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John Alton

John Alton

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Also Known As: Johann Altmann Died: June 2, 1996
Born: October 5, 1901 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Profession: director of photography, screenwriter, lab technician, cameraman, author, director

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

The Hungarian-born John Alton, who emigrated to the USA in 1919, shot his first films in Argentina in the 1930s and began his prolific Hollywood career with "The Courageous Dr. Christian" (1940), directed by Bernard Vorhaus. He demonstrated a masterful command of chiaroscuro, the representation of light and shade without regard to color, with his work for Anthony Mann, notably "T-Men" (1947) and "Border Incident" (1949). Alton became known as a master of film noir, as well for his visual puns, usually involving shadows.

The Hungarian-born John Alton, who emigrated to the USA in 1919, shot his first films in Argentina in the 1930s and began his prolific Hollywood career with "The Courageous Dr. Christian" (1940), directed by Bernard Vorhaus. He demonstrated a masterful command of chiaroscuro, the representation of light and shade without regard to color, with his work for Anthony Mann, notably "T-Men" (1947) and "Border Incident" (1949). Alton became known as a master of film noir, as well for his visual puns, usually involving shadows.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Glorious Technicolor (1998) Interviewee
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Milestones close milestones

:
Began working in movies accidentally, as an extra on Marion Davies films
1923:
Moved from NYC to LA
1924:
Was lab technician with MGM
1928:
First film as cameraman at Paramount; worked on "Spoilers of the West" and "Wyoming", both produced by David O Selznick
1931:
Went to Paris as head of Paramount camera department
1931:
Went to Paris as head of Paramount camera department
1932:
Installed studios for Lumiton and Sono Film, Argentia
1933:
First film as director of photography, "Los tres Berretines" (Argentina)
1933:
Directorial debut with the Argentine film "El hijo de papa"
1937:
Returned to the USA
1940:
First US film as director of photography, "The Courageous Dr. Christian"
1947:
Had career breakthrough as cinematographer on "T-Men"
1949:
Wrote book, "Painting With Light"
1950:
First worked with Vincente Minnelli, "Father of the Bride"
1951:
Was director of photography on final ballet sequence for "An American in Paris", directed by Minnelli; shared Best Cinematography (Color) Oscar
1953:
First worked with Richard Brooks, "Battle Circus"
1960:
Shot "Elmer Gantry" for Richard Brooks
1962:
After being fired from "Birdman of Alcatraz"; left the film industry; decided to devote time to traveling and painting instead
1993:
Attended a tribute held for him at the Tellrude Film Festival
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