Up 8,045 this week

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 »

The Best Movies and Series to Watch in October

Take a look at the best movies and series to watch in October in theaters and streaming.

See the IMDb Editors' picks

Fall TV: The Best New and Upcoming Series

Explore our list of the most anticipated new and returning series coming in 2022.

See the full list

Actors' Early Horror Movie Roles

Did you know these actors got their start in horror movies?

See the gallery

On Prime Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 44 people
created 01 Oct 2021
a list of 27 people
created 10 Jan 2016
a list of 28 people
created 29 Feb 2020
list image
a list of 167 people
created 30 Aug 2021
a list of 7140 people
created 04 Feb 2016

Do you have a demo reel?

Add it to your IMDb page

How Much Have You Seen?

How much of John Alton's work have you seen?

User Polls

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

Known For

An American in Paris Camera and Electrical Department
Closed Door Cinematographer
El hijo de papá Cinematographer
The Brothers Karamazov Cinematographer


Hide Hide Show Show Cinematographer (103 credits)
 1966 Mission: Impossible (TV Series) (1 episode)
- Pilot (1966)
 1962 Birdman of Alcatraz (uncredited)
 1960 12 to the Moon (director of photography)
 1960 Elmer Gantry (photographed by)
 1958 Lonelyhearts (director of photography)
 1958 The Brothers Karamazov (director of photography)
 1957 Designing Woman (director of photography)
 1956 The Teahouse of the August Moon (director of photography)
 1956 Tea and Sympathy (director of photography)
 1956 The Catered Affair (director of photography)
 1956 Slightly Scarlet (director of photography)
 1955 Tennessee's Partner (director of photography)
 1955 Pearl of the South Pacific (director of photography)
 1955 Escape to Burma (director of photography)
 1955 The Big Combo (director of photography)
 1954 The Steel Cage (director of photography)
 1954 Cattle Queen of Montana (director of photography)
 1954 Passion (director of photography)
 1954 Silver Lode (director of photography)
 1954 Witness to Murder (director of photography)
 1954 Duffy of San Quentin (director of photography)
 1953 Take the High Ground! (director of photography)
 1953 I, the Jury (director of photography)
 1953 Count the Hours! (director of photography)
 1953 Battle Circus (director of photography)
 1952 Apache War Smoke (director of photography)
 1952 Talk About a Stranger (director of photography)
 1951 It's a Big Country: An American Anthology (director of photography)
 1951 The People Against O'Hara (director of photography)
 1951 Father's Little Dividend (director of photography)
 1951 Grounds for Marriage (director of photography)
 1950 Devil's Doorway (director of photography)
 1950 Mystery Street (director of photography)
 1950 Father of the Bride (director of photography)
 1950 Captain China (photographed by)
 1949 Border Incident (director of photography)
 1949 Reign of Terror (director of photography)
 1949 Red Stallion in the Rockies (director of photography)
 1948 He Walked by Night (director of photography)
 1948 Hollow Triumph (director of photography)
 1948 The Amazing Mr. X (director of photography)
 1948 Canon City (director of photography)
 1948 Raw Deal (director of photography)
 1947 T-Men (director of photography)
 1947 Bury Me Dead (director of photography)
 1947 Driftwood (director of photography)
 1947 The Pretender (photography)
 1947 Wyoming (director of photography)
 1947 The Trespasser (director of photography)
 1946 The Magnificent Rogue (photography)
 1946 The Madonna's Secret (photography)
 1944 Lake Placid Serenade (photography)
 1944 Storm Over Lisbon (photography)
 1944 Atlantic City
 1944 The Lady and the Monster (photography)
 1943 The Sultan's Daughter (director of photography)
 1942 Johnny Doughboy (director of photography)
 1942 No Greater Power (Short) (director of photography)
 1942 The Affairs of Jimmy Valentine (photography)
 1941 The Devil Pays Off (photography)
 1941 Forced Landing (director of photography)
 1941 Power Dive (director of photography)
 1941 Melody for Three (director of photography)
 1940 Remedy for Riches (director of photography)
 1940 Three Faces West (photography)
 1939 Meet Dr. Christian (uncredited)
 1939 The Outlaw
 1939 Twelve 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 Thanks (1 credit)
Show Show Self (2 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (3 credits)

Personal Details

Other Works:

Book: "Painting with Light".

Publicity Listings:

1 Biographical Movie | 5 Articles | See more »


Rozalia Kiss  (her death)

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

There is no doubt in my mind that the most beautiful music is sad, and the most beautiful photography is in a low-key, with rich blacks. See more »


He became one of the most controversial cinematographers during the 1940s and 1950s in Hollywood, causing all of the MGM cinematographers to file a complaint with studio head Dore Schary and MGM exec E.J. Mannix and the AMPAS regarding his contribution to An American in Paris (1951). The charges were refuted by the film's director Vincente Minnelli and star 'Gene Kelly (I)' . Alton further ... See more »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed