John Alton

Director of photography, Author, Screenwriter
The Hungarian-born John Alton, who emigrated to the USA in 1919, shot his first films in Argentina in the 1930s and began his prolific Hollywood career with "The Courageous Dr. Christian" (1940), directed by Bernard ... Read more »
Born: 10/05/1901

Filmography

Camera, Film, & Tape (49)

Elmer Gantry 1960 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Lonelyhearts 1958 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Brothers Karamazov 1958 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Designing Woman 1957 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Tea and Sympathy 1956 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Catered Affair 1956 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Teahouse of the August Moon 1956 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Escape to Burma 1955 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Tennessee's Partner 1955 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Big Combo 1955 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Cattle Queen of Montana 1954 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Passion 1954 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Witness to Murder 1954 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Count the Hours 1953 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

I, the Jury 1953 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Battle Circus 1952 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

It's a Big Country 1952 (Movie)

cinematography (Cinematographer)

He Walked By Night 1948 (Movie)

(Photography)

T-Men 1948 (Movie)

(Photography)

The Pretender 1947 (Movie)

(Photography)

The Lady and the Monster 1944 (Movie)

(Photography)

Johnny Doughboy 1941 (Movie)

(Photography)

Melody For Three 1940 (Movie)

(Photography)

Power Dive 1940 (Movie)

(Photography)

Three Faces West 1939 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Affairs of Geraldine (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Border Incident (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Bury Me Dead (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Canon City (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Devil's Doorway (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Dr. Christian Meets the Women (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Father of the Bride (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Father's Little Dividend (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Grounds for Marriage (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Hit Parade of 1947 (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Murder in the Music Hall (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Mystery Street (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Remedy for Riches (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Slightly Scarlet (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Take the High Ground (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Talk About a Stranger (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

The Affairs of Jimmy Valentine (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

The Black Book (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

The Crooked Way (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

The Madonna's Secret (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

The Magnificent Rogue (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

The Trespasser (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Washington Story (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Wyoming (Movie)

(Cinematographer)
Actor (1)

Glorious Technicolor (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

The Hungarian-born John Alton, who emigrated to the USA in 1919, shot his first films in Argentina in the 1930s and began his prolific Hollywood career with "The Courageous Dr. Christian" (1940), directed by Bernard Vorhaus. He demonstrated a masterful command of chiaroscuro, the representation of light and shade without regard to color, with his work for Anthony Mann, notably "T-Men" (1947) and "Border Incident" (1949). Alton became known as a master of film noir, as well for his visual puns, usually involving shadows.

Relationships

Esther

Sister
lived in Israel

Rozalia Alton

Wife
Married for 55 years until her death 1987

Milestones

1993

Attended a tribute held for him at the Tellrude Film Festival

1962

After being fired from "Birdman of Alcatraz"; left the film industry; decided to devote time to traveling and painting instead

1960

Shot "Elmer Gantry" for Richard Brooks

1953

First worked with Richard Brooks, "Battle Circus"

1951

Was director of photography on final ballet sequence for "An American in Paris", directed by Minnelli; shared Best Cinematography (Color) Oscar

1950

First worked with Vincente Minnelli, "Father of the Bride"

1949

Wrote book, "Painting With Light"

1947

Had career breakthrough as cinematographer on "T-Men"

1940

First US film as director of photography, "The Courageous Dr. Christian"

1937

Returned to the USA

1933

Directorial debut with the Argentine film "El hijo de papa"

1933

First film as director of photography, "Los tres Berretines" (Argentina)

1932

Installed studios for Lumiton and Sono Film, Argentia

1931

Went to Paris as head of Paramount camera department

1928

First film as cameraman at Paramount; worked on "Spoilers of the West" and "Wyoming", both produced by David O Selznick

1924

Was lab technician with MGM

1923

Moved from NYC to LA

Began working in movies accidentally, as an extra on Marion Davies films

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