GREAT CINEMATOGRAPHERS


#3: [Right] with dir Charles Vidor & actress Rita Hayworth - "Cover Girl" [1943]

 

   


RUDOLPH MATÉ

 

Born: 21 January 1898, Krakow, Austria-Hungary [now Poland], as Rudolf Mayer.

Died: 27 October 1964, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Calif., USA.

Education: University of Budapest [Philosophy].

Career: Joined Sándor [Alexander] Korda's Corvin Film Company in Budapest as laboratory asst, then moving to the camera department. Went to Vienna [in 1921 for Sascha-Film], Berlin [2uc for prod Erich Pommer], Paris [in 1927] and Hollywood [in 1934]. Came under contract to Fox, later to Samuel Goldwyn. Became head of ph for Goldwyn in 1942 after Gregg Toland joined the US Navy.

Was a member of the ASC.

Was also active as director.

Awards: 'Oscar' AA nom [1940; b&w] for 'Foreign Correspondent'; 'Oscar' AA nom [1941; b&w] for 'That Hamilton Woman'; 'Oscar' AA nom [1942; b&w] for 'The Pride of the Yankees'; 'Oscar' AA nom [1943; b&w] for 'Sahara'; 'Oscar' AA nom [1944; color; shared] for 'Cover Girl'.



GO TO FILMS
GO TO FILMS & TELEVISION AS DIRECTOR

[Left/jacket] with René Clair [kneeling] and Marlene Dietrich - "The Flame of New Orleans" [1941]

 

As a director of photography, Rudolph Maté's career was distinguished, and he provided both major and minor directors with the visual style and tone appropriate to their projects. From the heavy lens diffusion of 'Vampyr' [still possibly the film closest to the experience of a dream] to the sharp black and white contrasts of 'Gilda' [in which the carnival is merely one of the film's visual tours-de-forces] his range was considerable and the quality of his work usually consistently high.

As a director, however, his work is much less assured. Whilst there is an offbeat, oddball quality to some of his movies - the Freudian dreams and heavy psychologising of 'The Dark Past', the noir bleakness of 'D.O.A.', the end of the world apocalypse of 'When Worlds Collide' - his films in general have an unevenness which reveals the lack of a strong directorial personality. [From article by Michael Walker in 'Film Dope', #41, March 1989.]

 

[Right] with dir Harry Lachman [left] and Laurel & Hardy

"Our Relations"

 

'Our Relations' [1936]: Rudolph Maté, too, had to be taught that Laurel & Hardy comedies required a unique style of photography. "Stan insisted that the lighting be very flat. And Art Lloyd [their regular doph] put light all around, so it gave their faces that comical, blank look," recounted [Roy] Seawright. "But Rudy Maté was a dramatic cameraman. And they had a hell of a time - Stan would not accept the first week's worth of dailies; Maté had lit it too dramatically, with shadows on their faces, under their chins, and so forth. And Stan did not want the artistic, theatrical type of lighting they were employing in those days." Maté found a way to compromise with Stan; the lighting in 'Our Relations' is markedly different from Art Lloyd's, with subtle textures and a more polished look overall - yet Stan and Ollie still retain their blank, childlike visages. Once Lachman and Maté became accustomed to Laurel and Hardy's working methods, the filming seems to have progressed smoothly. [From 'Laurel and Hardy - The Magic Behind the Movies' by Randy Skretvedt, 1987.]

 

 

'D.O.A.' [1949]: 'Innovative, influential and nail-shredding tense film noir classic. Edmond O'Brien is the harried insurance clerk with just two days to solve a murder - his own. As opening lines go, "I want to report a murder - mine", is pretty damn arresting. So begins Rudolph Maté's razor-sharp and impressively sophisticated thriller, a film that came late in the heyday of noir but which remains a textbook example in how to maintain tension and atmosphere.

A cinematographer by trade, Maté brings to the film all his characteristic visual flair. It's the anxious, urgent tone, however, that make this so striking, and the nihilistic portrayal of Frank's moral and physical disintegration - a process which, he's forced to admit, he set in motion himself. En route the plot incorporates a bewildering array of bluffs, counter-bluffs and red herrings, but Maté ensures these remain in the service of writer Russell Rouse's ingenious premise. Though remade as 'Color Me Dead' [1969] and again as 'D.O.A.' [1988], it's Maté's film which proves to be not just the definitive version, but one of the most enduring examples of noir.'


 

 FILMS

1920

Das Gänsemädchen [Ernest Toegel] b&w; ?m; as Rudolf Mayer; prod Kindy-Film, Austria

1920

Alpentragödie [Emil Leyde] b&w; 55m; prod Tellus-Film, Austria

1921

Der geistliche Tod [?] b&w; ?m; as Rudolf Mayer; prod Tellus-Film, Austria

1921

Lucifer [Ernest Juhn] b&w; as Rudolf Mayer; prod Morgana-Film, Austria

1921

Parema - Das Wesen aus der Sternenwelt [Mano Ziffer von Teschenbruck] b&w; as Rudolf Mayer; prod Cartellieri-Film, Austria

1922

Eine mystische Straßenreklame [?] b&w; as Rudolf Mayer; cph: Hugo Eywo; prod Mabel-Film, Austria

1923

Das verlorene Ich/Gefahren der Hypnose [Hugo Werner-Kahle] b&w; cph: Hans Pebal; prod Astra-Film, Austria

1923

Dunkle Gassen/Der schwarze Boxer [Peter Paul Felner & Jack Worthury] b&w; cph: Stephan Lorant; prod Domo-Film, Germany

1923

Der Kaufmann von Venedig [Peter Paul Felner] b&w; cph: Axel Graatkjaer; prod Peter Paul Felner-Film, Germany

1923

Mikaël/Michael/Chained [: The Story of the Third Sex]/Heart's Desire [Carl Theodor Dreyer] b&w; ext ph; ph: Karl Freund; prod Decla-Bioscop/Universum-Film AG (UFA), Germany; filmed 1923-24

1924

Pietro der Korsar/Peter the Pirate/Sea Wolves [Artur Robison] b&w; cph: Fritz Arno Wagner & George Schneevoigt; prod UFA, Germany

1926

Le roman d'un jeune homme pauvre/Mitgiftjäger [Gaston Ravel] b&w; prod Alga-Film, Germany

1926

Unter Ausschluß der Öffentlichkeit [Conrad Wiene] b&w; prod Internationale Film Exchange, Germany

1926

Die Hochstaplerin [Martin Berger] b&w; prod Hermes-Film, Germany; filmed 1926-27

1927

La passion de Jeanne d'Arc/The Passion of Joan of Arc [Carl Theodor Dreyer] b&w; prod Société générale des films, France; filmed May-November; restored in 1985

1929

Le manque de mémoire [Henri Chomette] b&w; short/?m

1929

Prix de beauté/Beauty Prize/Miss Europe [Augusto Genina] b&w; cph (?): Louis Née

 

 

1930

Vampyr [- Der Traum des Allan Grey]/L'étrange aventure de David Gray/Adventures of David Gray/Castle of Doom/Not Against the Flesh/The Vampire [Carl Theodor Dreyer] b&w; filmed April-October; restored in 1998

1931

Le monsieur de minuit [Harry Lachman] b&w; cph (?): Jacques Montéran & Gérard Perrin; French-language version of 'Almost a Honeymoon' (1930, Monty Banks; ph: Jack Cox)

1931

La couturière de Lunéville/The Dressmaker of Luneville [Harry Lachman] b&w

1931

Le roi du Camembert [Antoine Mourre] b&w

1931

La vagabonde [Solange Bussi] b&w; cph: Louis Née

1931

For Love of You [Carmine Gallone] b&w; some sources credit Willy Goldberger as doph

1931

Service for Ladies/Reserved for Ladies [Alexander Korda] b&w; remake of 'Service for Ladies' (1927)

1932

Monsieur Albert [Karl Anton] b&w; French-language version of 'Service for Ladies'

1932

Lily Christine [Paul L. Stein] b&w

1932

Aren't We All? [Harry Lachman] b&w; 65m

1932

Insult [Harry Lachman] b&w

1932

La belle marinière [Harry Lachman] b&w

1932

Le petit Babouin [Jean Grémillon] b&w; short/?m; cph: Louis Née; was originally a feature length movie

1932

Paprika [Jean de Limur] b&w; cph: Louis Née; French-language version of 'Paprika' (1932, Carl Boese; ph: Reimar Kuntze)

1933

Dans les rues/Song of the Streets [Victor Trivas] b&w; cph: Louis Née

1933

Une femme au volant/A Woman at the Wheel [Kurt Gerron & Pierre Billon] b&w; cph: Louis Née

1933

Les aventures du roi Pausole [Alexis Granowsky] b&w

1933

Die Abenteuer des Königs Pausole/The Adventures of King Pausole [Alexis Granowsky] b&w; German-language version of 'Les aventures du roi Pausole'

1933

The Merry Monarch [Alexis Granowsky] b&w; 58m; English-language version of 'Les aventures du roi Pausole'

1933

La mille-et-deuxième nuit [Alexandre Volkoff] b&w; cph: René Gaveau

1933

Liliom [Fritz Lang] b&w; filmed 1933-34

1934

Le dernier milliardaire/The Last [Millionaire] [Billionaire] [René Clair] b&w; cph: Louis Née

1934

Nada más que una mujer/Nothing More Than a Woman [Harry Lachman] b&w; Spanish-language version of 'Pursued' (1934, Louis King; ph: L.W. O'Connell)

1934

Dante's Inferno [Harry Lachman] b&w; filmed 1934-35

1935

Dressed to Thrill [Harry Lachman] b&w; 68m

1935

Navy Wife/Beauty's Daughter [Allan Dwan] b&w; 69m; cph: John F. Seitz

1935

Metropolitan [Richard Boleslawski] b&w; uncred cph (was replaced by R. Maté after 1 day): George Schneiderman

1935

Charlie Chan's Secret [Gordon Wiles] b&w; 11th film in 28-part 'Charlie Chan'-series (Fox/20thCF, 1929-42)

1935

Professional Soldier [Tay Garnett] b&w

1935

A Message to Garcia [George Marshall] b&w

1936

Our Relations/Double Trouble/Sailors' Downfall [Harry Lachman] b&w; pfx: Roy Seawright; see above

1936

Dodsworth [William Wyler] b&w

1936

Come and Get It/Roaring Timbers [Howard Hawks, Richard Rosson (logging scenes) & William Wyler (completed film)] b&w; cph: Gregg Toland; spec pfx: Ray Binger & (uncred) Paul Eagler

1936

Outcast [Robert Florey] b&w

1937

The Girl from Scotland Yard/End of Adventure [Robert G. Vignola] b&w; 62m; uncred fill-in ph (while R. Pittack was ill); ph: Robert Pittack

 

[Right] with dir King Vidor [black jacket] and Anne Shirley & Barbara Stanwyck - "Stella Dallas"

 

1937

Stella Dallas [King Vidor] b&w

1937

The Adventures of Marco Polo [Archie Mayo (replaced John Cromwell after a few days); (uncred action seq) John Ford] b&w (tinted & toned); cph: Archie Stout; 2uc (+ co-2ud): Bert Glennon

1938

Blockade [William Dieterle] b&w

1938

Youth Takes a Fling [Archie Mayo] b&w

1938

Trade Winds [Tay Garnett] b&w; foreign ext ph: James B. Shackelford; process ph: Ray Binger

1938

Love Affair [Leo McCarey] b&w

1939

The Real Glory [Henry Hathaway] b&w; spec pfx: Ray Binger & Paul Eagler

1939

My Favorite Wife [Garson Kanin] b&w; filmed 1939-40

1940

The Westerner [William Wyler] b&w; ph 3 days add scenes with dir Lewis Milestone in February; ph: Gregg Toland

1940

Foreign Correspondent [Alfred Hitchcock] b&w; Europe ph: Osmond Borradaile; addph: Roy F. Overbaugh; spec pfx: Paul Eagler; process ph: Ray Binger

 

 

1940

Seven Sinners [Tay Garnett] b&w

1940

That Hamilton Woman/Lady Hamilton [Alexander Korda] b&w; spec seq ph: Edward Linden; spec pfx: Lawrence W. Butler

1941

The Flame of New Orleans [René Clair] b&w

1941

It Started with Eve [Henry Koster] b&w

1941

To Be or Not to Be [Ernst Lubitsch] b&w; spec pfx: Lawrence W. Butler

1942

The Pride of the Yankees [Sam Wood] b&w; spec pfx: Ray Binger & Jack Cosgrove

1942

They Got Me Covered [David Butler] b&w; spec pfx: Ray Binger

1943

Sahara [Zoltan Korda] b&w

1943

Cover Girl [Charles Vidor] c; cph: Allen M. Davey

1943

Address Unknown [William Cameron Menzies] b&w; filmed 1943-44

1944

Tonight and Every Night [Victor Saville] c

 

Actress Irene Dunne - dir Charles Vidor - ? - RM - "Over 21"

 

1945

Over 21 [Charles Vidor] b&w; process ph: Ray Cory

 

#1/2: With Rita Hayworth - "Gilda"

 

1945

Gilda [Charles Vidor] b&w

1946

Down to Earth [Alexander Hall] c; uncred inserts ph: Larry Butler

1946

The Lady from Shanghai [Orson Welles] b&w; uncred fill-in ph (when C. Lawton Jr. fell ill); ph: Charles Lawton Jr.

1947

It Had to Be You [Don Hartman & Rudolph Maté] b&w; cph: Vincent J. Farrar

 

 MISCELLANEOUS

1919

Kutató Sámuel/Seeking Samuel [Márton Garas] c.asst (as Rudolf Mayer); ph: ?

1935

Charlie Chan in Shanghai [James Tinling] c.op; ph: Barney McGill; 10th film in 28-part 'Charlie Chan'-series (Fox/20thCF, 1929-42)

1939

The Flying Deuces/Flying Aces [A. Edward Sutherland] prod adv; ph: Art Lloyd

1947

The Return of October/A Date with Destiny [Joseph H. Lewis] prod; ph: William E. Snyder

 

 FILMS & TELEVISION AS DIRECTOR

1931

Le costaud des P.T.T./P.T.T./Le roi des facteurs [co-d: Jean Bertin] ph: Nikolai (Nicolas) Toporkoff

1947

It Had to Be You [co-d: Don Hartman] cph: Vincent J. Farrar; see Films

 

[Left] with doph Joseph Walker - "The Dark Past"

 

1948

The Dark Past [ph: Joseph Walker]

1949

D.O.A. [ph: Ernest Laszlo] see above

1949

No Sad Songs for Me [ph: Joseph Walker]

 

 

1950

Union Station [ph: Daniel L. Fapp]

1950

Branded [ph: Charles Lang Jr.]

1950

The Prince Who Was a Thief [ph: Irving Glassberg]

1950

When Worlds Collide [ph: John F. Seitz & W. Howard Greene] filmed 1950-51

1951

The Green Glove/The Gauntlet/The White Road [ph: Claude Renoir]

1951

Paula/The Silent Voice [ph: Charles Lawton Jr.]

1952

Sally and Saint Anne [ph: Irving Glassberg]

1952

The Mississippi Gambler [ph: Irving Glassberg]

1953

Forbidden [ph: William H. Daniels]

 

[Center] with Robert Mitchum & Linda Darnell - "Second Chance"

 

1953

Second Chance [ph: William E. Snyder]

1953

Siege at Red River/Gatling Gun [ph: Edward Cronjager]

1953

The Black Shield of Falworth [ph: Irving Glassberg] filmed 1953-54

1954

The Violent Men/The Bandits/Rough Company [ph: Burnett Guffey & W. Howard Greene]

1954

The Far Horizons [: The Story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition]/Untamed West [ph: Daniel L. Fapp]

1955

The Rawhide Years [ph: Irving Glassberg]

1955

Miracle In the Rain [ph: Russell Metty]

1955

Port Afrique [ph: Wilkie Cooper]

1956

Three Violent People [ph: Loyal Griggs]

1957

General Electric Theater/G.E. Theatre/Your Star Showcase (syndication) [ep #6.16 'Silent Ambush'] c. 209-part dramatic anthology tv-series/b&w, 1953-62 (CBS-tv); 6th season, 1957-58; ph: John F. Seitz

1957

The Deep Six [ph: John F. Seitz]

1958

For the First Time/Come prima/Serenade einer großen Liebe [ph: Aldo Tonti]

1959

Letter to Loretta (first 20 ep)/The Loretta Young Show/The Loretta Young Theatre [c. 20 half-hour + 3 one-hour shows, e.g. ep #197 'The Road', #200 'Mask of (Violence) (Evidence)', #201 'Circles of Panic', #202 'The Red Dress', #208 'Alien Love' & #210 'The Grenade'] 256-part dramatic anthology tv-series/b&w, 1953-61 (NBC-tv); 7th season, 1959-60; ph: Norbert Brodine (#200 & #208) & Gene Polito (#202)

1959

Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater/Frontier Justice/The Westerners [ep #107 'Man in the Middle'] 147-part western anthology tv-series/b&w, 1956-61 (CBS-tv); 4th season, 1959-60; ph: Eugene Polito

1960

Letter to Loretta/The Loretta Young Show/The Loretta Young Theatre [ep #228 'At the Edge of the Desert'] 8th season, 1960-61; ph: ?; see 1959

1960

The Barbarians/Rivak, the Barbarian/Revak the Rebel [ph: Carl E. Guthrie] originally a tv-pilot

 

[Right/white cap] - "The 300 Spartans"

 

1960

The 300 Spartans/Lion of Sparta [+ co-prod] ph: Geoffrey Unsworth

1962

Il dominatore dei sette mari/I re dei sette mari/Seven Seas to Calais [superv dir; co-d: Primo Zeglio] ph: Giulio Giannini

1962

Aliki My Love [+ co-prod] ph: Aristidis Karides Fuchs