John Alton: Cinematography’s Outlier, Part One

7 Responses to “John Alton: Cinematography’s Outlier, Part One”

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  • Thanks for this essay, John. And I absolutely love the photograph, of you with Mr. Cortez and Mr. Alton! It reminds of the great privilege I’ve had in being associated with the ASC. I’m looking forward to Part 2. — DH

  • Nice article John! Very interesting behind the scenes of the ASC stuff and yet most honorable! Thank you!

  • John,

    Thanks for a great story about someone behind the camera. We seem to have more info on those in front of the camera, but very few about those that bring the stories to life such as the crews that performed the camera work, the lighting and the sound. The list could include the editors and so many others, but you are certainly on my list for the stories that give us some feel for those behind the camera. I shall add “Painting With Light”, to my library.
    Regards, Chuck Abbott

  • Excellent article on one of the greats. I was just watching new Bluray of Big Combo the other night, beautiful photography.

  • Another wonderful article, John. Of course, I have a copy of Painting With Light in my library. Now I need to buy the new release with your forward!

  • Alexander Ballinger

    Great blog and thanks for your (obviously) fruitful Alton research. Looks like another edition of Painting with Light will have to join my much-read, much-battered copy on my groaning film book shelves…

  • John:

    A wonderful article. I loved the story about the 1995 dinner – great stuff!

    His work on “The Big Combo” is amazing, but I am always in awe of his amazing lighting on “Border Incident” in 1949. Talk about the “prince of darkness!”

    I have always thought that if anyone were to write an article or a book about a cinematographer as auteur, you would have to use Alton as your reference point.

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