Oswald Morris

Director of photography, Projectionist, Clapper boy
One of Britain's leading directors of photography, Oswald Morris eschewed formal training to work his way from clapper boy to cinematographer. His lifelong interest in films began as a child when he found work as a ... Read more »
Born: 11/22/1915 in Middlesex, England, GB


Camera, Film, & Tape (48)

The Entertainer 1989 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Dark Crystal 1982 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Great Muppet Caper 1981 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Just Tell Me What You Want 1980 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Wiz 1978 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Equus 1977 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Man Who Would Be King 1975 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Seven Per-Cent Solution 1975 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Dracula 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Director of Photography

The Odessa File 1973 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Lady Caroline Lamb 1972 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Sleuth 1972 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Mackintosh Man 1972 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Fiddler on the Roof 1971 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Fragment of Fear 1971 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Scrooge 1970 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Goodbye, Mr. Chips 1969 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Great Catherine 1968 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Oliver! 1968 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Taming of the Shrew 1967 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Stop the World -- I Want to Get Off 1966 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Life at the Top 1965 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Mister Moses 1965 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold 1965 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Winter's Tale 1965 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Of Human Bondage 1964 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Battle of the Villa Fiorita 1964 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Hill 1964 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Pumpkin Eater 1964 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Ceremony 1963 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Term of Trial 1962 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Come Fly With Me 1961 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Lolita 1961 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Satan Never Sleeps 1961 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Guns of Navarone 1961 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Look Back in Anger 1959 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Our Man in Havana 1959 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Key 1958 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Roots of Heaven 1958 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

A Farewell to Arms 1957 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison 1957 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Moby Dick 1956 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Beau Brummell 1954 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Beat the Devil 1953 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Lovers, Happy Lovers! 1953 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Moulin Rouge 1953 (Movie)

cinematography (Cinematographer)

The Promoter 1952 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Captain Boycott (Movie)

Actor (2)

John Huston: The Man, The Movies, The Maverick 1987 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Glorious Technicolor (TV Show)



One of Britain's leading directors of photography, Oswald Morris eschewed formal training to work his way from clapper boy to cinematographer. His lifelong interest in films began as a child when he found work as a projectionist during school vacations. Dropping out of school at age 16, Morris found work as an unpaid assistant/apprentice to the chief engineer at London's Wembley Studio. When the studio closed briefly in 1934-35, he moved to BIP Studios where he worked as a clapper boy on films like "The Third Clue" and "Mr. Cinders" (both 1934). Returning to reopened Wembley Studios, Morris was promoted first to camera assistant, then camera operator. During WWII, he served in the Royal Air Force (receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross).

After the war, Morris signed a three-year contract as a camera operator with Independent Producers based at Pinewood Studios. Among the films he worked on during this tenure include Sidney Gilliat's "Green for Danger" (1946) and two David Lean features, "David Copperfield" (1948) and "The Passionate Friends/One Woman's Story" (1949). Morris was promoted to director of photography with Ronald Neame's "Golden Salamander" (1949). In 1952, he began a collaboration with director John Huston that lasted over twenty years and included such distinguished efforts as "Moulin Rouge" (1952), "Beat the Devil" (1953) "Moby Dick" (1956), uncredited work on "Reflections in a Golden Eye" (1967) and "The Man Who Would Be King" (1975).

Once Morris' reputation was established in the early 50s, he went on to work with some of the world's best directors on such films as Carol Reed's "The Key" (1958) and "Our Man in Havana" (1960), Tony Richardson's "Look Back in Anger" (1959) and "The Entertainer" (1960), J. Lee Thompson's "The Guns of Navarone" (1961), Stanley Kubrick's "Lolita" (1962), Franco Zeffirelli's "The Taming of the Shrew" (1967), and Joseph L. Mankiewicz's claustrophobic "Sleuth" (1972). In the mid-60s, he won three consecutive British Academy Awards for his evocative black-and-white work on Jack Clayton's intimate "The Pumpkin Eater" (1964) Sidney Lumet's prison camp drama "The Hill" (1965) and Martin Ritt's "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold" (1965; released in the United Kingdom in 1966).

In the mid-60s, Morris began to shoot musicals and won particular praise for his stunning camera work on Carol Reed's Oscar-winner "Oliver!" (1968), Herbert Ross' musicalization of "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" (1969), Ronald Neame's "Scrooge" (1970) and particularly Norman Jewison's "Fiddler on the Roof" (1971). The latter earned Morris the Best Cinematography Oscar. His sole television credit is Dan Curtis' evocative small screen remake of "Dracula" (CBS, 1974). As his career wound down, Morris worked again with Ross on the pastiche "The Seven Per-Cent Solution" (1976) and on three more films with Sidney Lumet, the stark "Equus" (1977), the colorful "The Wiz" (1978) and "Just Tell Me What You Want" (1980). Morris ended his career with two children's films, Jim Henson's "The Great Muppet Caper" (1981) and Henson and Frank Oz's "The Dark Crystal" (1982).


Reginald Morris


Lee Turner

second wife


Bishopshalt School

dropped out of school at age 16

Ruislip Council School



Last film with Sidney Lumet "Just Tell Me What You Want"


Final film with John Huston, "The Man Who Would Be King"


Sole television credit, photography on "Dracula", directed by Dan Curtis


Won Oscar for Cinematography for "Fiddler on the Roof"


First musical feature "Stop the World-I Want to Get Off"


Shot Sidney Lumet's "The Hill"


First collaboration with Carol Reed "The Key"


Hired by producer David O Selznick to oversee close-up photography on "Indiscretion of an American Wife/Stazione termini", starring Selznick's wfe Jennifer Jones


First collaboration with director John Huston, "Moulin Rouge"


Shot first feature, "Golden Salamander", directed by Ronald Neame


Signed to three-year contract as camera operator with Independent Producers, based at Pinewood Studios


Served in Royal Air Force during WWII


Worked at BIP and Pinewood Studios as an assistant cameraman and later cameraman


First features as camera assitant/operator include "Smith's Wives", "Old Roses" and "Blue Smoke"


Returned to Wembley when it reopened; became camera assistant


When Wembley closed, moved to BIP Studios as clapper boy


Dropped out of school at age 16; found work as unpaid assistant/apprentice at Wembley Studios; first films "Born Lucky" and "After Dark"

Served as cinematographer for two Tony Richardson films, "Look Back in Anger" and "The Entertainer"

Worked as lecturer at the London Film School in the 1970s

Began working as a projectionist while in school

Final films as cinematographer "The Great Muppet Caper" and "The Dark Crystal", directed by Jim Henson

Bonus Trivia


He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service during WWII.


Morris received additional Oscar nominations for Best Cinematography in 1968 for "Oliver!" and in 1978 for "The Wiz".


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