GREAT CINEMATOGRAPHERS


[Left] with actor Wally Cox - "Spencer's Mountain" [1963]

 

   


CHARLES LAWTON Jr.

 

Born: 6 April 1904, Los Angeles, Calif., USA, as Charles C. 'Bud' Lawton.

Died: 11 July 1965, Pacific Palisades, Calif., USA, during filming of 'Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feeling So Sad'.

Career: Started as c.asst in the mid-1920s at First National. Became c.op working with George Folsey, moving with Folsey first to Paramount then, in 1932, to MGM, becoming doph [as Charles Lawton] there 5 years later. With Columbia Pictures from 1944.

Was a member of the ASC.


Charles Lawton's MGM career can be discounted almost completely. There are a few pleasures to be had from, for instance, Tourneur's 'Nick Carter, Master Detective', where obvious shortage of time and money resulted in some throw-away atmospheric footage, but by and large these were run of the mill programmers. From the mid-1940s onwards Lawton came into his own and lit some of Columbia's best-looking films. Working in black and white he excelled in Welles' nocturnal 'The Lady from Shanghai' and Daves' scope Westerns; in color his were the most memorable landscapes through which Randolph Scott rode for revenge. [Markku Salmi in 'Film Dope', #33, November 1985.]



 

 FILMS

1937

My Dear Miss Aldrich [George B. Seitz] b&w

1937

The King Without a Crown [Jacques Tourneur] b&w; short/10m; ep 'Historical Mysteries'-series

1937

Paradise for Three/Romance for Three [Edward Buzzell] b&w; uncred cph; ph: Leonard Smith

1938

Bravest of the Brave [Edward L. Cahn] b&w (sepia); short/11m

1938

The Chaser [Edwin L. Marin] b&w

1938

Listen, Darling [Edwin L. Marin] b&w; uncred cph: Lester White

1938

I Take This Woman/New York Cinderella [Josef von Sternberg (started in October 1938), Frank Borzage (replaced von Sternberg in November; filming suspended in January 1939) & W.S. Van Dyke II (re-shot most of the film in December 1939)] b&w; uncred ph (as Bud Lawton; with dir F. Borzage); ph (with dir Van Dyke II): Harold Rosson

1939

Within the Law [Gustav Machaty] b&w; 65m

1939

The Giant of Norway [Edward L. Cahn] b&w (sepia); short/11m; ep #7 of 'Passing Parade'-series

1939

The Story That Couldn't Be Printed [Joseph M. Newman] b&w; short/10m; ep #8 of 'Passing Parade'-series

1939

Miracles for Sale [Tod Browning & (add scenes) Harold S. Bucquet] b&w; addph: Alfred Gilks

1939

Nick Carter, Master Detective [Jacques Tourneur] b&w; 59m

1939

Congo Maisie [H.C. Potter] b&w; 2nd film of 9-part 'Maisie'-series (MGM, 1939-46)

1940

Forty Little Mothers [Busby Berkeley] b&w

1940

Andy Hardy Meets Debutante [George B. Seitz] b&w; 9th film of 15-part 'Andy Hardy'-series (MGM, 1937-46)

1940

Gold Rush Maisie [Edwin L. Marin; (uncred during illness of E. L. Marin) J. Walter Ruben & Norman Taurog] b&w; 3rd film of 9-part 'Maisie'-series

1940

Dulcy [S. Sylvan Simon] b&w

1940

Sky Murder [George B. Seitz] b&w

1940

Hullabaloo [Edwin L. Marin] b&w

 

 

1940

Maisie Was A Lady [Edwin L. Marin] b&w; 4th film of 9-part 'Maisie'-series

1940

More About Nostradamus [David Miller] b&w; short/11m

1940

Free and Easy [George Sidney & (uncred retakes) Edward Buzzell] b&w; 56m; cph: George Folsey

1941

The Penalty [Harold S. Bucquet] b&w; loc ph; ph: Harold Rosson

1941

Memory Tricks [Will Jason] b&w (sepia); short/10m

1941

The Big Store [Charles Riesner] b&w

1941

Ringside Maisie/Cash and Carry [Edwin L. Marin] b&w; 5th film of 9-part 'Maisie'-series

1941

The Vanishing Virginian [Frank Borzage] b&w

1941

Joe Smith, American/Highway to Freedom [Richard Thorpe] b&w; 63m

1941

This Time for Keeps/Over the Waves [Charles Riesner] b&w

1941

Fingers at the Window [Charles Lederer] b&w; cph: Harry Stradling Sr.

1942

[M-G-M Miniatures No. M-335:] Further Prophecies of Nostradamus [David Miller] b&w; doc/11m

1942

The Affairs of Martha/Once Upon a Thursday [Jules Dassin] b&w; 66m

1942

A Yank at Eton [Norman Taurog] b&w; cph: Karl Freund; ext ph: Clyde De Vinna

1942

Eyes in the Night [Fred Zinnemann] b&w; cph: Robert Planck

1942

Famous Boners [Douglas Foster] b&w; short/10m; ep #35 of 'Passing Parade'- series

1942

The Youngest Profession [Edward Buzzell] b&w

1943

Young Ideas [Jules Dassin] b&w

1943

See Here, Private Hargrove [Wesley Ruggles] b&w; 2uc: Edward O. Bagley

1943

Up in Mabel's Room [Allan Dwan] b&w

1944

Abroad with Two Yanks [Allan Dwan] b&w

1944

Three Is a Family [Edward Ludwig] b&w

1944

Brewster's Millions [Allan Dwan] b&w

 

With Shirley Temple - "Kiss and Tell"

 

1945

Kiss and Tell [Richard Wallace] b&w

1945

Getting Gertie's Garter [Allan Dwan] b&w

1945

One Way to Love [Ray Enright] b&w

1945

Perilous Holiday [Edward H. Griffith] b&w; sfx ph: Ray Cory

1945

The Walls Came Tumbling Down [Lothar Mendes] b&w

1946

Blondie Knows Best [Abby Berlin] b&w; 69m; uncred cph; ph: Philip Tannura; 17th film of 28-part 'Blondie'-series (Columbia, 1938-50)

1946

The Thrill of Brazil [S. Sylvan Simon] b&w

1946

The Return of Monte Cristo/Monte Cristo's Revenge [Henry Levin] b&w

 

 

1946

The Lady from Shanghai [Orson Welles] b&w; uncred cph: Rudolph Maté (fill-in ph when Lawton fell ill) & Joseph Walker; Orson Welles' rough cut ran 155m; filmed 1946-47; released in 1948

1947

Her Husband's Affairs [S. Sylvan Simon] b&w

1947

I Love Trouble [S. Sylvan Simon] b&w

1947

The Black Arrow/The Black Arrow Strikes [Gordon Douglas & Carl Hiecke] b&w

1947

The Gallant Blade [Henry Levin] c; cph: Burnett Guffey

1948

Slightly French [Douglas Sirk] b&w

1948

The Untamed Breed [Charles Lamont] c

1948

The Walking Hills [John Sturges] b&w

1948

Shockproof [Douglas Sirk] b&w

1948

Mr. Soft Touch/House of Settlement [Gordon Douglas & Henry Levin] b&w; cph: Joseph Walker

1948

The Doolins of Oklahoma/The Great Manhunt [Gordon Douglas] b&w

1949

Tokyo Joe [Stuart Heisler] b&w; 2uc (Tokyo background ph): Joseph Biroc & Emil Oster Jr.

1949

Miss Grant Takes Richmond/Innocence Is Bliss [Lloyd Bacon] b&w

1949

The Nevadan/The Man from Nevada [Gordon Douglas] c

1949

Cargo to Capetown [Earl McEvoy] b&w

1949

Rogues of Sherwood Forest [Gordon Douglas] c

1949

The Fuller Brush Girl/The Affairs of Sally [Lloyd Bacon] b&w

1949

Kill the Umpire [Lloyd Bacon] b&w

1950

Stage to Tucson/Lost Stage Valley [Ralph Murphy] c

1950

Santa Fe [Irving Pichel] c

1950

Her First Romance/Girls Never Tell [Seymour Friedman] b&w

1950

Mask of the Avenger [Phil Karlson & Irving Pichel] c; 'The production values are high for an early 1950s Columbia film, and the Technicolor photography is often eye-popping.' [TCM website]

1951

Man in the Saddle/The Outcast [André De Toth] c

1951

Boots Malone [William Dieterle] b&w

1951

Captain Pirate/Captain Blood, Fugitive [Ralph Murphy] c

1951

Paula/The Silent Voice [Rudolph Maté] b&w

1951

Last of the Comanches/The Sabre and the Arrow [André De Toth] c; cph: Ray Cory; 'There are several interesting photographic flourishes in 'Last of the Comanches', including long sequences at sunset in which the speaking characters appear entirely in silhouette, and instances of hand-held camera shots during some action scenes.' [TCM website]

 

[Right] standing behind dir Richard Fleischer [seated] - "The Happy Time"

 

1952

The Happy Time [Richard Fleischer] b&w

1952

Hangman's Knot/The Outlanders [Roy Huggins] c

1952

All Ashore [Richard Quine] c

1952

Let's Do It Again [Alexander Hall] c

1953

Cruisin' Down the River [Richard Quine] c

1953

Miss Sadie Thompson [Curtis Bernhardt] c; originally in 3-D (single-strip - 1.75:1 & dual-strip - 1.85:1)

1953

Drive a Crooked Road [Richard Quine] b&w

1953

They Rode West [Phil Karlson] c

1954

Three Hours to Kill [Alfred Werker] c; 2uc: Ray Cory

1954

The Long Gray Line [John Ford] cs/c; uncred cph: Charles Lang

 

[On crane] with dir Richard Quine [hat] and asst dir

Sam Nelson - "My Sister Eileen"

 

1954

My Sister Eileen [Richard Quine] cs/c

1955

Bring Your Smile Along [Blake Edwards] c

1955

Jubal [Delmer Daves] cs/c; 2uc: Ray Cory

1955

You Can't Run Away from It [Dick Powell] cs/c

1956

Full of Life [Richard Quine] b&w

1956

The Tall T [Budd Boetticher] c

 

 

1956

3:10 to Yuma [Delmer Daves] b&w

1957

Operation Mad Ball [Richard Quine] b&w

 

 

1957

Cowboy [Delmer Daves] c; 2uc: Ray Cory

1957

Gideon's Day/Gideon of Scotland Yard [John Ford] b&w (USA) & c (UK); uncred cph; ph: Frederick A. Young

1957

Gunman's Walk [Phil Karlson] cs/c

1958

The Last Hurrah [John Ford] b&w

1958

It Happened to Jane/Jane from Maine/Twinkle and Shine [Richard Quine] c

1958

Ride Lonesome [Budd Boetticher] cs/c

1959

Man on a String/Confessions of a Counterspy [André De Toth] b&w; cph: Albert Benitz (ph Berlin), Gayne Rescher (ph New York) & Pierre Poincarde (ph Moscow)

1959

Comanche Station [Budd Boetticher] cs/c; 'Charles Lawton Jr's camera catches some superb exteriors (there are no interior scenes at all) on the rugged location, and creates some striking personal compositions.' [Variety, 1960]

1959

The Gene Krupa Story/Drum Crazy [Don Weis] b&w

1960

The Wackiest Ship in the Army [Richard Murphy] cs/c

1960

A Raisin in the Sun [Daniel Petrie] b&w

1960

Two Rode Together [John Ford] c

1961

13 West Street [Philip Leacock] b&w

1961

Rome Adventure/Lovers Must Learn [Delmer Daves] c

1962

Spencer's Mountain [Delmer Daves] p/c; 2uc: H.F. Koenekamp

1963

Ensign Pulver [Joshua Logan] p/c

1964

Youngblood Hawke [Delmer Daves] b&w

1964

A Rage to Live [Walter Grauman] p/b&w

1965

Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feeling So Sad [Richard Quine & (uncred re-shoots) Alexander Mackendrick] c; uncred cph (started the film, but died a few days before end of shooting); ph: Geoffrey Unsworth; 2uc: Skeets Kelly; process ph: Farciot Edouart; first preview in 1965, then held back for re-shoots; released in 1967

 

 TELEVISION

1953

Ford Theatre/The Ford Television Theatre/Ford All-Star Theater [ep #29 'Allison, Ltd.' dir by James Neilson] 195-part dramatic anthology series/b&w, 1952-57 (NBC-tv & [last season] ABC-tv); 1st season, 1952-53 (39 ep); followed 'Ford Theatre' (1948-51; live; CBS-tv)

1953

Ford Theatre/The Ford Television Theatre/Ford All- Star Theater [ep #46 'The Ming Lama' dir by Ted Post (TP), #47 'As the Flame Dies' dir by James Neilson (JN), #48 'Double Bet' dir by Frederick Stephani, #58 'Lucky Tommy Jordan' dir by TP, #64 'The Last Thirty Minutes' dir by TP & #69 'Wedding March' dir by JN] 2nd season, 1953-54 (39 ep); ep #46 was released theatrically abroad; see above

1954

Ford Theatre/The Ford Television Theatre/Ford All- Star Theater [ep #79 'The Trouble with Youth' dir by Fred F. Sears (FFS), #93 'Magic Formula' dir by FFS & #97 'Touch of Spring' dir by James Neilson] 3rd season, 1954-55 (39 ep); see 1953

1956

Celebrity Playhouse [ep #39 'Girl at Large' dir by James Neilson] 39-part dramatic anthology series/b&w, 1955-56 (NBC-tv)

1957

Ford Theatre/The Ford Television Theatre/Ford All- Star Theater [ep #188 'The Idea Man' dir by D. Ross Lederman & #189 'The Gentle Deceiver' dir by Daniel Dare] 5th season, 1956-57 (39 ep) (ABC-tv); see 1953

1958

Goodyear Theatre [ep #22 'The Spy' dir by Boris Sagal] 54-part dramatic anthology series/b&w, 1957-60 (NBC-tv); 2nd season, 1958-59; followed the series 'Goodyear TV Playhouse/Goodyear Playhouse' (1951-57; live); also aired under the title 'Turn of Fate' (for its first four months when it alternated with 'Alcoa Theatre'); was syndicated together with 'Alcoa Theatre' as 'Award Theatre'

1958

Alcoa Theatre [ep #24 'Office Party' dir by Robert Ellis Miller (REM) & #30 '30 Pieces of Silver' dir by REM] ?-part dramatic anthology series/b&w, 1957-60 (NBC-tv); 2nd season, 1958-59 (37 ep); followed 'The Alcoa Hour' (1955-57; live); also aired under the title 'Turn of Fate' (for its first four months when it alternated with 'Goodyear Theatre'); was syndicated together with 'Goodyear Theatre' as 'Award Theatre'

1959

Lux Playhouse [ep #18 'The Miss and Missiles' dir by Peter Tewksbury] 21-part dramatic anthology series/b&w, 1958-59 (CBS-tv)

 

 MISCELLANEOUS

1933

Another Language [Edward H. Griffith] co-c.op; ph: Ray June

1934

Reckless [Victor Fleming] c.asst (as Bud Lawton); ph: George Folsey

1935

Baby Face Harrington [Raoul Walsh] co-2nd camera (as Bud Lawton); ph: Oliver T. Marsh