GREAT CINEMATOGRAPHERS


 

   


JAMES WONG HOWE

 

Born: 28 August 1899, Kwangchow [also Canton; now Guangzhou], Guangdong Province, China, as Wong Tung Jim.

Died: 12 July 1976, West Hollywood, Calif., USA.

Career: When he was five his family emigrated to the United States and settled in Pasco, Washington, where his father, Wong How, owned a general store. His grade-school teacher gave him the name James Wong Howe. When he was sixteen, Howe pursued a brief career as a professional boxer in Oregon, but he soon left the ring and moved to Los Angeles in 1917. Became delivery boy for Raymond Stagg, a commercial photographer in Los Angeles. Was hired by the Lasky-Famous Players Studios to pick up scraps of nitrate stock and wrapping paper from the floor of the camera room. Graduated to clapper boy for Cecil B. DeMille and doph Alvin Wyckoff. 'I got in front and held this slate. But in those days I always smoked cigars. Somehow I found the money to buy a cigar, and I'd have this big cigar in my mouth with this slate in front and I looked bewildered, and it was quite comical. And Mr. DeMille saw this strange face every time a scene number would come up and I'd be peeking over and wondering what's going on. "Alvin," he said, "who's that?" "Well," he said" it's Jimmy Howe. He's one of the extra assistants put on." Mr. DeMille said: "He looks very funny. It gives me a laugh. Keep him on with me." So that's how I became one of the permanent assistants on his staff there.' [From interview with George C. Pratt, 1958.]

From 1917-22 asst to doph Alvin Wyckoff and Henry Kotani. He was also active as 2nd cameraman [he duplicated the shots of the 1st cameraman in order to make the so-called foreign negative, because, at that time, duplication was not possible]. His breakthrough came in 1922, when he was able to take still photographs of actress Mary Miles Minter in which he made her pale blue eyes register on the film by having her look at a dark surface. Shortly after that, Howe was named a head cameraman and soon earned a reputation for original lighting methods and photographic creativity on such films as 'The Trail of the Lonesome Pine' [Paramount, 1923] and 'The Alaskan' [Paramount, 1924]. Late in 1928 he was in China shooting a doc [unfinished]. 'I tried to do something with this film, put it together, try to make travelogues. So I was out for a while. That's the reason for the lack of credits in this period.' A lot of his footage was later used in 'Around the World [in 80 Minutes] with Douglas Fairbanks' & 'Shanghai Express'. When sound came in, everybody in Hollywood had to re-establish himself. Howe got re-established with 'Transatlantic'. Was known as James Howe or James How until 1933, when Majestic Pictures and Fox publicized him as a Chinese cameraman. Under contract to Fox [1931-33], MGM [1933-35] and Warner [until 1948]. Became freelance in 1948. Retired in 1969.

For the last seven years of his life he was sick and frequently hospitalized. He was reportedly offered the first two 'The Godfather' films, but just wasn't strong enough to accept. In 1974, producer Ray Stark and director Herbert Ross wanted a replacement for cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond on 'Funny Lady'. They contacted Howe because they believed he could make Barbra Streisand look her best. Howe's health was stable, and the day after Ray Stark called, he was on the set ready to shoot. But a short time later, he collapsed on the set and had to be rushed to the hospital. Ernest Laszlo substituted for him until Howe recovered and returned to finish the film.

Ph commercials for Texaco, Eastern Airlines, a.o.

Married the novelist Sanora Babb in 1937 in Paris, though the marriage was not legalized in California until 1957 because of the State Miscegenation Law, which prohibited interracial marriage. Similarly, the state's restrictive immigration rules prevented Howe from being naturalized as a citizen until 1958.

Was a member of the ASC.

Appeared in the doc's 'James Wong Howe' [1965, Theodore Taylor], 'James Wong Howe, ASC: A Lesson in Light' [1973, Arthur Kaye] & 'James Wong Howe' [1974, Beulah Quo].

 

#1: 1940

#2: 'Oscar' - "The Rose Tattoo"

 

Selected Bibliography: 'Five American cinematographers: Interviews with Karl Strauss, Joseph Ruttenberg, James Wong Howe, Linwood Dunn, and William H. Clothier' [By Scott Eyman; Metuchen, N.J., Scarecrow Press, 1987]; 'James Wong Howe, 1899-1976' [By Roger Garcia, Paul Yeng & Shing-hon Lau, eds.; Hong Kong Urban Council, 1978. In English and Chinese. Published on the occasion of a 'Tribute to James Wong Howe' at the 2nd International Film Festival of Hong Kong]; 'James Wong Howe: an American Film Institute Seminar on his work' [microform; Seminar held on April 7, 1973. Glen Rock, N.J., Microfilming Corp. of America, 1977]; 'James Wong Howe: Cinematographer' [motion picture; Davis, Calif., Davidson Films, 1973]; 'James Wong Howe replies to comment on cameramen' [American Cinematographer Magazine, March 1945. This is a reprint of the article originally appearing in the December 1945 issue]; 'James Wong Howe' [Historical Society of Southern California website, 1999. This is a brief biography of his life and career in filmmaking]; 'James Wong Howe: Adventures' [video recording; Davis, Calif., Davidson Films, 1993. Howe talks of his past and present experiences in Hollywood and demonstrates some of his techniques of cinematography]; 'Papers of James Wong Howe, 1930-1970' [Beverly Hills, Calif., Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Library. Archival materials consisting chiefly of scripts and script materials relating to the films photographed by Howe. Gift of Mrs. Howe, 1982]; 'Recollections of James Wong Howe' [Interviewed by Alain Silver; Los Angeles, Oral History Program, University of California, Los Angeles, 1969]; 'James Wong Howe, Cinematographer' [By Todd Rainsberger; San Diego, Calif., A.S. Barnes, 1981]; 'Conversations with a Master Cinematographer - James Wong Howe, ASC' [audio CD; American Society of Cinematographers, Los Angeles. An interview from 1964].

Awards: 'Oscar' AA nom [1938] for 'Algiers'; 'Oscar' AA nom [1940; b&w] for 'Abe Lincoln in Illinois'; 'Oscar' AA nom [1942; b&w] for 'Kings Row'; 'Oscar' AA nom [1943; b&w; shared] for 'Air Force' & 'The North Star' [b&w]; 'Oscar' AA [1955; b&w] for 'The Rose Tattoo'; 'Oscar' AA nom [1958; color] for 'The Old Man and the Sea'; 'Oscar' AA [1963; b&w] for 'Hud'; 'Oscar' AA nom [1966; b&w] for 'Seconds'; 'Oscar' AA nom [1975] for 'Funny Lady'.



'Zooms', said James Wong Howe once in a pronouncement that should be recorded on a stone tablet on a mountain, 'zooms are for commercials'; and proceeded to open with one in his very next film, 'This Property Is Condemned'. But it was so discreet, so assured, so serene that it can readily be forgiven to the man who if anyone may be given the palm, is the supreme cameraman of Hollywood, and therefore of the world. Characteristic his career certainly is in its longevity and versatility, moving from black and white to color, from studio to studio, from one genre to another, between various levels of ambition in production and direction. His brief foray to England transformed the banality of much of 'Farewell Again' and matched the stylistic flourishes of 'Under the Red Robe'; interesting to speculate on the result if he had ever worked for a British director. His lapses were few and, like 'Hangmen Also Die', can be attributed to his loyalty to the intentions of the director. His own work with the megaphone is not accessible, though Lee Garmes' efforts inspire only trepidation that distinction in one department cannot prevent disaster in another. [T.S. Rutherford in 'Film Dope', #25, November 1982.]


James Wong Howe: 'I have a basic approach that goes on from film to film: to make all the sources of light absolutely naturalistic. If you are in a room and the scene is taking place at a certain time of day, try to find out where the light would come from, and follow that, don't impose an artificial style. In color that's difficult to control, and I prefer black and white, but we have no more black and white in Hollywood. You can fake a 'true' look in the color laboratory but then it becomes an achievement of chemistry, not of cinematography.' [From 'Hollywood Cameramen' by Charles Higham, 1970.]

 

Having a hotdog on the New York City streets [1950s]

© Thys Ockersen Archive

 

Despite the fact that the motion-picture camera is the mechanical means by which films actually come to be, the role of the cameraman is often overlooked in assessing a movie's value. James Wong Howe is one of the few cinematographers to receive any individual recognition before the 1970s. Howe's lengthy career spans more than five decades. He earned a reputation as one of the most innovative cameramen, always eager to experiment, and one of the professional craftsmen who was responsible for the 'look' of the Warner Brothers product with the 26 pictures he photographed at that studio between 1938 and 1947. Howe's realistic style was a perfect match for the hard-hitting Warner Brothers product.

A Chinese immigrant interested in athletics and boxing, Howe landed a job as assistant to Alvin Wyckoff. He learned the rudiments of photography from Wyckoff, convinced Mary Miles Minter to allow him to take some publicity shots of her, and as a result she requested he photograph her in 'Drums of Fate' and 'The Trail of the Lonesome Pine'. His use of low-key lighting to emphasize fantasy in 'Peter Pan' enhanced his reputation, as did his realistic lighting for 'Laugh, Clown, Laugh', starring Lon Chaney. When the arrival of sound threw Hollywood studios into turmoil, Howe took time off to visit his homeland. Upon his return he had difficulty finding work because producers explained they needed photographers who understood sound.

Howard Hawks broke the ice by hiring him to shoot 'The Criminal Code', which earned him a two-year contract at Fox. Howe went to MGM in 1933, but he became bored, and, after shooting the color tests of Marlene Dietrich for 'The Garden of Allah', went to England where he photographed 'Fire Over England', then returned to the US to do some of his finest work in Selznick's 'The Prisoner of Zenda'.

Following that success, he shot his first color film 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer'. "A splash of red or blue in the background of a color picture can distract audience attention in the same way a strong highlight does in monochrome," explained Howe. "In 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer' I tried to subordinate background color and to confine the major coloring of any scene to the players. This is not as difficult as it sounds, and it worked out successfully."

During the 1950s and 1960s Howe freelanced, doing his most memorable work. His sense of dramatic realism was in full evidence in 'Hud', which earned him a second Oscar, and, to many, his best work was his innovative, distorting, wide-angle photography for John Frankenheimer's 'Seconds'. [From article by Ronald Bowers on the filmreference.com website.]


 

 FILMS [1 reel = c. 10m]

1922

Ebb Tide [George Melford] b&w; uncred fill-in ph for a couple of days when B. Glennon was ill (+ 2nd cam); ph: Bert Glennon; prod Famous Players-Lasky Film Corporation (FPLFC)

1922

Drums of Fate/Drums of Destiny [Charles Maigne] b&w; 6 reels; prod FPLFC

1923

The Trail of the Lonesome Pine [Charles Maigne] b&w; 6 reels; prod FPLFC

1923

The Woman with Four Faces [Herbert Brenon] b&w; 6 reels; prod FPLFC

1923

To the Last Man [Victor Fleming] b&w; cph: Bert Baldridge; prod FPLFC

1923

The Spanish Dancer [Herbert Brenon] b&w; prod FPLFC

1923

The Call of the Canyon [Victor Fleming] b&w; prod FPLFC

1924

The Breaking Point [Herbert Brenon] b&w; prod FPLFC

1924

The Side Show of Life [Herbert Brenon] b&w; prod FPLFC

1924

The Alaskan [Herbert Brenon] b&w; prod FPLFC

1924

Peter Pan [Herbert Brenon] b&w; sfx ph: Roy Pomeroy; prod FPLFC

1925

The Charmer [Sidney Olcott] b&w; 6 reels; prod FPLFC

1925

Not So Long Ago [Sidney Olcott] b&w; prod FPLFC

1925

The King on Main Street [Monta Bell] b&w + color seq; prod FPLFC

1925

The Best People [Sidney Olcott] b&w; 6 reels; prod FPLFC

1926

The Song and Dance Man [Herbert Brenon] b&w; prod FPLFC

1926

Sea Horses [Allan Dwan] b&w; prod FPLFC

1926

Mantrap [Victor Fleming] b&w; prod FPLFC

1926

Padlocked [Allan Dwan] b&w; prod FPLFC

1927

The Rough Riders/The Trumpet Calls [Victor Fleming] b&w; cph: E. Burton Steene; silent & sound versions; prod Paramount Famous Lasky Corporation

 

[L>R] c.asst Leo Tover [standing], actor H.B. Warner, actor Norman Trevor,

JWH, actor Nils Asther & [?] Robb Lawson - "Sorrell and Son"

 

1927

Sorrell and Son [Herbert Brenon] b&w; shot in the UK; prod Feature Productions, Inc.

1928

Laugh, Clown, Laugh [Herbert Brenon] b&w; prod Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Corporation (MGM)

1928

The Perfect Crime [Bert Glennon] b&w; silent & sound versions; prod FBO Pictures

1928

Four Walls [William Nigh] b&w; prod MGM

1928

The Rescue [Herbert Brenon] b&w; 9 reels; cph: Joseph Biroc & George Barnes; silent & sound (mus + efx) versions; prod Samuel Goldwyn, Inc.

1929

Desert Nights/Thirst [William Nigh] b&w; silent & sound (mus + efx) versions; prod MGM

1930

Chijlko wo mawasuru chikara/The Inevitable Urge/Eternal Passion/The Tragedy of Life [James Wong Howe & Thomas Hayashi] b&w

1930

Today [William Nigh] b&w

1930

The Criminal Code [Howard Hawks] b&w; cph: Ted Tetzlaff (replaced J.W. Howe) & (uncred) L. William O'Connell; as James How

1931

Around the World [in 80 Minutes] with Douglas Fairbanks [Victor Fleming & Douglas Fairbanks] b&w; doc/80m; ph: Henry Sharp & Victor Fleming; includes footage shot by J.W. Howe in 1929 in China

1931

Shanghai Express [Josef von Sternberg] b&w; ph: Lee Garmes; includes footage shot by J.W. Howe in 1929 in China

1931

Transatlantic [William K. Howard] b&w

1931

The Spider [William Cameron Menzies & Kenneth MacKenna] b&w; 59m

1931

The Yellow Ticket/The Yellow Passport [Raoul Walsh] b&w

1931

Surrender [William K. Howard] b&w; 69m

1931

Dance Team [Sidney Lanfield] b&w

1931

After Tomorrow [Frank Borzage] b&w

1932

Amateur Daddy [John Blystone] b&w

1932

Man About Town [John Francis Dillon] b&w

 

 

1932

Chandu The Magician [William Cameron Menzies & Marcel Varnel] b&w; as James Howe

1932

Walking Down Broadway [(uncred) Erich von Stroheim & (Coney Island seq) Raoul Walsh] b&w; filmed August-October; unreleased; partly re-shot [uncred dir: Edwin Burke & Alfred L. Werker; uncred ph: Arthur Miller (February-March 1933)] and re-edited as 'Hello, Sister!/Clipped Wings' (62m)

1933

The Power and the Glory/Power and Glory [William K. Howard] b&w

1933

Beauty for Sale/Beauty [Richard Boleslawski] b&w

1933

The Hollywood Party [(uncred) Richard Boleslawski (August 1933), George Stevens (comedy seq in October 1933), Allan Dwan (add seq in January 1934), Sam Wood, Edmund Goulding, Roy Rowland & Charles Reisner (finished prod in March 1934)] b&w + color seq

 

 

1933

Viva Villa! [Jack Conway; (uncred; started the film) Howard Hawks & (uncred fill-in for 1 week) William Wellman] b&w; cph: Charles G. Clarke; addph: Clyde De Vinna; transitional efx: Slavko Vorkapich; replaced doph Harold Rosson

1934

The Show-Off [Charles Reisner] b&w

1934

Manhattan Melodrama [W.S. Van Dyke & (uncred) George Cukor] b&w

1934

The Thin Man [W.S. Van Dyke] b&w

1934

Stamboul Quest [Sam Wood & (pick-ups) Jack Conway] b&w

1934

Have a Heart [David Butler] b&w

1934

Biography of a Bachelor Girl [Edward H. Griffith] b&w

1934

The Night Is Young [Dudley Murphy] b&w

1935

Mark of the Vampire/Vampires of Prague [Tod Browning] b&w; 60m; pfx ph: Tom Tutwiler

1935

The Flame Within [Edmund Goulding] b&w

1935

O'Shaughnessy's Boy [Richard Boleslawski] b&w

1935

Rendezvous [William K. Howard & (uncred; replaced W.K. Howard) Sam Wood)] b&w; uncred cph (with dir S. Wood in September); ph (with dir W.K. Howard in July): William Daniels

1935

Whipsaw [Sam Wood] b&w

1935

Three Live Ghosts [H. Bruce Humberstone] b&w; cph: Chester Lyons

1935

The Story of Papworth - The Village of Hope [prod/scenario: Major Lloyd] b&w; charity appeal short/18m; see 1937

1936

The Garden of Allah [Richard Boleslawski] c; ph tests with Marlene Dietrich; ph: W. Howard Greene, Harold Rosson (adv); (uncred) Virgil Miller, Wilfred M. Cline (assoc) & Bob Carney (assoc)

1936

Lawrence of Arabia/Revolt in the Desert [Zoltan Korda & Harold Schuster] unrealized project for London Film Productions (UK)

 

[Left] with W. Percy Day - "Fire Over England"

 

1936

Fire Over England [William K. Howard] b&w; sfx: Ned Mann, Lawrence Butler (asst) & Eddie Cohen (ph); matte paintings: W. Percy Day; shot in the UK

1936

Farewell Again/Troopship [Tim Whelan] b&w; int ph; ext ph: Hans Schneeberger; shot in the UK

1936

Under the Red Robe [Victor Seastrom (= Sjöström)] b&w; cph: Georges Périnal & (uncred) Ted Pahle; sfx: Ned Mann; shot in the UK

1937

The Prisoner of Zenda [John Cromwell; (uncred add scenes) George Cukor & (uncred fencing seq) W.S. Van Dyke] b&w; uncred cph (for 1 day ?): Bert Glennon; sfx: Jack Cosgrove, John M. Nickolaus & Harry Redmond Jr.; 'The film's shooting began with the scene in which Ronald Colman appears to shake hands with himself. James Wong Howe created the scene by placing a 3x4 foot optical glass three feet in front of the camera. Colman shook hands with a double, whose head and shoulders were subsequently matted out with masking tape on the glass. The scene was photographed and the film was run backward so that the scene could be re-photographed with everything matted out except Colman's head and shoulders. The New York Times reviewer remarked that the trick photography was so convincing he was sure a double had been used.' [From the TCM website.]

1937

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer [Norman Taurog (replaced H.C. Potter, who started the film in b&w in March - prod suspended - and in June - prod halted); (uncred) William Wellman (2 days of retakes) & George Cukor (retakes & add scenes)] c; Technicolor assoc ph: Wilfred M. Cline; 'As noted in a biography of ph James Wong Howe, many disputes arose between him and Technicolor cameraman Wilfred Cline over which colors should be used in the wardrobe and sets. Cline suggested brilliant primary colors, while Howe insisted that the film maintain its true Southern and rural flavor by using only subdued earth tones. Howe prevailed, but by the end of the first week of production, the two were no longer on speaking terms. The Technicolor company, which had a virtual monopoly on color production, banned Howe from shooting subsequent pictures in color due to his poor rapport with their company. Howe did not film another color production until 1949. The biography also notes that while shooting the cave sequences, Howe overcame lighting difficulties by strapping Tommy Kelly to a harness that carried a 10,000 watt globe of light with an electrical cord running down the actor's leg. The device created the desired effect of Kelly lighting his path with a giant candle.' [From the TCM website.]

1937

It Might Be You...! [Major R.M. Lloyd] b&w; comm short/12m; ph epilogue; ph: Bernard Browne; a charity appeal film for the Papworth Village Settlement (TB sanatorium); in 1935 the film 'The Story of Papworth - The Village of Hope' was prod with an introduction (1m20s) by 'introducer' Madeleine Carroll, a short 'play' (dir by Anthony Asquith and ph by Francis Carver) and an epilogue (3m10s) by C. Aubrey Smith; the actors in the 1935 play are different from the players in the 1937 film, but the introduction and epilogue are probably the same in both films

1938

Algiers [John Cromwell] b&w; atmospheric scenes & transparencies: Lloyd Knechtel; remake of 'Pépé le Moko' (1936, Julien Duvivier; ph: Jules Kruger)

 

[Leaning from behind camera] with dir Busby Berkeley [right/seated] and actors

Kay Francis and Ian Hunter [left] - "Comet Over Broadway"

 

1938

Comet Over Broadway [Busby Berkeley & (uncred) John Farrow] b&w

1938

They Made Me a Criminal [Busby Berkeley] b&w

1938

The Oklahoma Kid [Lloyd Bacon] b&w

1939

Daughters Courageous/American Family/A Family Affair/Family Reunion [Michael Curtiz] b&w; uncred cph: Ernest Haller

1939

In Name Only [John Cromwell] replaced by J. Roy Hunt

1939

Dust Be My Destiny [Lewis Seiler] b&w; sfx ph: Byron Haskin

1939

On Your Toes [Ray Enright] b&w-c; ph color seq 'Slaughter on 10th Avenue': Sol Polito; sfx ph: Byron Haskin & Robert Burks

1939

Four Wives [Michael Curtiz] b&w; uncred cph; ph: Sol Polito

1939

Abe Lincoln in Illinois/Spirit of the People [John Cromwell] b&w

1939

Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet [William Dieterle] b&w; shortened version, 'Magic Bullets', released in 1944 for the US Public Health Services

1939

Saturday's Children [Vincent Sherman] b&w; sfx ph: Robert Burks

1940

Torrid Zone [William Keighley] b&w

1940

My Love Came Back [Curtis Bernhardt] b&w; uncred cph (?); ph: Charles Rosher

1940

A Dispatch from Reuters/This Man Reuter [William Dieterle] b&w; sfx ph: Robert Burks & Byron Haskin

1940

City for Conquest [Anatole Litvak & (uncred fill-in when A. Litvak had an accident) Jean Negulesco] b&w; cph: Sol Polito; sfx: Byron Haskin & Rex Wimpy

1940

Fantasia [various] c; live action + anim/80m & 124m; ph 1st session of orchestra seq (footage not used)

1940

The Strawberry Blonde [Raoul Walsh] b&w

1940

Shining Victory [Irving Rapper] b&w

1941

Out of the Fog [Anatole Litvak] b&w; sfx ph: Rex Wimpy

1941

Navy Blues [Lloyd Bacon] b&w; cph dance seq; ph: Tony Gaudio

1941

Kings Row [Sam Wood] b&w; sfx ph: Robert Burks

1941

Yankee Doodle Dandy [Michael Curtiz] b&w (also computer colorized version); cph (uncred fill-in while JWH was ill): Sol Polito; montages: Don Siegel

1942

The Hard Way [Vincent Sherman] b&w; sfx ph: Willard Van Enger

1942

Air Force [Howard Hawks] b&w; aph: Elmer Dyer & Charles Marshall; spec pfx: Roy Davidson (dir), Rex Wimpy & H.F. Koenekamp

 

 

1942

Hangmen Also Die!/Lest We Forget [Fritz Lang] b&w

1943

The North Star [Lewis Milestone] b&w; spec pfx: Ray Binger & Clarence Slifer; re-released (& re-edited from pro-Soviet to anti-Soviet orientation) in 1957 as 'Armored Attack'

1943

Passage to Marseille [Michael Curtiz] b&w; sfx ph: Jack Cosgrove (dir), Edwin DuPar, Roy Davidson, Byron Haskin & Rex Wimpy

1943

My Reputation [Curtis Bernhardt] b&w; sfx: Roy Davidson; released in 1946

1944

Objective, Burma!/Operation Burma [Raoul Walsh] b&w

 

[Left] with dir Zoltan Korda - "Counter-Attack"

 

1944

Counter-Attack/One Against Seven [Zoltan Korda] b&w; sfx ph: Ray Cory; add scenes filmed in January 1945

1945

Danger Signal [Robert Florey] b&w; sfx: Harry Barndollar & Edwin DuPar

1945

Confidential Agent [Herman Shumlin] b&w; 2nd cam: Roy Clark; sfx ph: Robert Burks & William McGann; spec optical efx: Russell Collings

1945

Humoresque [Jean Negulesco] was scheduled as doph with dir Irving Rapper, but film was dir by J. Negulesco and ph by Ernest Haller

1946

Nora Prentiss [Vincent Sherman] b&w; sfx: Harry Barndollar & Edwin DuPar

1946

Pursued [Raoul Walsh] b&w; sfx: William McGann (dir) & Willard Van Enger

1947

Body and Soul/An Affair of the Heart [Robert Rossen] b&w; montages dir: Gunther von Fritsch

1947

The Time of Your Life [H.C. Potter] b&w; uncred cph: Joseph Valentine

1947

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House [H.C. Potter] b&w

 

"La duchesse de Langeais"

 

1949

La duchesse de Langeais/Lover and Friend/The Wicked Duchess [Max Ophüls] this prod with Greta Garbo came as far as shooting tests; the 1st test was ph on 5 May by Joseph Valentine, who died a couple of weeks later; the 2nd test was ph on 25 May by J.W. Howe and the 3rd test was ph on 25 May by William Daniels

1949

The Eagle and the Hawk/Spread Eagle [Lewis R. Foster] c

1949

The Baron of Arizona [Samuel Fuller] b&w

1950

The Brave Bulls [Robert Rossen] b&w; seeking a realistic feel for the bullfighting picture, Robert Rosson hired Floyd Crosby for his documentary experience, but Howe finished the film

1950

Tripoli/The First Marines [William Price] c; 2uc: Loyal Griggs; spec pfx: Darrell Anderson & Alex Weldon

1950

He Ran All the Way [John Berry] b&w

1951

The Lady Says 'No' [Frank Ross] b&w

1951

Behave Yourself! [George Beck] b&w

1951

The Fighter/The First Time [Herbert Kline] b&w; cph: Floyd Crosby

1952

Come Back, Little Sheba [Daniel Mann] b&w; spec pfx: Gordon Jennings

1952

Stazione Termini/Terminal Station/Indiscretion of an American Wife/Indiscretions [Vittorio De Sica] b&w; 90m & 63m (US version 'Indiscretion of an American Wife/Indiscretions'; + 'prologue': 72m; restored in 1983); ph: G.R. Aldo; J.W. Howe ph (uncred) the 9m 'prologue' to the US version (dir by William Cameron Menzies; featuring Patti Page singing 'Autumn in Rome' and 'Indiscretion' - these two songs, written by Sammy Cahn and Paul Weston, were based on Alessandro Cicognini's love theme from the film); Oswald Morris was brought in by prod David O. Selznick to ph (uncred) close shots of the stars

1952

Main Street to Broadway [Tay Garnett] b&w

1953

Jennifer [Joel Newton] b&w

1953

The World of Dong Kingman [James Wong Howe] 16mm/c; doc/15m

1953

On the Waterfront [Elia Kazan] b&w; uncred ph last seq; ph: Boris Kaufman

1954

The Rose Tattoo [Daniel Mann] vv/b&w; spec pfx: John P. Fulton; process ph: Farciot Edouart

 

 

1955

Picnic [Joshua Logan] cs/c; 2uc: Ray Cory

1956

Death of a Scoundrel [Charles Martin] b&w

1956

Drango [Hall Bartlett & Jules Bricken] b&w; addph: Lester White

1956

Sweet Smell of Success [Alexander Mackendrick] b&w

1957

The Old Man and the Sea [John Sturges (replaced Fred Zinnemann)] c; addph: Floyd Crosby (with dir Zinnemann in 1956) & Tom Tutwiler; uwph: Lamar Boren; filmed April-July 1956 & July-August 1957; in September 1955 some footage was shot on Cuba by ph Hans Koenekamp

1957

A Farewell to Arms [Charles Vidor (replaced John Huston, who started the film)] cs/c; uncred add int ph (for 4 days in Hollywood); ph: Oswald Morris & Piero Portalupi; filmed March-August in Italy

1958

Bell Book and Candle [Richard Quine] c

1958

The Last Angry Man [Daniel Mann] b&w

1959

Song Without End/Crescendo [Charles Vidor (died after dir 15% of the film) & (uncred) George Cukor] cs/c; replaced by (uncred) Charles B. Lang Jr.

 

With actress Rita Hayworth - "The Story on Page One"

 

1959

The Story on Page One [Clifford Odets] cs/b&w

1960

Tess of the Storm Country [Paul Guilfoyle] cs/c

1962

Hud [Martin Ritt] p/b&w; 2uc: Rex Wimpy; spec pfx: Paul K. Lerpae; process ph: Farciot Edouart

1964

The Outrage [Martin Ritt] p/b&w

1965

The Glory Guys [Arnold Laven] p/c

 

#1: [Right] with John Frankenheimer - "Seconds"

#2: With Rock Hudson [left] & John Frankenheimer [right]

 

1965

Seconds [John Frankenheimer] b&w

1965

This Property Is Condemned [Sydney Pollack] c; hph: Nelson Tyler; spec pfx: Paul K. Lerpae; process ph: Farciot Edouart

1966

Hombre [Martin Ritt] p/c

1967

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter [Robert Ellis Miller] c

 

With actress Samantha Eggar - "The Molly Maguires"

 

1968

The Molly Maguires [Martin Ritt] p/c; 2uc: Morris Hartzband

1968

Last of the Mobile Hot Shots/Blood Kin [Sidney Lumet] c

1969

The Horsemen [John Frankenheimer] p/c; uncred cph; ph: Claude Renoir; 2uc: Vladimir Ivanoff & André Domage

1970

I Walk the Line [John Frankenheimer] involved in pre-production only; ph: David M. Walsh

1974

Funny Lady [Herbert Ross] p/c; fill-in ph (for 10 days when Howe was ill): Ernest Laszlo; spec pfx: Albert Whitlock; replaced ph Vilmos Zsigmond

 

 TELEVISION

1954

Light's Diamond Jubilee [King Vidor, William Wellman, Norman Taurog, Christian Nyby, Roy Rowland, Alan Handley & Bud Yorkin] special/b&w/120m; cph: Ray June; sponsored by General Electric in honor of the 75th anniversary of the invention of the incandescent light bulb by Thomas Edison and aired on October 24, 1954 on all four U.S. television networks of the time

1955

Screen Directors Playhouse [ep #11 'Lincoln's Doctor's Dog' dir by H.C. Potter] 35-part drama anthology series/b&w, 1955-56 (NBC-tv & ABC-tv)

1961

Biography of a Rookie: The Willie Davis Story [Mel Stuart & (assoc dir) James Wong Howe] doc/50m

1967

[Trilogy:] The American Boy [Noel Black] ep #22 of 27-part 'ABC Stage 67'-series; ph introduction; ph: Michael Murphy; addph: Carroll Ballard; comp of 3 shorts ('Skaterdater' (18m), 'The River Boy' & 'Reflections')

 

 MISCELLANEOUS

1918

Puppy Love [Roy William Neill] c.asst; ph: Henry Kotani

1919

For Better, For Worse [Cecil B. DeMille] clapper boy; ph: Alvin Wyckoff

1919

Told in the Hills [George Melford] uncred c.asst; ph: Henry Kotani & Paul P. Perry

1919

Male and Female [Cecil B. DeMille] uncred clapper boy; ph: Alvin Wyckoff

1920

Something to Think About [Cecil B. DeMille] uncred c.asst; ph: Karl Struss & Alvin Wyckoff

1921

Everything for Sale [Frank O'Connor] c.asst; ph: Harold Rosson

1922

The Woman Who Walked Alone [George Melford] 2nd cam; ph: Bert Glennon

1922

Burning Sands/The Dweller in the Desert [George Melford] 2nd cam; ph: Bert Glennon

1922

The Siren Call [Irvin Willat] 2nd cam; ph: Charles E. Schoenbaum

1922

Ebb Tide [George Melford] 2nd cam (+ uncred fill-in ph for a couple of days); ph: Bert Glennon

 

 FILMS & TELEVISION AS DIRECTOR

1929

? [doc in China; + ph] unfinished (footage was used in some features in the 1930s); see Films

1930

Chijlko wo mawasuru chikara/The Inevitable Urge/Eternal Passion [co-d: Thomas Hayashi; feature with Japanese cast/dialogue; + prod/ph] see Films

1948

Rickshaw Boy [feature project in China; abandoned; ph some 16mm background material (this footage was used in the tv-doc 'The Rickshaw Boys', 1981, Peter Yung)]

1953

Go Man Go [feature] ph: William Steiner

1953

The World of Dong Kingman [doc; + prod/ph] see Films

1957

Invisible Avenger/Bourbon Street Shadows [unsold tv-pilot/57m; co-d: John Sledge & Ben Parker (add scenes)] ph: Joseph Wheeler & Willis Winford (add scenes); re-released in 1962 (+ add scenes)

1961

Biography of a Rookie: The Willie Davis Story [assoc dir/ph] see Television

1961

Checkmate [ep #36 'State Of Shock'] 70-part detective drama tv-series/b&w, 1960-62 (CBS-tv); 1st season, 1960-61 (aired June 1961); ph: John L. Russell

1961

Checkmate [ep #43 'Kill the Sound'] 2nd season, 1961-62 (aired November 1961); ph: Lionel Lindon

1961

87th Precinct [ep #4 'The Modus Man'] 30-part police drama tv-series/b&w, 1961-62 (NBC-tv); ph: William Margulies