Jack Cardiff

Cinematographer and director Jack Cardiff, one of the early masters of color cinematography, has died. He was 94. Cardiff’s work as a cinematographer was quite eclectic, ranging from his partnership with Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger in the British-made Black Narcissus (1945) and The Red Shoes (1948) to prestigious international productions such as John Huston’s The African Queen (1951) and King Vidor’s War and Peace (1956), and to low-brow commercial fare such as Conan the Destroyer (1984) and Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985). I’ve never watched Conan or Rambo, but I have watched more than 20 of Cardiff’s 60 or so features, and I can testify that whether working in art-house or commercial fare, Cardiff’s cinematography was invariably one of his films’ chief assets. At times, his work was those films’ only asset. Born on Sept. 18, 1914, in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, to music hall entertainers, Cardiff began his film career as a cinematographer in the mid-1930s,
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