Conrad L. Hall

Director of photography, TV commercial director, Camera operator
Widely feted for his willingness to take artistic chances, Conrad L. Hall ranked high on the list of great American cinematographers working in the 1960s and 1970s. His list of credits was daunting, encompassing such ... Read more »
Born: 06/21/1926 in Papeete, Tahiti, , PF

Filmography

Camera, Film, & Tape (31)

Road to Perdition 2002 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

American Beauty 1999 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Sleepy Hollow 1999 (Movie)

(New York unit) (Director of Photography)

A Civil Action 1998 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Without Limits 1998 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Love Affair 1994 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Searching for Bobby Fischer 1993 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Jennifer Eight 1992 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Class Action 1991 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Tequila Sunrise 1988 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Black Widow 1987 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Marathon Man 1976 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Smile 1975 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Day of the Locust 1974 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Electra Glide in Blue 1973 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Catch My Soul 1972 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Fat City 1972 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid 1969 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here 1969 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Happy Ending 1969 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Trilogy 1969 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Hell in the Pacific 1968 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Cool Hand Luke 1967 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Divorce American Style 1967 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

In Cold Blood 1967 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Harper 1966 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Morituri 1965 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Professionals 1965 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Incubus 1964 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Wild Seed 1964 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

It Happened One Christmas (TV Show)

Director of Photography
Director (2)

Love Affair 1994 (Movie)

(Tahiti) (Director)

Jennifer Eight 1992 (Movie)

2nd unit director (Director)
Actor (2)

Tell Them Who You Are 2005 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography 1993 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Biography

Widely feted for his willingness to take artistic chances, Conrad L. Hall ranked high on the list of great American cinematographers working in the 1960s and 1970s. His list of credits was daunting, encompassing such exceptional movies as "The Professionals" (1966), "Cool Hand Luke" (1967), "In Cold Blood" (1967), and "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (1969) for which he won his first Academy Award. Challenging the cinematic norms of the time, he sometimes utilized overly hot contrasts that obscured detail and instances where light caused the camera lens to flare. Such things were previously deemed mistakes, while Hall's usage of such aberrations aided the atmosphere of the piece. He was also instrumental in increasing the believability of night sequences by obtaining excellent results in very low light, rather than the rarely convincing "day for night" technique. After additional duties on such pictures as "The Day of the Locust" (1975) and "Marathon Man" (1976), he took a decade-long break in order to produce commercials with fellow camera expert Haskell Wexler. The later years of his career featured some of Hall's most exemplary craftsmanship and he was rewarded with additional Oscars for "American Beauty" (1999) and "Road to Perdition" (2002), which proved to be his final effort. An innovative cinematographer whose talents bridged the more formal style of older Hollywood and the wave of experimentation that blossomed during the late 1960s, Hall made some of the most exceptional use of shadow and contrast ever captured on film.

Relationships

James Norman Hall Source Material (from novel)

Father
Born April 22, 1887; wrote Mutiny on the Bounty Died July 6, 1951

Kate Hall Actor

Daughter

Sarah Hall

Mother

Naia Hall Production Coordinator

Daughter

Conrad W. Hall Director of Photography

Son
Born Nov. 13, 1958; mother, Virginia Schwartz

Susan Kowarsh-Hall Costumes

Wife
Married until his death Jan. 4, 2003

Katharine Ross Actor

Wife
Married June 1, 1969 Divorced 1974

Nancy Hall Rutgers Actor

Sister

Virginia Schwartz

Wife
Married 1952 Divorced 1968

EDUCATION

University of Southern California

Los Angeles , California 1949
studied under Slavko Vorkapich; has credited Vorkapich with conveying to him the spirit and soul of an artist; also studied journalism

Milestones

2002

Served as Kodak cinematographer in residence at UCLA's School of Theater, Film and Television

2002

Acted as director of photography for Mendes' " Road to Perdition"

1999

Served as director of photography on Sam Mendes' "American Beauty"; garnered second Oscar

1998

Received eighth Oscar nomination for work on "A Civil Action", written and directed by Zaillian

1998

Again collaborated with Towne for the writer-director's "Without Limits"

1994

Was director of photography on "Love Affair", the third screen version of this romantic story; directed by Glenn Gordon Caron; Robert Towne was one of the screenwriters

1993

Honored with the American Society of Cinematographers Lifetime Achievement Award

1993

Served as director of photography for Steve Zaillian's directorial debut "Searching for Bobby Fischer"; earned seventh Academy Award nomination

1992

Included as a subject of the documentary "Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography"

1988

Earned sixth Oscar nomination for Robert Towne's "Tequila Sunrise"

1987

Returned to features as director of photography on "Black Widow"

1979

Contributed additional photography to "The Rose"

1976

Reteamed with Schlesinger for "Marathon Man", scripted by Goldman; last film as director of photography for over a decade

1975

First film with director John Schlesinger, "The Day of the Locust"; earned a Best Cinematography Academy Award nomination

1972

Served as director of phootography for John Huston's "Fat City"

1968

Reteamed with Brooks for "The Happy Ending"

1968

Won Best Cinematography Oscar for "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", which reteamed him with both Newman and Goldman

1967

Shot "Cool Hand Luke", starring Newman

1967

Garnered an Oscar nod for Brooks' "In Cold Blood", shot in black-and-white; first year only one cinematography award given

1966

Initial film with actor Paul Newman, "Harper"; also first association with screenwriter William Goldman; marked first film shot in color

1966

Earned second Oscar nomination for Best Cinematography (Color) for "The Professionals"; first film with director Richard Brooks

1965

Received first Oscar nomination for Best Cinematography (Black-and-White) for "Morituri"

1965

First mainstream feature as director of photography, "The Wild Seed"

1958

Shared cinematography credit on "Edge of Fury" with Weinstein and Couffer

1956

First film as director of photography, "My Brother Down There/Running Target"; also shared screenplay credit with director Weinstein and producer Couffer

Directed TV commercials during his hiatus from feature films

Worked as director of photography on the ABC series "Stoney Burke" (1962-1963) and "The Outer Limits" (1963-1965)

Shot footage for feature films including Disney's "The Living Desert" (1953)

Served as an assistant cameraman and camera operator for Robert Surtees, Ted McCord and Ernest Haller, among other directors of photography

With Haskell Wexler formed Wexler-Hall Inc in the mid-1970s; company produced commercials for clients like Buick and Miller Beer

Formed Canyon Films, a small production company with two USC classmates (Marvin R Weinstein and Jack C Couffer); made industrials, commercials, etc; entered industry by selling prize-winning class project, "Sea Theme", to television

Born on family estate in Tahiti

Bonus Trivia

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Paul Newman appeared in four Hall films, starting with 1966's "Harper"; next in 1967's "Cool Hand Luke"; again in 1969's "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"; and ending in 2002 with "Road to Perdition."

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