Jack Cardiff


Director Of Photography
Jack Cardiff

About

Also Known As
John Cardiff
Birth Place
Yarmouth, England, GB
Born
September 18, 1914
Died
April 22, 2009
Cause of Death
Age-Related Causes

Biography

The son of vaudevillians, Jack Cardiff began his long and distinguished career as a child actor in silent films. When he hit his teens, he moved to behind-the-scenes work and earned his first screen credit as a glorified 'go-fer,' billed as fourth assistant director on "The Informer" in 1929. He quickly rose through the ranks from clapper boy to focus puller to second-unit cameraman. He ...

Family & Companions

Julia Lily Mickelboro
Wife
Married in 1940.

Bibliography

"Magic Hour: The Life of a Cameraman"
Jack Cardiff (1996)

Notes

Made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in December 1999

Biography

The son of vaudevillians, Jack Cardiff began his long and distinguished career as a child actor in silent films. When he hit his teens, he moved to behind-the-scenes work and earned his first screen credit as a glorified 'go-fer,' billed as fourth assistant director on "The Informer" in 1929. He quickly rose through the ranks from clapper boy to focus puller to second-unit cameraman. He was a camera operator on what is reputedly the first British Technicolor feature, "Wings of the Morning" (1937). As he emerged as a major director of photography in the 1940s, Cardiff garnered a reputation for his bold use of color. He shot the Powell-Pressburger masterpieces "Stairway to Heaven/A Matter of Life and Death" (1946), "Black Narcissus" (1947) - for which he won a Best Cinematography Oscar - and "The Red Shoes" (1948). Cardiff went on to become one of the finest practitioners of cinematography, skillfully utilizing color to enhance such features as John Huston's "The African Queen" (1951), Joseph L. Mankiewicz's "The Barefoot Contessa" (1954) and King Vidor's "War and Peace" (1956), for which he earned an Oscar nomination.

Cardiff also proved equally adept working in black-and-white as evidenced by George Stevens' "The Diary of Anne Frank" (1959). He moved to the director's chair and helmed an adaptation of D. H. Lawrence's autobiographical novel, "Sons and Lovers" (1960), which featured superb camerawork by Freddie Francis. For his work, Cardiff earned a Best Director Oscar nomination and his career seemed to be poised for bigger and better things, but his subsequent efforts proved run-of-the mill. By the late 1960s, he had effectively retired, but Kirk Douglas persuaded him to return as a cinematographer on Douglas' directorial debut, "Scalawag" (1973). Since Cardiff had proved a master of Technicolor, a process that had fallen out of favor, most of his later work - while well shot - was inferior to his earlier efforts. He retired a second time in 1990 but published a memoir, Magic Hour: The Life of a Cameraman in 1996. In 2000, he was made an Officer of the OBE (Order of the British Empire) and a year later, at age 86, was given an honorary lifetime achievement Academy Award - the first technician to be given the honor. Cardiff, who spent over 90 years in the business, died on April 22, 2009 at the age of 94.

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

The Mutation (1974)
Director
Dark of the Sun (1968)
Director
The Girl on a Motorcycle (1968)
Director
The Liquidator (1966)
Director
Young Cassidy (1965)
Director
The Long Ships (1964)
Director
The Lion (1962)
Director
Satan Never Sleeps (1962)
Director addl seq
My Geisha (1962)
Director
Sons and Lovers (1960)
Director
Scent of Mystery (1960)
Director
Intent to Kill (1959)
Director
Web Of Evidence (1959)
Director
William Tell (1953)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (Do Not Use) (2011)
Himself
Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (2010)
Himself

Cinematography (Feature Film)

The Magic Balloon (1990)
Director Of Photography
Call From Space (1989)
Director Of Photography
Million Dollar Mystery (1987)
Director Of Photography
Million Dollar Mystery (1987)
Camera Operator
Tai-Pan (1986)
Camera Operator
Tai-Pan (1986)
Director Of Photography
Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985)
Director Of Photography
Stephen King's Cat's Eye (1985)
Director Of Photography
Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985)
Camera Operator
Scandalous (1984)
Director Of Photography
Conan The Destroyer (1984)
Camera Operator
The Wicked Lady (1983)
Director Of Photography
Ghost Story (1981)
Director Of Photography
The Awakening (1980)
Camera Operator
The Dogs Of War (1980)
Director Of Photography
The Awakening (1980)
Director Of Photography
The Fifth Musketeer (1979)
Director Of Photography
A Man, a Woman and a Bank (1979)
Director Of Photography
Avalanche Express (1979)
Director Of Photography
Crossed Swords (1978)
Director Of Photography
Death on the Nile (1978)
Director Of Photography
Death on the Nile (1978)
Camera Operator
Ride a Wild Pony (1975)
Director Of Photography
Scalawag (1973)
Director Of Photography
The Girl on a Motorcycle (1968)
Director of Photography
The Big Money (1962)
Camera
Fanny (1961)
Director of Photography
The Diary of Anne Frank (1959)
Loc scenes Photographer
The Vikings (1958)
Photography
The Prince and the Showgirl (1957)
Director of Photography
Legend of the Lost (1957)
Photography
War and Peace (1956)
Director of Photography
The Brave One (1956)
Photography
The Barefoot Contessa (1954)
Photography
Crossed Swords (1954)
Photography
The Master of Ballantrae (1953)
Director of Photography
Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1952)
Photography
The African Queen (1951)
Director of Photography
The Magic Box (1951)
Director Of Photography
The Black Rose (1950)
Director of Photography
Under Capricorn (1949)
Director of Photography
The Red Shoes (1948)
Director Of Photography
A Matter of Life and Death (1947)
Director Of Photography
Wings of the Morning (1937)
Camera Operator
As You Like It (1937)
Camera
Knight Without Armor (1937)
Camera Operator

Film Production - Main (Feature Film)

Conan The Destroyer (1984)
Photography
The Dogs Of War (1980)
Additional Photography
Scott of the Antarctic (1948)
Photography
Black Narcissus (1947)
Photography
Caesar And Cleopatra (1945)
Photography

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (Do Not Use) (2011)
Other
Million Dollar Mystery (1987)
Other
Stephen King's Cat's Eye (1985)
Other
Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985)
Other
Crossed Swords (1978)
Other
A Matter of Life and Death (1947)
Dp/Cinematographer

Cast (Special)

Glorious Technicolor (1998)
The Hustons: Hollywood's Maverick Dynasty (1998)

Cast (Short)

Sean O'Casey The Spirit of Ireland (1965)
Himself

Cinematography (Short)

Paris on Parade (1938)
Cinematographer

Cinematography (TV Mini-Series)

The Far Pavilions (1984)
Director Of Photography
The Last Days of Pompeii (1984)
Director Of Photography

Life Events

1918

Was a child actor in films, including "Tiptoes"

1928

First film as camera operator assistant

1936

Early feature credit, the photography for "As You Like It," directed by Paul Czinner

1936

Was camera operator for London Films

1939

Did uncredited work as director of photography (location shooting only) on "The Four Feathers"

1942

Shot "additional photography" on "The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp"

1942

First feature credit as co-director of photography, "The Great Mr. Handel"

1944

First feature-length film (semi-documentary) as director of photography, "Western Approaches/The Raider" (directed by Pat Jackson)

1946

First fiction feature as sole director of photography, "A Matter of Life and Death/Stairway to Heaven"; also first collaboration with Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger

1947

Won first Oscar for work on the Powell-Pressburger film "Black Narcissus"

1951

Was director of photography for John Huston's "The African Queen"

1953

Began directing "William Tell" starring Errol Flynn; project abandoned after a few weeks of shooting

1956

Won acclaim and an Oscar nomination for work on King Vidor's "War and Peace"

1958

Feature directing debut, "Intent to Kill"

1960

Won critical praise and several accolades (including a Best Director Oscar nomination) for "Sons and Lovers," based on the D. H. Lawrence novel

1961

Earned Oscar nomination for Best Cinematography (Color) for "Fanny"; last film as cinematographer for over a decade

1964

Assumed direction of "Young Cassidy" when John Ford fell ill

1973

Returned to work as director of photography on Kirk Douglas' directorial debut, "Scalawag"

1974

Last feature as director, "The Mutation"

1984

First TV work as cinematographer, "The Far Pavillions" (HBO) and "The Last Days of Pompeii" (ABC)

1996

Published memoirs, <i>Magic Hour: The Life of a Cameraman</i>

Videos

Movie Clip

Matter Of Life And Death, A (1947) - Camera Obscura Clever Dr. Reeves (Roger Livesey) shows off his "Camera Obscura" for American friend June (Kim Hunter) in a moment of gratuitous razzle-dazzle in A Matter of Life and Death, 1947, a.k.a. Stairway to Heaven, directed by Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger.
Matter Of Life And Death, A (1947) - Full Dress Affair June (Kim Hunter) and Dr. Reeves (Roger Livesey) enter suspended animation as "Conductor 71" (Marius Goring) visits Peter (David Niven) in Emeric Pressburger and Michael Powell's A Matter of Life and Death, 1947, a.k.a. Stairway to Heaven.
Matter Of Life And Death, A (1947) - This Is A Story Of Two Worlds Ambitious celestial animation and narration by John Longden in this framing piece from Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's A Matter of Life and Death, 1947, a.k.a. Stairway to Heaven.
Matter Of Life And Death, A (1947) - Court Of Appeal The Judge (Abraham Sofaer) and the set take center stage in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's A Matter of Life and Death, 1947, a.k.a. Stairway to Heaven.
Matter Of Life And Death, A (1947) - All These Great Men To Choose From Brit flier Peter (David Niven) and heavenly escort "Conductor 71" (Marius Goring), himself an executed French aristocrat, on director Michael Powell's famous 266-step staircase, discuss possible advocates for his death-sentence appeal, in A Matter of Life and Death, 1947, a.k.a. Stairway to Heaven.
Matter Of Life And Death, A (1947) - G For George Following credits, from the filmmaking partners known as "The Archers" (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger), David Niven as a British bomber pilot and Kim Hunter the American radio operator receiving his signal, in A Matter of Life and Death, 1947, a.k.a. Stairway to Heaven.
Red Shoes, The (1948) - Maybe Next Year Permitted to dance Swan Lake, at a local matinee, Victoria (Moira Shearer), candidate for the Lermontov ballet, is shocked when the master (Anton Walbrook) attends, later selecting her for his European tour, in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's The Red Shoes, 1948.
Red Shoes, The (1948) - The Red Shoes Dance On Ballet master Lermontov (Anton Walbrook), angry that his principal is quitting to get married, briefs composer Crasker (Marius Goring) on a new project, then expresses disgust to Ljubov (Leonide Massine) and Victoria (Moira Shearer), in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's The Red Shoes, 1948.
Red Shoes, The (1948) - Covent Garden In The Morning On location in London, 1948, new hires Julian (Marius Goring) and Vicky (Moira Shearer) arriving separately at the Royal Opera House, him meeting monitor George (Jerry Verno) and principal Irina (Ludmilla Tcherina), in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's The Red Shoes.
Red Shoes, The (1948) - Patron Of The Arts Student Julian (Marius Goring) realizing his work has been stolen by Professor Palmer (Austin Trevor), who is then invited by Lady Nelson (Irene Browne), her niece Victoria (Moira Shearer) in waiting, early in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's The Red Shoes, 1948.
Black Narcissus - You're All Jealous Of Me! Sister Superior Clodagh (Deborah Kerr) confronts Sister Ruth (Kathleen Byron), who's cracking up, now out of her habit and ready to leave their Himalayan convent, in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's Black Narcissus, 1947
Black Narcissus (1947) - You're Slipping Going about business in their Himalayan convent, Sister Superior Ruth (Deborah Kerr) is surprised when local agent Dean (David Farrar) springs Kanchi (Jean Simmons) on her, recruiting Sister Briony (Judith Furse) for support, in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's Black Narcissus, 1947.

Trailer

Diary of Anne Frank, The (1959) -- (Original Trailer) Theatrical trailer for producer-director George Stevens’ adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hacket, based on the original diary, The Diary Of Anne Frank, 1959, starring Millie Perkins.
Stephen King's Cat's Eye (1985) -- (Original Trailer) Original trailer for the horror anthology written by Stephen King, two adaptations and one original story, starring Drew Barrymore, James Woods, Alan King, Kenneth McMillan, Robert Hays, Candy Clark and more, Stephen King’s Cat’s Eye, 1985.
Fanny - (Original Trailer) Charles Boyer and Maurice Chevalier introduce you to Marseilles and the world of Fanny (1961).
Death on the Nile - (Original Trailer) Hercule Poirot (Peter Ustinov) investigates the murder of an heiress during an Egyptian tour in Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile (1978).
5th Musketeer, The - (Original Trailer) France's King Louis XIV (Beau Bridges) tries to use his look-alike brother to political advantage in The 5th Musketeer (1979) co-starring Ian McShane and Rex Harrison.
African Queen, The - (Original Trailer) Humphrey Bogart won a Best Actor Oscar portraying a grizzled skipper who pilots missionary Katharine Hepburn aboard The African Queen (1951).
Prince and the Showgirl, The - (Original Trailer) An American showgirl (Marilyn Monroe) creates an international incident when she falls for a European prince (Laurence Olivier) in The Prince and the Showgirl (1957).
Barefoot Contessa, The - (Original Trailer) A Spanish dancer becomes an international star but still longs to get her feet in the dirt in The Barefoot Contessa (1954) starring Ava Gardner.
Legend of the Lost - (Original Trailer) Three adventurers (John Wayne, Sophia Loren, Rosanno Brazzi) search for a treasure in a forbidden desert temple.
Vikings, The - (Original Trailer) Two Vikings (Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis) fight over a throne and a beautiful captive (Janet Leigh) in the epic adventure The Viking (1958).
War And Peace (1956) - (Original Trailer) Audrey Hepburn and Henry Fonda star in King Vidor's massive adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's classic War And Peace (1956).
Young Cassidy - (Original Trailer) Rod Taylor stars in the true story of Irish playwright Sean O'Casey, Young Cassidy (1965), directed by John Ford and Jack Cardiff, also starring Julie Christie, and Maggie Smith.

Promo

Family

John Joseph Cardiff
Father
Vaudevillian.
Florence Cardiff
Mother
Vaudevillian.

Companions

Julia Lily Mickelboro
Wife
Married in 1940.

Bibliography

"Magic Hour: The Life of a Cameraman"
Jack Cardiff (1996)

Notes

Made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in December 1999