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 Posted:   Mar 20, 2014 - 9:02 PM   
 By:   Eugene Iemola   (Member)

One of the greatest British cinematographers has passed away at the age of 98, on Tuesday.

He started out at the legendary Pinewood Studios under the likes of David Lean and Ronald Neame and contributed some great black and white cinematography to the history of film, including Lolita and The Spy Who Came In From The Cold.

One of my favorite's is the colour version of John Huston and Ray Bradbury's Moby Dick. That was perhaps the first film where the photography really affected me as a kid. It was, and is, breathtakingly amazing.

Via, con Dios.

 Posted:   Mar 21, 2014 - 7:32 AM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

A GREAT TALENT, Well he lived a nice long life. R.I.P OSSIE

 Posted:   Mar 22, 2014 - 7:39 AM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

Does anyone around here appreciate great cinematography?. May I add FREDDIE FRANCIS-R.I.P- ANOTHER GREAT TALENT.

 Posted:   Mar 22, 2014 - 8:18 AM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

Does anyone around here appreciate great cinematography?

I do, dan - especially black & white.

Here's a still from an early film shot by Oswald Morris: GOLDEN SALAMANDER

 Posted:   Mar 22, 2014 - 10:07 AM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

Just this past year, I happily discovered Morris's autobiography, HUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM -- great title, yes? -- and realized its author was still alive and kicking at 98, (coincidentally, the age my friend Hans Salter had reached before moving on.)

Over the years, I have managed to thank both Bradbury and Huston for MOBY DICK but I wish I had thought to contact Morris as well. I, too, discovered MOBY DICK when I was very small and the screen was very big in the film's initial release in 1956. How sad and alarming that even so mighty a cinematic achievement as this has fallen prey to the flames of time and now is in desperate need of restoration/preservation. The last tine I saw it screened at the American Cinematheque, the best print that Warners could provide looked as if it could have been the same print I saw as a child: by now so beaten and battered that it didn't have its main title any more.

 Posted:   Mar 22, 2014 - 11:09 AM   
 By:   Ralph   (Member)

What’s there to be sad about? Let’s celebrate instead. Morris lived a good life and to an age most of us won’t reach. Morris’ collaborations with Huston — “Moulin Rouge,” “Beat the Devil,” “Moby Dick,” “Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison,” “Roots of Heaven,” “Reflections in a Golden Eye,” “The MacKintosh Man” and “The Man Who Would Be King” — gave him deserving prestige. He did daring things with color saturation and filters in “Moulin” and with “Reflections,” he worked with an Italian Technicolor lab crew to achieve what Huston describes as “a golden effect — a diffuse amber color” that was used for only 50 prints and the rest would be vivid Technicolor, by decree from Warner Brothers. (WB claimed the amber prints no longer existed or were unusable, so when the movie was released on DVD, technicians used digital processing to replicate what was intended. They came fairly close.)

It’s Morris’ work away from the director that garnered higher praise. His black and white work for “Look Back in Anger,” “The Entertainer,” “Lolita,” “The Pumpkin Eater,” “The Hill,” and “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold” brought comparison to the great Freddie Francis and the last three earned him consecutive BAFTAs. His color work for “Oliver,” “Fiddler on the Roof” and, my favorite, Zeffirelli’s “The Taming of the Shrew,” earned respectively an Oscar nom, the Oscar itself and the British Society of Cinematographers honor.

For “Oliver,” Morris allows us to soak in the decrepit ambiance of Fagin’s hideaway with its sinking-in-the-mud stairs as if it’s VistaVision as theatre. With “Fiddler,” Morris had to contend with weather conditions in the Croatian cities of Zagreb, Gorica, Lekenik and Mala, so with all the clouded backgrounds there’s an unusually “real” depressive atmosphere, but with many exteriors looking as if they’re about to be hit with one kind of storm or another, and with Topol often looking like an ice-packed Omar Sharif coming off the tundra, I ended up wanting to escape to “Doctor Zhivago” and for once I prefer the sham of Lean’s Russia. About “Taming,” Morris’ camera is a sumptuous kaleidoscope, capturing the colors, art direction, costumes and the frolic in manufactured Padua with opera comique energy. No movie before and maybe only Branagh’s “Hamlet” after make Shakespeare look so handsome.

 Posted:   Mar 22, 2014 - 4:16 PM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

Just like my favorite composers had so many achievements you could spend the day listing them, so is it with Oswald Morris and cinematographers. After starting out as camera operator for cinematographers like Guy Green (under David Lean) and Geoffrey Unsworth, he was director of photography with directors John Huston, Carol Reed, Sidney Lumet and Ronald Neame when they were at their most innovative (and for those who don't know these they all qualify as legendary). He shot a whole slew of Best Picture nominees (MOULIN ROUGE, GUNS OF NAVARONE, OLIVER!, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF) He also had an extraordinary list of directors that worked with him at least once: Stanley Kubrick (LOLITA), Jack Clayton (THE PUMPKIN EATER), Franco Zifferelli (TAMING OF THE SHREW), Joseph L. Mankiewicz (SLEUTH), Norman Jewison (FIDDLER ON THE ROOF), Leo McCarey (SATAN NEVER SLEEPS), Peter Glenville (TERM OF TRIAL), René Clément (LOVERS, HAPPY LOVERS!), Jacques Tourneur (CIRCLE OF DANGER). Tons of actors, from Laurence Olivier (THE ENTERTAINER) to Jose Ferrer (MOULIN ROUGE), won and were nominated for major awards in his films and in retrospect you cannot but help think it he had a hand in the way he lit them. They came to him to bring to life some pretty major pieces of literature (MOBY DICK, A FAREWELL TO ARMS, REFLECTIONS IN A GOLDEN EYE, SCROOGE) and yet if a major actor (Laurence Harvey, THE CEREMONY) or writer (Robert Bolt, LADY CAROLINE LAMB) wanted to take a crack at directing or maybe experiment with early video (STOP THE WORLD I WANT TO GET OFF) he would take the chance.

Such an incredible life! I KNOW you will rest in peace.

AND the fact that in between he could do major franchises like James Bond (THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN) and the Muppets (THE GREAT MUPPET CAPER)

 Posted:   Mar 22, 2014 - 4:52 PM   
 By:   Eugene Iemola   (Member)

Does anyone around here appreciate great cinematography?. May I add FREDDIE FRANCIS-R.I.P- ANOTHER GREAT TALENT.

You certainly may, after all, Freddie Francis was the second unit cinematographer on Moby Dick.

 Posted:   Mar 22, 2014 - 5:37 PM   
 By:   filmusicnow   (Member)

He also shot part of "The Man With The Golden Gun".

 Posted:   Mar 22, 2014 - 7:07 PM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

Freddie Young lived to 96. Good gene pool in the BSC!

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