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John Alton (I) (1901–1996)

Starting out in 1924 as a lab technician at MGM, John Alton left there for Paramount to become a cameraman. He traveled to France and then to South America, where he wrote, photographed and directed several Spanish-language films. Returning to Hollywood in 1937, he soon achieved a reputation as one of the industry's most accomplished ... See full bio »

Movies for Food Lovers

It's the time of year to break bread and raise a drink with loved ones. Sample some films sure to whet your movie appetites.

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Known For


Hide Hide Show Show Cinematographer (103 credits)
 1966 Mission: Impossible (TV Series) (1 episode)
- Pilot (1966)
 1962 Birdman of Alcatraz (uncredited)
 1960 Elmer Gantry (photographed by)
 1958 Lonelyhearts
 1956 The Teahouse of the August Moon (director of photography)
 1955 The Big Combo (director of photography)
 1954 Cattle Queen of Montana (director of photography)
 1954 Passion
 1954 Silver Lode
 1954 Witness to Murder (director of photography)
 1953 I, the Jury
 1953 Count the Hours (director of photography)
 1953 Battle Circus
 1950 Devil's Doorway (director of photography)
 1950 Mystery Street (director of photography)
 1950 Father of the Bride (director of photography)
 1950 Captain China
 1949 Red Stallion in the Rockies (director of photography)
 1948 He Walked by Night (director of photography)
 1948 Hollow Triumph (director of photography)
 1948 Canon City
 1948 Raw Deal (director of photography)
 1947 T-Men (director of photography)
 1947 Bury Me Dead
 1947 Driftwood
 1947 The Pretender
 1947 Wyoming
 1947 The Trespasser (director of photography)
 1946 The Madonna's Secret (photography)
 1944 Atlantic City
 1943 The Sultan's Daughter (director of photography)
 1942 No Greater Power (Short) (director of photography)
 1941 Power Dive (director of photography)
 1940 Three Faces West (photography)
 1939 Meet Dr. Christian (uncredited)
 1939 The Outlaw
 1939 12 Women
 1939 Closed Door
 1938 Honeysuckle
 1937 Poor Perez
 1936 Goal
 1936 Tararira
 1936 Amalia
 1936 Crazy Dandy
 1936 Compañeros
 1933 The Three Amateurs (uncredited)
Show Show Camera and Electrical Department (7 credits)
Show Show Director (3 credits)
Show Show Writer (1 credit)
Show Show Producer (1 credit)
Show Show Self (1 credit)
Show Show Archive footage (2 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

Book: "Painting with Light".

Publicity Listings:

4 Articles | See more »

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

I stopped because I wanted to live. That was no life, to work at the studio, get up at six every morning and fight the producers. I had enough. I looked at my bank book and I said, 'That's it!' See more »


Cinematographer John Alton, who had been semi-retired since 1960, met former colleague Anthony Mann in a Swiss casino high up in the Alps. Mann was directing "A Dandy in Aspic" at the time and wanted Alton to shoot his next picture. Alton agreed to talk to him about it the next day, but Mann died before their meeting. According to Alton, "He'd been losing so much money at the casino, that ... See more »

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