James Wong Howe

Director of photography, Director, Cutting room assistant
In the USA from 1904, Howe worked his way up from the position of janitor at the Lasky Studios in 1917 to become one of the greatest, and most prolific, Hollywood cinematographers of all time. His achievement seems ... Read more »
Born: 08/28/1899 in China

Filmography

Camera, Film, & Tape (85)

Funny Lady 1975 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Last of the Mobile Hot-Shots 1970 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Molly Maguires 1970 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter 1968 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Hombre 1966 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Seconds 1966 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

This Property Is Condemned 1966 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Glory Guys 1964 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Outrage 1963 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Hud 1962 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Song Without End 1960 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Story on Page One 1959 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Bell, Book and Candle 1958 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Last Angry Man 1958 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Old Man and the Sea 1958 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Sweet Smell of Success 1957 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Drango 1956 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Picnic 1956 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Rose Tattoo 1955 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Come Back Little Sheba 1953 (Movie)

cinematography (Cinematographer)

Main Street to Broadway 1953 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Jennifer 1952 (Movie)

cinematography (Cinematographer)

He Ran All the Way 1951 (Movie)

cinematography (Cinematographer)

The Brave Bulls 1950 (Movie)

cinematography (Cinematographer)

The Baron of Arizona 1949 (Movie)

(Photography)

The Time of Your Life 1948 (Movie)

(Photography)

Body and Soul 1947 (Movie)

(Photography)

Pursued 1947 (Movie)

(Photography)

Passage to Marseille 1944 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Hangmen Also Die 1942 (Movie)

cinematography (Cinematographer)

Yankee Doodle Dandy 1942 (Movie)

(Photography)

City For Conquest 1940 (Movie)

(Photography)

Kings Row 1940 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Strawberry Blonde 1940 (Movie)

(Photography)

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer 1938 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Oklahoma Kid 1938 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Algiers 1937 (Movie)

cinematography (Cinematographer)

The Prisoner of Zenda 1936 (Movie)

(Photography)

Hollywood Party 1934 (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

The Thin Man 1933 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Power and the Glory 1932 (Movie)

(Photography)

The Yellow Ticket 1930 (Movie)

(Photography)

Transatlantic 1930 (Movie)

(Photography)

Laugh, Clown, Laugh 1927 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Sorrell and Son 1926 (Movie)

(Photography)

Not So Long Ago 1924 (Movie)

(Photography)

Peter Pan 1923 (Movie)

(Photography)

Male and Female 1918 (Movie)

photography assistant (Camera Assistant)

A Dispatch from Reuters (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Abe Lincoln in Illinois (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Air Force (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Amateur Daddy (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Beauty for Sale (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Behave Yourself! (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Chandu the Magician (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Comet over Broadway (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Confidential Agent (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Counter Attack (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Daughters Courageous (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Dust Be My Destiny (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Fire Over England (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Manhattan Melodrama (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Mantrap (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Mark of the Vampire (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

My Reputation (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Navy Blues (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Nora Prentiss (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Objective, Burma! (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Out of the Fog (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Saturday's Children (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Sea Horses (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Stamboul Quest (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Tess of the Storm Country (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

The North Star (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

The Perfect Crime (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

The Rough Riders (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

The Show-Off (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

They Made Me a Criminal (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Torrid Zone (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Tripoli (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Under the Red Robe (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Viva Villa! (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Whipsaw (Movie)

(Cinematographer)
Actor (2)

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

Himself (Actor)

James Wong Howe, A.S.C.: A Lesson in Light 1972 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)
Production Management (1)

I Walk the Line 1970 (Movie)

pre-production manager (Production Manager)
Director (1)

Go, Man, Go! 1954 (Movie)

(Director)

Biography

In the USA from 1904, Howe worked his way up from the position of janitor at the Lasky Studios in 1917 to become one of the greatest, and most prolific, Hollywood cinematographers of all time. His achievement seems today all the more remarkable given the paucity of people of Asian descent who were able to obtain major positions in the Hollywood system. The list of directors with whom he worked reads like a history of American cinema, stretching from Victor Fleming and Allan Dwan in the 1920s to Sidney Lumet and John Frankenheimer in the 60s, with a number of landmark figures in between.

Nicknamed 'Low Key Hoe' for his unadorned style, Howe pioneered the use of deep-focus photography and of the hand-held camera; for Robert Rossen's matador feature "The Brave Bulls" (1951), he strapped cameras to the actors' waists to capture an unprecedented perspective on the action. He also brought great excitement to the boxing scenes in Rossen's "Body and Soul" (1947) by photographing them in the ring while wearing roller skates. Howe also directed several films and TV shows and formed three production companies during his career.

Relationships

Sanora Babb

Wife

Milestones

1954

Debut as director with "Go, Man, Go"

1922

Debut as director of photography

1920

1919

Was a photography assistant on such films as "Male and Female", "Puppy Love" and "Told in the Hills"

1904

Immigrated to USA from China at age five

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