Jack Cardiff  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Jack Cardiff OBE, B.S.C. (18 September 1914 - 22 April 2009) was an Academy Award-winning British cinematographer, director and photographer.

His career spanned the development of cinema, from silent film, through early experiments in Technicolor (and, less successfully, Smell-O-Vision), to filmmaking in the 21st century. He was best known for his influential cinematography for directors such as Powell, Huston and Hitchcock.

In 2000 he was awarded an OBE and in 2001 he was awarded an Honorary Oscar for his contribution to the cinema.

Born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, Cardiff's parents were music hall entertainers. He worked as an actor from an early age, both in the music hall and in a number of silent films: My Son, My Son (1918), Billy's Rose (1922), The Loves of Mary, Queen of Scots (1923) and Tiptoes (1927). At 15 he began working as a camera assistant, clapper boy and production runner for British International Pictures, including Hitchcock's The Skin Game (1931).

Cinematography

In 1935 Cardiff graduated to camera operator and occasional cinematographer, working mostly for London Films. He was the first to shoot a film in the UK in Technicolor: Wings of the Morning (1937). When the war began he worked as a cinematographer on public information films.

The turning point in his career was as a 2nd unit cameraman on Powell & Pressburger's The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943); they were impressed enough to hire Cardiff as cinematographer on their post-war Technicolor masterpiece A Matter of Life and Death (1946). Their collaboration continued with Black Narcissus (1947), which won Cardiff an Oscar and a Golden Globe, and The Red Shoes (1948). These films put Cardiff's talents in high demand, and a string of big-budget films followed. After concentrating on direction in the 1960s, he returned to cinematography in the 1970s and 1980s.

Notable films as cinematographer include:

Directorial work

In the late 1950s Cardiff began to direct, with two modest successes in Intent to Kill (1958) and Web of Evidence (1959). In 1960 his adaptation of D. H. Lawrence's novel Sons and Lovers, starring Trevor Howard, Wendy Hiller and Dean Stockwell, was a successful hit. It earned seven Oscar nominations and won Freddie Francis Best Black-and-White Cinematography. Cardiff received a Golden Globe for direction.

After the high water mark of Sons and Lovers, he directed a unusual mix of films, including:





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Jack Cardiff" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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