Stanley Cortez

Director of photography, Camera operator, Photographer
A master of chiaroscuro cinematography, Stanley Cortez once described himself as "always chosen to shoot weird things. " Born Stanislaus Krantz in NYC, he adopted his stage name from his older brother, actor-director ... Read more »
Born: 11/04/1905 in New York City, New York, USA


Camera, Film, & Tape (21)

When Time Ran Out 1979 (Movie)

miniature photography (Photography)

Another Man, Another Chance 1976 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon 1970 (Movie)

title sequence photography (Photography)

The Bridge at Remagen 1969 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Blue 1968 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini 1965 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Nightmare in the Sun 1964 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Naked Kiss 1964 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Young Dillinger 1964 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Shock Corridor 1963 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Back Street 1961 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Dinosaurus! 1960 (Movie)

cinematography (Cinematographer)

The Angry Red Planet 1958 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Thunder in the Sun 1958 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Three Faces of Eve 1957 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Top Secret Affair 1957 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Man From Del Rio 1956 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Night of the Hunter 1955 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd 1951 (Movie)

cinematography (Cinematographer)

The Magnificent Ambersons 1942 (Movie)


The Black Cat 1940 (Movie)

Actor (1)

D.W. Griffith: Father of Film 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)



A master of chiaroscuro cinematography, Stanley Cortez once described himself as "always chosen to shoot weird things. " Born Stanislaus Krantz in NYC, he adopted his stage name from his older brother, actor-director Ricardo Cortez (1899-1977). While still an undergraduate, Cortez began working as an assistant cameraman on silent films. At the advent of talking pictures, he worked as a photographer's assistant to Edward Steichen and Pirie MacDonald and briefly pursued a career as a portrait photographer in his own right. He wrote, directed and shot the short "Scherzo" (1932) before landing as a contract cinematographer at Universal in the late 1930s. Many of the early features he shot were undistinguished (an exception was 1934's minor horror classic "The Black Cat"), but Cortez developed a reputation for economy and efficiency. He was loaned to RKO to shoot Orson Welles' "The Magnificent Ambersons" (1942). Sparing no expense, he and Welles created a particular look for the film drawn from the low-key lighting utilized by early photographic pioneers. Cortez's fluid camerawork with its deep-focus and unique framing kept the film visually interesting and he earned his first Oscar nomination for Best Cinematography. His second Academy Award nomination was for his work alongside Lee Garmes on the epic "Since You Went Away" (1944).

Cortez utilized color for the first time on the superb thriller "The Man on the Eiffel Tower" (1949) which captured the beauty of its Paris setting as well as enhanced the story's inherent mysteries. That film's leading man, Charles Laughton, was impressed enough to hire the cinematographer for "The Night of the Hunter" (1955). Laughton as director created a stylized look for the film that borrowed from German expressionism to American silents. Although the film was a box-office flop in its day, it has since achieved a richly deserved reputation as a classic, with Cortez's photography a major factor in setting the thriller's mood. He also shot "The Three Faces of Eve" (1957) and his camerawork was instrumental in establishing each of the heroine's personalities. For the remainder of his career, however, the director of photography was often employed on low-budget productions that were of varying quality, although he was allowed room for visual experimentation.


Ricardo Cortez

born 1899 died 1977


New York University

New York , New York
began working as an assitant cameraman while still an undergraduate



Final feature credit, miniature photography for "When Time Ran Out"


Last feature as director of photography, Claude Lelouch's "Another Man, Another Chance"


Shot the ABC comedy thriller "Do Not Fold, Spindle or Mutilate"


Was director of photography for "The Three Faces of Eve"


Selected by Charles Laughton to shoot "Night of the Hunter"


First work in Technicolor "The Man on the Eiffel Tower"


Earned second Oscar nomination for "Since You Went Away"


Served as photographer in US Signal Corps during WWII


Returned to Universal


Loaned to RKO for Orson Welles' "The Magnificent Ambersons" (1942); garnered first Academy Award nomination


First feature as director of photography, "Four Day's Wonder"


Short film directing debut (also writer; cinematographer), "Scherzo"


First film as assistant cameraman

Put under contract at Universal; shot numerous B-movies

Worked as photographer's assistant to Edward Steichen and Pirie MacDonald

Relegated to B-movies for most of the rest of his career