McMillan, Marie Windsor, George Dzundza

Definitely the best Stephen King miniseries and the most memorable. Directed by Tobe Hooper, of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre fame, this is very scary stuff. Although David Soul will always be thought of as Hutch, he does a credible job as Ben Mears. James Mason is also suitably icy as Straker, but not enough is made of Barlow, his Nosferatu-like master. Rating: 9 out of 10 (Dr. Blood)

Last sightings:
Lifetime channel, August 19, 2000, 8:00 PM, PDT.

How it came together (and other details):
The book (the 2nd for Stephen King) was published in 1975. Around 4 years later, Director George A. Romero was approached to direct a feature film version, but after the announcements of John Badham's Dracula (1979) and Werner Herzog's Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (1979), Warner Bros. decided to turn Salem's Lot into a TV mini-series. Romero dropped out, feeling he wouldn't be able to make the film the way he wanted to with the restrictions of network television. Richard Kobritz, the head of Warner's TV at the time, was the person who chose Tobe Hooper to direct, as well as me to direct the photography.

The schedule was 8 weeks. The two part miniseries ran 184 minutes. A theatrical version of 107 minutes ran in the UK. The budget estimate is $4 Mil.

"Salem's Lot" was nominated for three Emmys (Graphic Design, Makeup and Music Composition).

Salem's Lot is available from as a book, a DVD and a video:

The book


The video

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