Cameraman: the Life & Work of Jack Cardiff

Cameraman: the Life & Work of Jack Cardiff

Craig McCall (2010)

PG Certificate


Our Score
Craig McCall's documentary is an absorbing history of the first cinematographer awarded an honorary Oscar. It traces Cardiff's career from humble beginnings as a silent movie child actor to becoming Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's go-to lighting genius (Black Narcissus, The Red Shoes), to his own directorial career (starting with Sons and Lovers in 1960). Offering insights into his working methods - he was influenced by classic painters such as Vermeer - this illuminating profile finds Cardiff (who died aged 94 in 2009) on engaging and endearing form. His anecdotes take in everything from flatulent directors to Marlene Dietrich's glamour and Marilyn Monroe's funeral. The film is packed with movie clips, significant on-set photos and well-chosen archive material, while Lauren Bacall, Charlton Heston and Kirk Douglas are among the stars offering their memories of Cardiff's vintage era. Martin Scorsese, a champion of Cardiff's work, also reveals what Raging Bull owes to the man: "using the lens like brushstrokes, not only moving visually, but emotionally and psychologically".


Documentary about the acclaimed cinematographer, whose work included The African Queen, War and Peace, and a run of successful films for Powell and Pressburger, including The Red Shoes, A Matter of Life and Death and his Oscar-winning work on Black Narcissus.

Cast & Crew

Jack Cardiff Jack Cardiff
John Mills John Mills
Thelma Schoonmaker Thelma Schoonmaker
Kim Hunter Kim Hunter
Martin Scorsese Martin Scorsese
Kirk Douglas Kirk Douglas
Charlton Heston Charlton Heston
Lauren Bacall Lauren Bacall
Richard Attenborough Richard Attenborough
Moira Shearer Moira Shearer
Kathleen Byron Kathleen Byron
Alan Parker Alan Parker
Marilyn Monroe Marilyn Monroe
Freddie Francis Freddie Francis
Richard Fleischer Richard Fleischer
Peter Yates Peter Yates
Director Craig McCall
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: OptimumReleased on: 7 May 2010
Documentary Arts