Cinematographer Jack Cardiff is no longer with us. Is there sadness in having lived 94 robust years, and in having shot 73 movies over a 72 year career? None I can sense. My favorite Cardiff-shot film is John Huston‘s The African Queen (’51), which I think was the first major-studio film to capture African locations in Technicolor. My second and third faves are The Vikings (’58), which Cardiff shot for director Richard Fleischer, and John Irvin‘s The Dogs of War (’80) — Cardiff’s last truly decent film.
Other noteworthy films shot by Cardiff (running backwards) include Girl on a Motorcycle, Fanny, Legend of the Lost, War and Peace,The Barefoot Contessa, The Black Rose, Alfred Hitchcock‘s Under Capricorn, The Red Shoes, Black Narcissus and Michael Powell‘s A Matter of Life and Death (a.k.a., Stairway to Heaven). Cardiff’s first job was uncredited photography on the 1935 version of The Last Days of Pompeii (when he was 21); he also shot a 1984 TV miniseries version with the same title.