Haskell Wexler

Director of photography, Director, Producer
Haskell Wexler initiated his feature filmmaking career as a cinematographer in the late 1950s, having previously shot educational and industrial films. The Chicago native had traveled to California to attend Berkeley ... Read more »
Born: 06/02/1922 in Chicago, Illinois, USA

Filmography

Camera, Film, & Tape (55)

Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up? 2010 (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Something's Gonna Live 2008 (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Big Love 2007 (Tv Show)

Director of Photography

Who Needs Sleep? 2006 (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Silver City 2004 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

61* 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Director of Photography

Bread and Roses 2001 (Movie)

(Camera)

Bus Riders Union 1999 (Movie)

cinematography (Cinematographer)

Limbo 1999 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Mexico 1999 (Movie)

cinematography (Cinematographer)

Good Kurds, Bad Kurds 1998 (Movie)

cinematography (Cinematographer)

Sandra Bernhard: I'm Still Here... Damn It! 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Director of Photography

Mulholland Falls 1996 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Rich Man's Wife 1996 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Canadian Bacon 1995 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Steal Big, Steal Little 1995 (Movie)

(Photography)

The Secret of Roan Inish 1995 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Babe 1992 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Other People's Money 1991 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Rolling Stones "At the Max" 1991 (Movie)

(Camera Operator)

Through the Wire 1990 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Blaze 1989 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Three Fugitives 1989 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Colors 1988 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Matewan 1987 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Black Stallion Returns 1983 (Movie)

(Photography)

The Man Who Loved Women 1983 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Lookin' to Get Out 1982 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Richard Pryor Live on the Sunset Strip 1981 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

No Nukes 1980 (Movie)

cinematography (Cinematographer)

Second-Hand Hearts 1979 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Coming Home 1978 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Days of Heaven 1978 (Movie)

(Photography)

The Rose 1978 (Movie)

(Photography)

CIA: Case Officer 1977 (Movie)

(Photography)

Bound For Glory 1976 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest 1975 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

American Graffiti 1973 (Movie)

Visual Consultant (Photography)

Introduction to the Enemy 1973 (Movie)

cinematography (Cinematographer)

The Trial of the Catonsville Nine 1971 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Medium Cool 1969 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Thomas Crown Affair 1968 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

In the Heat of the Night 1967 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? 1966 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Loved One 1964 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

America, America 1963 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Best Man 1963 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

A Face in the Rain 1962 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Intruder 1962 (Movie)

(Camera Operator)

Angel Baby 1961 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Hoodlum Priest 1961 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Bastards of the Party (TV Show)

Cinematographer

Benny Carter: Symphony in Riffs (TV Show)

Director of Photography

The Kid From Nowhere (TV Show)

Photography

To the Moon, Alice (TV Show)

Director of Photography
Actor (15)

Notfilm 2016 (Movie)

(Himself)

Something's Gonna Live 2008 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Manufacturing Dissent 2007 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Cinematographer Style 2005 (Movie)

(Actor)

Tell Them Who You Are 2005 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

George Lucas: Creating an Empire 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Hollywood, D.C.: A Tale of Two Cities 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Steve McQueen: King of Cool 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

American Cinema 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

At Sundance 1995 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

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

Himself (Actor)

Underground 1975 (Movie)

(Actor)
Director (9)

Who Needs Sleep? 2006 (Movie)

(Director)

Bus Riders Union 1999 (Movie)

(Director)

Latino 1985 (Movie)

(Director)

Bus II 1982 (Movie)

(Director)

Enhanced Radiation 1982 (Movie)

(Director)

No Nukes 1980 (Movie)

documentary footage director (Segment Director)

Brazil: A Report on Torture 1971 (Movie)

(Director)

Medium Cool 1969 (Movie)

(Director)
Producer (6)

Bus Riders Union 1999 (Movie)

(Producer)

Bus II 1982 (Movie)

(Producer)

Underground 1975 (Movie)

(Producer)

Brazil: A Report on Torture 1971 (Movie)

(Producer)

Medium Cool 1969 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Loved One 1964 (Movie)

(Producer)
Writer (3)

This Revolution 2005 (Movie)

(from film: "Medium Cool") (Source Material)

Latino 1985 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Medium Cool 1969 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Other (2)

South Central Farm: Oasis in a Concrete Desert 2006 (Movie)

Footage Provider (Archival Footage)

Rolling Stones "At the Max" 1991 (Movie)

camera consultant (Consultant)

Biography

Haskell Wexler initiated his feature filmmaking career as a cinematographer in the late 1950s, having previously shot educational and industrial films. The Chicago native had traveled to California to attend Berkeley, but dropped out after one year. He served as a merchant seaman during WWII and then returned to Illinois. Wexler and his father purchased and refurbished an armory in Des Plaines, turning it into a film studio. The venture was unsuccessful and Wexler set out to learn about film production, beginning as a cameraman and eventually working up to cinematographer. "Stakeout on Dope Street" (1958) marked his first (although uncredited) work as a cinematographer. He went on to shoot several features; many, like "The Hoodlum Priest" (1961), were noted for their social themes. Wexler stated that Elia Kazan's "America, America" (1963) marked the turning point in his Hollywood career and includes "some of the best photography" that he shot. He went on to shoot the intense, claustrophobic black and white images of Mike Nichols' "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" (1966), which earned him an Oscar, as well as providing memorable and distinctive looks to Norman Jewison's "In the Heat of the Night" (1967), George Lucas' "American Graffiti" (1973) and Milos Forman's "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975). His beautiful rendering of the muted tones of the American Dust Bowl (including several storms) in Hal Ashby's "Bound for Glory" (1976) earned him a second Oscar for Best Cinematography. Wexler also lensed Ashby's Vietnam-era "Coming Home" (1978), John Sayles' union-busting tale "Matewan" (1987), the urban gang drama "Colors" (1988), the biopic "Blaze" (1989) and "The Babe" (1992), Sayles' Irish fable "The Secret of Roan Inish" (1994) and the period crime drama "Mulholland Falls" (1996). Wexler also produced, written, directed and/or photographed a number of documentary films in his long career. Among the highlights are "The Bus" (1965) and its sequel, "Bus II" (1983), the Oscar-winning short "Interviews With My Lai Veterans" (1970), "Brazil: A Report on Torture" (1971), "Introduction to the Enemy" (1974), co-directed with Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden and Bill Yahrans, "CIA: Case Officer" (1978) and "At the Max" (1991), which recorded the 1990 European tour of the Rolling Stones. Wexler was also one of several directors of photography interviewed for the superlative "Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography" (1992). A passionate liberal, Wexler produced, directed, wrote and photographed one of the most devastating and technically sophisticated anti-establishment films ever made, "Medium Cool" (1969). Drawing on the stylistic and theoretical advances made by such vanguard figures as Jean- Luc Godard, and taking its title almost straight from the mouth of media guru Marshall McLuhan, "Medium Cool" was set and filmed during the 1968 Chicago Democratic convention. It chronicles-- in striking, neo-documentary style--the affairs, both professional and amorous, of a detached TV news cameraman (Robert Forster) as he becomes increasingly aware of the political ramifications of his work. The film remains a landmark of political cinema, and an insightful essay on the "cool medium." Wexler also helmed "Latino" (1985), a taut drama about an Hispanic Vietnam veteran (Robert Beltran) assisting in the training of the US-backed Contras in Nicaragua. The film divided critics and audiences along partisan political lines. For TV, Wexler shot footage of the Special Olympics included in the Beau Bridges- directed longform "The Kid From Nowhere" (NBC, 1982), worked with renowned cinematographer Robert Richardson on the second unit work of the thirty-minute film "To The Moon, Alice" (Showtime, 1990) and was primary director of photography for the Japan tour sequences of the documentary "Benny Carter: Symphony in Riffs" (A&E, 1992). Meanwhile, Wexler was the subject of the documentary, "Tell Them Who You Are" (2005), directed by his son, Mark. Wexler maintained a steady working pace for the rest of his career, including the political documentary "Four Days in Chicago" (2013), covering a 2012 protest at a NATO summit by the Occupy movement. Haskell Wexler died of undisclosed natural causes on December 27, 2015 at his home in Santa Monica, California. He was 93.

Relationships

Simon Wexler

Father

Nancy Ashenhurst

Wife
divorced mother of two of his children

Daryl Hannah Actor

Step-Niece
Born Dec. 3, 1960

Rita Taggart

Wife
married in 1989

Katherine Wexler

Daughter
mother, Nancy Ashenhurst

Jeffrey Wexler

Son
mother, Nancy Ashenhurst

Mark Wexler

Son
mother, Marian Witt

Jerry Wexler

Brother

Marian Witt

Wife
divorced

EDUCATION

University of California at Berkeley

Berkeley, California
attended one year

Francis W Parker School

Milestones

2013

Directed documentary feature "Four Days in Chicago"

2001

Earned Emmy nomination for lensing of the HBO movie "61*"

1996

Received Star No. 2062 on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (February 28)

1976

Made first film appearance in "Underground" (documentary)

1968

Made feature film writing and directing debut (also director of photography; producer), "Medium Cool"

1965

Made documentary directing and screenwriting debut, "The Bus" (also producer; director of photography)

1965

Co-produced (with John Calley) Tony Richardson's "The Loved One" (also director of photography)

1959

Scored first on-screen credit for cinematography, "Five Bold Women"

1958

Landed first film as director of photography (uncredited), "Stakeout on Dope Street"

Co-founded with Conrad L Hall, Wexler-Hall, Inc., a TV commercial production company, in mid-1970s

Worked as cameraman and later cinematographer on industrial and educational films

Bonus Trivia

.

As a Merchant Seaman during World War II, Wexler spent two weeks in a lifeboat after his ship was sunk.

.

After the war, Wexler partnered with his father to purchase a former armory in Des Plaines, IL and open a film studio. He later closed the studio to work as a cameraman on industrial and educational films.

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