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Fred Murphy

Fred Murphy


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Also Known As: Died:
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Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: Cinematography ... director of photography


Native New Yorker Fred Murphy's first credits as a director of photography came on low-budget films helmed by females: Martha Coolidge's "Not a Pretty Picture" (1975), Claudia Weill's "Girlfriends" (1978) and Lee Grant's "Tell Me a Riddle" (1980). In each case, he provided clean camerawork that did not detract from the inherent drama. He acquired his first real cachet in the industry, however, working with cinematographer-turned-director Richard Pearce on "Heartland" (1980), an unromanticized portrait of frontier life in 1910 Wyoming. Murphy's neat etching of the changing rural seasons was as much a character in the story, reflective of the shifts in the relationship between the film's protagonists. He has proven adept at capturing moments of reverie or nostalgia as in photographing Geraldine Page's bus ride to her hometown in "The Trip to Bountiful" (1985) or the passionate remembrance of a long dead love by an Irish wife in John Huston's elegiac "The Dead" (1987). Through camera placement and shifts in light, he is able to have the past and present on screen simultaneously.

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