James Wong Howe


Director Of Photography
James Wong Howe

About

Also Known As
Wong Tung Jim, James Howe, Low Key Hoe
Birth Place
China
Born
August 28, 1899
Died
July 12, 1976

Biography

In the USA from 1904, Howe worked his way up from the position of janitor at the Lasky Studios in 1917 to become one of the greatest, and most prolific, Hollywood cinematographers of all time. His achievement seems today all the more remarkable given the paucity of people of Asian descent who were able to obtain major positions in the Hollywood system. The list of directors with whom he ...

Family & Companions

Sanora Babb
Wife
Novelist.

Biography

In the USA from 1904, Howe worked his way up from the position of janitor at the Lasky Studios in 1917 to become one of the greatest, and most prolific, Hollywood cinematographers of all time. His achievement seems today all the more remarkable given the paucity of people of Asian descent who were able to obtain major positions in the Hollywood system. The list of directors with whom he worked reads like a history of American cinema, stretching from Victor Fleming and Allan Dwan in the 1920s to Sidney Lumet and John Frankenheimer in the 60s, with a number of landmark figures in between.

Nicknamed 'Low Key Hoe' for his unadorned style, Howe pioneered the use of deep-focus photography and of the hand-held camera; for Robert Rossen's matador feature "The Brave Bulls" (1951), he strapped cameras to the actors' waists to capture an unprecedented perspective on the action. He also brought great excitement to the boxing scenes in Rossen's "Body and Soul" (1947) by photographing them in the ring while wearing roller skates. Howe also directed several films and TV shows and formed three production companies during his career.

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

Invisible Avenger (1958)
Director
Go Man Go (1954)
Director
Chijlku wo mawasuru chikara (1930)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography (1992)
Himself
James Wong Howe, A.S.C.: A Lesson in Light (1973)
Himself

Cinematography (Feature Film)

Funny Lady (1975)
Director Of Photography
The Horsemen (1971)
Photography
The Last of the Mobile Hotshots (1970)
Director of Photography
The Molly Maguires (1970)
Director of Photography
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1968)
Director of Photography
Hombre (1967)
Director of Photography
This Property Is Condemned (1966)
Director of Photography
Seconds (1966)
Director of Photography
The Glory Guys (1965)
Director of Photography
The Outrage (1964)
Director of Photography
Hud (1963)
Director of Photography
Tess of the Storm Country (1960)
Director of Photography
Song Without End (1960)
Director of Photography
The Story on Page One (1959)
Director of Photography
The Last Angry Man (1959)
Director of Photography
Bell, Book and Candle (1959)
Director of Photography
The Old Man and the Sea (1958)
Director of Photography
Drango (1957)
Director of cine
Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
Photography
Death of a Scoundrel (1956)
Director of Photography
Picnic (1955)
Director of Photography
The Rose Tattoo (1955)
Director of Photography
Main Street to Broadway (1953)
Director of Photography
Come Back, Little Sheba (1953)
Director of Photography
Jennifer (1953)
Director of Photography
The Lady Says No (1952)
Director of Photography
The Brave Bulls (1951)
Director of Photography
Behave Yourself! (1951)
Director of Photography
He Ran All the Way (1951)
Director of Photography
The Baron of Arizona (1950)
Director of Photography
The Eagle and the Hawk (1950)
Director of Photography
Tripoli (1950)
Director of Photography
The Time of Your Life (1948)
Director of Photography
Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948)
Director of Photography
Body and Soul (1947)
Director of Photography
Pursued (1947)
Director of Photography
Nora Prentiss (1947)
Director of Photography
My Reputation (1946)
Director of Photography
Confidential Agent (1945)
Photography
Counter-Attack (1945)
Director of Photography
Objective, Burma! (1945)
Director of Photography
Danger Signal (1945)
Director of Photography
Passage to Marseille (1944)
Director of Photography
The Hard Way (1943)
Director of Photography
Hangmen Also Die! (1943)
Director of Photography
The North Star (1943)
Photography
Air Force (1943)
Director of Photography
Kings Row (1942)
Director of Photography
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
Director of Photography
Shining Victory (1941)
Director of Photography
The Strawberry Blonde (1941)
Director of Photography
Navy Blues (1941)
Dance seq Photographer
Out of the Fog (1941)
Director of Photography
My Love Came Back (1940)
Photography
Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet (1940)
Director of Photography
Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940)
Director of Photography
City for Conquest (1940)
Photography
A Dispatch from Reuters (1940)
Director of Photography
Torrid Zone (1940)
Photography
Saturday's Children (1940)
Photography
Daughters Courageous (1939)
Photography
On Your Toes (1939)
Director of Photography
Dust Be My Destiny (1939)
Photography
Four Wives (1939)
Photography
The Oklahoma Kid (1939)
Photography
They Made Me a Criminal (1939)
Photography
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1938)
Photography
Algiers (1938)
Photography
Comet over Broadway (1938)
Photography
The Prisoner of Zenda (1937)
Photography
Troopship (1937)
Camera, int
Fire over England (1937)
Photography
Under the Red Robe (1937)
Photography
Three Live Ghosts (1936)
Photography
Rendezvous (1935)
Photography
O'Shaughnessy's Boy (1935)
Photography
The Night Is Young (1935)
Photography
Biography of a Bachelor Girl (1935)
Photography
Mark of the Vampire (1935)
Photography
Whipsaw (1935)
Photography
The Flame Within (1935)
Photography
Hollywood Party (1934)
Photography
Viva Villa (1934)
Photography
Have a Heart (1934)
Photography
The Show-Off (1934)
Photography
The Thin Man (1934)
Photography
Stamboul Quest (1934)
Photography
Manhattan Melodrama (1934)
Photography
Hello, Sister! (1933)
Photographer for initial period
The Power and the Glory (1933)
Photography
Beauty for Sale (1933)
Photography
Amateur Daddy (1932)
Photography
Dance Team (1932)
Photography
Man About Town (1932)
Photography
Chandu the Magician (1932)
Photography
After Tomorrow (1932)
Photography
Transatlantic (1931)
Photography
The Spider (1931)
Photography
The Criminal Code (1931)
Photography
Surrender (1931)
Photography
The Yellow Ticket (1931)
Photography
Chijlku wo mawasuru chikara (1930)
Director of Photography
Today (1930)
Director of Photography
Desert Nights (1929)
Director of Photography
Laugh, Clown, Laugh (1928)
Director of Photography
The Perfect Crime (1928)
Director of Photography
Four Walls (1928)
Director of Photography
Sorrell and Son (1927)
Director of Photography
The Rough Riders (1927)
Director of Photography
Sea Horses (1926)
Director of Photography
Mantrap (1926)
Director of Photography
The Song and Dance Man (1926)
Director of Photography
Padlocked (1926)
Director of Photography
Not So Long Ago (1925)
Director of Photography
The Charmer (1925)
Director of Photography
The King on Main Street (1925)
Director of Photography
The Best People (1925)
Director of Photography
The Breaking Point (1924)
Director of Photography
Peter Pan (1924)
Director of Photography
The Side Show of Life (1924)
Director of Photography
The Alaskan (1924)
Director of Photography
To the Last Man (1923)
Director of Photography
Drums of Fate (1923)
Director of Photography
The Spanish Dancer (1923)
Director of Photography
The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1923)
Director of Photography
The Call of the Canyon (1923)
Director of Photography

Visual Effects (Feature Film)

Moulin Rouge! (2001)
Special Effects tech

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography (1992)
Other

Cinematography (Short)

Hollywood Party (1937)
Cinematographer (Uncredited)

Life Events

1904

Immigrated to USA from China at age five

1919

Was a photography assistant on such films as "Male and Female", "Puppy Love" and "Told in the Hills"

1922

Debut as director of photography

1954

Debut as director with "Go, Man, Go"

Photo Collections

The Thin Man - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are few behind-the-scenes photos taken during the shooting of The Thin Man (1934), starring William Powell and Myrna Loy.

Videos

Movie Clip

Manhattan Melodrama (1934) - Skip it, Kid Old pal and gangster Blackie (Clark Gable) visits the new D-A Jim (William Powell), with lots of catching-up to do, in W.S. Van Dyke's Manhattan Melodrama, 1934, from a script by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and Oliver H.P. Garrett.
Strawberry Blonde, The (1941) - We Have A Lady Present Biff (James Cagney) is ready to abandon buddy Hugo (Jack Carson) when he finds out the friend Virginia (Rita Hayworth) has brought to their clandestine date is a nurse, the headstrong Amy (Olivia de Havilland), early in Raoul Walsh's The Strawberry Blonde, 1941.
Counter-Attack (1945) - Too Much Courage Paul Muni as Alexei leads the band of Russian military engineers arrived to a key Eastern Front theater, bragging recklessly until the commander Kostyuk (Roman Bohnen) demands their attention, revealing his plans to surprise the Germans, Marguerite Chapman as comrade Lisa, in director Zoltan Korda’s Counter-Attack, 1945.
Counter-Attack (1945) - It's Psychological Trapped with seven Nazi soldiers in the basement of a bombed building behind German lines while on a reconnaissance mission, Soviet commando Alexei (Paul Muni) with comrade Lisa (Margeurite Chapman) suspects one is an officer with crucial information, George MacReady stepping forward, in Columbia’s Counter-Attack, 1945.
Last Angry Man, The (1959) - Around The Rugged Rock Nephew Myron (Joby Baker) and TV producer Thrasher (David Wayne) are enthralled as neighborhood legend Dr. Abelman (Paul Muni, in his last film) works his magic on rebellious Brooklyn teen Josh Quincy (Billy Dee Williams, in his movie debut) in The Last Angry Man, 1959.
Last Angry Man, The (1959) - We Made The Mirror! Young newspaperman Myron (Joby Baker) introduces TV Producer Thrasher (David Wayne) to his uncle, Brooklyn Dr. Sam Abelman (Paul Muni) who doesn't want to become a famous do-gooder, in The Last Angry Man, 1959.
Last Angry Man, The (1959) - We Want the Doctor! Godfrey Cambridge and Billy Dee Williams make their screen debuts together as they drop off a sick girl (Cicely Tyson!) at the door of Brooklyn Dr. Sam Abelman (Paul Muni) in director Daniel Mann's The Last Angry Man, 1959.
Viva Villa! (1934) - Fiction Woven Out Of Truth Commanding prologue and screenplay by Ben Hecht, directed by either ultimately-dismissed Howard Hawks or credited Jack Conway, with Phillip Cooper as the young title character and Frank Puglia his dad, from MGM’s hit Viva Villa!, 1934, starring Wallace Beery.
Viva Villa! (1934) - For The Gringo Paper? Taking a town as his notoriety grows, Wallace Beery as Pancho Villa browses females (C.B. DeMille's part-Italian adopted daughter Katherine as Rosita, in one of her earliest roles) then, with sidekick Sierra (Leo Carrillo), meets nervous American journalist Sykes (Stuart Erwin), in Viva Villa!, 1934.
Viva Villa! (1934) - This Is Your Country! Writer Ben Hecht never thought much of Hollywood or screenplays in general, but had few peers for this kind of scene, with Wallace Beery as the bandit title character meeting the scholarly revolutionary Madero (Henry B. Walthall), in MGM’s Viva Villa!, 1934.
Viva Villa! (1934) - Pancho Villa Sent For Me Some scale as the revolution gathers pace, Wallace Beery (title character) rallies volunteers, visits sympathetic aristocrat Teresa (Fay Wray) and reporter Sykes (Stuart Erwin), then a montage, with writer Ben Hecht more successful than the rear-screen process shots, David Durand the bugle boy, inViva Villa! , 1934.
Viva Villa! (1934) - The Law Of Pancho Villa's Court First appearance for Wallace Beery in the title role, his mob seizing a town after several peasants were convicted and hanged, with aide Sierra (Leo Carrillo), flipping the script on the ruling class (Nigel De Brulier the magistrate), in MGM’s Viva Villa!, 1934.

Trailer

This Property Is Condemned - (Original Trailer) A small-town girl (Natalie Wood) fights her mother's opposition when she falls for a big-city businessman (Robert Redford) in This Property Is Condemned (1966).
My Love Came Back -- (Original Trailer) A millionaire helps a pretty lady violinist (Olivia de Havilland) with her career in My Love Came Back (1940).
Navy Blues (1941) - (Original Trailer) Look for a young Jackie Gleason with lots of Warners' best comedians in the service comedy Navy Blues (1941).
Saturday's Children - (Original Trailer) A young inventor's new marriage is jeopardized by financial problems. Starring John Garfield.
Dispatch From Reuters, A - (Original Trailer) An entrepreneur (Edward G. Robinson) builds an international news agency.
Daughters Courageous - (Original Trailer) A father (Claude Rains) returns to the family he left years earlier and tries to solve their problems. Co-starring John Garfield.
Bell Book and Candle - (Original Trailer) Beautiful witch Kim Novak places a love spell on James Stewart in the comedy Bell Book And Candle (1959) also starring Jack Lemmon.
Counter-Attack - (Original Trailer) A Russian officer (Paul Muni) is trapped in a bombed building with seven Nazi soldiers in Counter-Attack (1945).
Whipsaw - (Original Trailer) G-Man Spencer Tracy falls for glamorous jewel thief Myrna Loy in Whipsaw (1935).
Danger Signal - (Original Trailer) Zachary Scott is the cad who turns sisters into enemies in the thriller Danger Signal (1945).
Abe Lincoln in Illinois - (Original Trailer) Raymond Massey portrays the rail-splitter in his journey from log cabin to the White House in Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940).
Old Man and the Sea, The - (Original Trailer) A Cuban fisherman (Spencer Tracy) believes his long dry spell will end when he catches a legendary fish in Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea (1958).

Companions

Sanora Babb
Wife
Novelist.

Bibliography