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Visions of Light: Noir Cinematography

Most film analysis favours the auteur approach, where the creative credit is focused on the director.

The 1992 documentary on great cinematographers from the silent era to the 80’s, Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography, shifts the spotlight to those who actually wielded the camera.

Orson Welles in recognition of this creative contribution, in the credits for Citizen Kane (1941), shared direction credit with his collaborator and director of photography, Gregg Toland:

Citizen Kane (1941)

The following slideshow features 32 great examples of the “black” light of film noir featured in Visions of Light. Director of Photography credits are list at the end of the post.

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Mildred Pierce (1945) – Ernest Haller
The Killers (1946) – Woody Bredell
Out of The Past (1947) – Nicholas Musuraca
The Naked City (1948) – William Daniels
Young Man with a Horn (1950) – Ted McCord
The Big Combo (1955) – John Alton
The Night of the Hunter (1955) – Stanley Cortez
Sweet Smell of Success (1957) – James Wong Howe
Touch of Evil (1958) – Russell Metty


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