Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
James Wong Howe

James Wong Howe

Discussion
Ask a question about 'James Wong Howe'
Start a new discussion about 'James Wong Howe'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
James Wong Howe, A.S.C. (Chinese 黃宗霑; pinyin
Pinyin
Pinyin is the official system to transcribe Chinese characters into the Roman alphabet in China, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan. It is also often used to teach Mandarin Chinese and spell Chinese names in foreign publications and used as an input method to enter Chinese characters into...

: Huáng Zōngzhān) (August 28, 1899 - July 12, 1976) was a Chinese American
Chinese American
Chinese Americans represent Americans of Chinese descent. Chinese Americans constitute one group of overseas Chinese and also a subgroup of East Asian Americans, which is further a subgroup of Asian Americans...

 cinematographer
Cinematographer
A cinematographer is one photographing with a motion picture camera . The title is generally equivalent to director of photography , used to designate a chief over the camera and lighting crews working on a film, responsible for achieving artistic and technical decisions related to the image...

 who worked on over 130 films. A master at the use of shadow, he was one of the first to use deep-focus cinematography
Deep focus
Deep focus is a photographic and cinematographic technique using a large depth of field. Depth of field is the front-to-back range of focus in an image — that is, how much of it appears sharp and clear. Consequently, in deep focus the foreground, middle-ground and background are all in focus...

, photography in which both foreground and distant planes remain in focus.

During the 1930s and 1940s he was one of the most sought after cinematographers in Hollywood. He was nominated for ten Academy Awards
Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

 for cinematography, winning twice. Howe was judged to be one of history's ten most influential cinematographers in a survey of the members of the International Cinematographers Guild.

Early life


Howe was born Wong Tung Jim in Taishan
Taishan
Taishan is a coastal county-level city in Guangdong Province, China. The city is part of the Greater Taishan Region....

, Canton Province (now Guangdong
Guangdong
Guangdong is a province on the South China Sea coast of the People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province...

), China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 in 1899. His father Wong Howe moved to America that year to work on the Northern Pacific Railway
Northern Pacific Railway
The Northern Pacific Railway was a railway that operated in the west along the Canadian border of the United States. Construction began in 1870 and the main line opened all the way from the Great Lakes to the Pacific when former president Ulysses S. Grant drove in the final "golden spike" in...

 and in 1904 sent for his family. The Howes settled in Pasco, Washington
Pasco, Washington
Pasco is a city in and the county seat of Franklin County, Washington, United States.Pasco is one of three cities that make up the Tri-Cities region of the state of Washington...

, where they owned a general store. A childhood Brownie
Brownie (camera)
Brownie is the name of a long-running and extremely popular series of simple and inexpensive cameras made by Eastman Kodak. The Brownie popularized low-cost photography and introduced the concept of the snapshot. The first Brownie, introduced in February, 1900, was a very basic cardboard box camera...

, said to have been bought at Pasco Drug (a now-closed city landmark), sparked an early interest in photography. After his father's death, the teenaged Howe moved to Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

 to live with his uncle and briefly considered (1915-16) a career as a bantamweight boxer. After compiling a record of 5 wins, 2 losses and a draw, Howe moved to the San Francisco Bay area in hopes of attending aviation school but ran out of money and went south to Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles , with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621, is the most populous city in California, USA and the second most populous in the United States, after New York City. It has an area of , and is located in Southern California...

. Once there, Howe took several odd jobs, including work as a commercial photographer's delivery boy and as a busboy at the Beverly Hills Hotel. After a chance encounter with a former boxing colleague who was photographing a Mack Sennett short on the streets of Los Angeles, Howe approached cinematographer Alvin Wyckoff and landed a low-level job in the film lab at Famous Players-Lasky Studios. Soon thereafter he was called to the set of The Little American
The Little American
The Little American is a 1917 American silent drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. The film stars Mary Pickford as an American woman who is in love with both a German and a French soldier during World War I.-Plot:...

 to act as a extra clapper boy, which brought him into contact with silent film director Cecil B. DeMille
Cecil B. DeMille
Cecil Blount DeMille was an American film director and Academy Award-winning film producer in both silent and sound films. He was renowned for the flamboyance and showmanship of his movies...

. Amused by the sight of the diminuative Asian holding the slate with a large cigar in his mouth, DeMille kept Howe on and launched his career as a camera assistant. To earn additional money, Howe took publicity stills for Hollywood stars.

Silent film


One of those still photographs launched Howe's career as a cinematographer when he stumbled across a means of making actress Mary Miles Minter
Mary Miles Minter
Mary Miles Minter was an American film actress of the silent film era.-Early life and rise to stardom:Born Juliet Reilly in Shreveport, Louisiana, Minter was the daughter of Broadway actress Charlotte Shelby...

's eyes look darker by photographing her while she was looking at a dark surface (see Howe's technical innovations for more details). Minter requested that Howe be first cameraman, that is director of photography, on her next feature, and Howe shot Minter's closeups for Drums of Fate by placing black velvet in a large frame around the camera. Throughout his career, Howe retained a reputation for making actresses look their best through lighting alone and seldom resorted to using gauze or other diffusion over the lens to soften their features. Howe worked steadily as a cinematographer from 1923 until the end of the era of silent film
Silent film
A silent film is a film with no synchronized recorded sound, especially with no spoken dialogue. In silent films for entertainment the dialogue is transmitted through muted gestures, pantomime and title cards...

.

In 1928, Howe was in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 shooting backgrounds for a movie he hoped to direct. The project he was working on was never completed (although some of the footage was used in Shanghai Express
Shanghai Express (film)
Shanghai Express is a 1932 American film directed by Josef von Sternberg. The pre-Code picture stars Marlene Dietrich, Clive Brook, Anna May Wong, and Warner Oland. It was written by Jules Furthman, based on a story by Harry Hervey. It was the fourth of seven teamings of Sternberg and Dietrich.The...

), and when he returned to Hollywood, he discovered that the "talkies"
Sound film
A sound film is a motion picture with synchronized sound, or sound technologically coupled to image, as opposed to a silent film. The first known public exhibition of projected sound films took place in Paris in 1900, but decades would pass before sound motion pictures were made commercially...

 had largely supplanted silent productions. With no experience in that medium, Howe could not find work. To reestablish himself, Howe first co-financed a Japanese-language feature shot in Southern California entitled Chijiku wo mawasuru chikara (The Force that Turns the Earth around its Axis), which he also photographed and co-directed. When that film failed to find an audience in California's nisei
Nisei
During the early years of World War II, Japanese Americans were forcibly relocated from their homes in the Pacific coast states because military leaders and public opinion combined to fan unproven fears of sabotage...

 communities or Japan, Howe shot the low-budget feature Today for no salary. Finally, director/producer Howard Hawks
Howard Hawks
Howard Winchester Hawks was an American film director, producer and screenwriter of the classic Hollywood era...

, who, he had met on The Little American
The Little American
The Little American is a 1917 American silent drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. The film stars Mary Pickford as an American woman who is in love with both a German and a French soldier during World War I.-Plot:...

 hired him for Criminal Code
Criminal Code
A criminal code is a document which compiles all, or a significant amount of, a particular jurisdiction's criminal law...

 and then director William K. Howard
William K. Howard
William K. Howard was a film director, writer and producer.Howard began his work in Hollywood as an assistant director on the 1920 release The Adorable Savage. The following year, he received his first directing credits, for Get Your Man, Play Square and What Love Will Do...

 selected him to be the cinematographer on Transatlantic
Transatlantic (film)
Transatlantic is a 1931 comedy film directed by William K. Howard. It won an Academy Award for Best Art Direction by Gordon Wiles. -Cast:* Edmund Lowe - Monty Greer* Lois Moran - Judy Kramer* John Halliday - Henry D. Graham...

.

Sound film and the war years


Howe's innovative work on Transatlantic reestablished him as one of the leading cinematographers in Hollywood, and he worked continuously through the 1930s and 1940s, generally on several movies a year. Howe gained a reputation as a perfectionist who could be difficult to work with, often overruling and even berating other members of the film crew
Film crew
Television crew positions are derived from those of film crew positions.A film crew is a group of people hired by a production company for the purpose of producing a film or motion picture. Crew are distinguished from cast, the Actors who appear in front of the camera or provide voices for...

. In a 1945 issue of The Screen Writer http://www.theasc.com/magazine/mar99/howe/pg1.htm, Howe stated his views of a cameraman's responsibility, writing in The Cameraman Talks Back that
"[t]he cameraman confers with the director on: (a) the composition of shots for action, since some scenes require definite composition for their best dramatic effect, while others require the utmost fluidity, or freedom from any strict definition or stylization; (b) atmosphere; (c) the dramatic mood of the story, which they plan together from beginning to end; (d) the action of the piece." Howe's broad view of a cinematographer's responsibilities reflected those established for first cameramen in silent films and continued through the studio era where most directors were also contract employees mainly in charge of actor performances.

Howe was nominated for an Academy Award in 1944 in the "Best Cinematography: Black-and-White" category for his work on the movie Air Force, which nomination he shared with Elmer Dyer
Elmer Dyer
Elmer Dyer, A.S.C. was an American cinematographer, the first film cameraman to specialize in aerial photography.Dyer was born in Lawrence, Kansas and died in Hollywood.-External links:...

, A.S.C., and Charles A. Marshall.

In the early 1930s, while at MGM, Howe, who had generally been billed as "James Howe", began listing his name in film credits as "James Wong Howe". Over the course of his career, he was also credited as "James How", "Jimmie Howe", and "James Wong How." Often publicized as a Chinese cameraman, Howe was prevented from becoming a U.S. citizen until the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1943.
Prior to World War II, Howe met his future wife, novelist Sanora Babb
Sanora Babb
Sanora Babb was an American novelist, poet and literary editor. She was also the wife of famed cinematographer James Wong Howe.-Life:...

, whom he married in 1937 in Paris. Due to anti-miscegenation
Miscegenation
Miscegenation is the mixing of different racial groups through marriage, cohabitation, sexual relations, and procreation....

 laws, the marriage would not be legally recognized in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 until 1949. Babb died in 2005, aged 98.

Post-war


After the end of World War II, Howe's long-term contract with Warner Bros. lapsed, and he went to China to work on a documentary about rickshaw boys. When he returned Howe found himself gray-listed. While never a Communist, Howe was named in testimony as a sympathizer. Although Sanora Babb, who had been a member of the Communist Party, moved to Mexico for a time, Howe again had trouble finding employment until writer/director Samuel Fuller
Samuel Fuller
Samuel Michael Fuller was an American screenwriter, novelist, and film director known for low-budget genre movies with controversial themes.-Personal life:...

 hired him to shoot The Baron of Arizona
The Baron of Arizona
The Baron of Arizona is a 1950 film by Samuel Fuller and starring Vincent Price. Ed Wood was a stunt double in the film.The film concerns a master forger's attempted use of false documents to lay claim to the territory of Arizona late in the 19th century, and is based on the case of James Reavis,...

.

Again reestablished, Howe's camerawork continued to be highly regarded. In 1949 he shot tests and was hired for a never made comeback film starring Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo , born Greta Lovisa Gustafsson, was a Swedish film actress. Garbo was an international star and icon during Hollywood's silent and classic periods. Many of Garbo's films were sensational hits, and all but three were profitable...

 (La Duchesse de Langeais). In 1956, Howe won his first Academy Award
Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

 for The Rose Tattoo. The film's director, Daniel Mann
Daniel Mann
Daniel Mann, also known as Daniel Chugerman , was an American film and television director.Daniel Mann was born in Brooklyn, New York. He was a stage actor since childhood, and attended Erasmus Hall High School, New York's Professional Children's School and the Neighborhood Playhouse...

, had originally been a stage director and later stated that he gave Howe control over almost all decisions about the filming other than those regarding the actors and dialogue. In 1957's Sweet Smell of Success
Sweet Smell of Success
Sweet Smell of Success is a 1957 American film noir made by Hill-Hecht-Lancaster Productions and released by United Artists. It was directed by Alexander Mackendrick and stars Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Susan Harrison and Martin Milner. The screenplay was written by Clifford Odets, Ernest Lehman...

, Howe worked with director Alexander Mackendrick
Alexander Mackendrick
Alexander Mackendrick was a Scottish American director and teacher. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts and later moved to Scotland...

 to give the black-and-white film a sharp-edged look reminiscent of New York tabloid photography such as that taken by Arthur "Weegee" Fellig
Weegee
Weegee was the pseudonym of Arthur Fellig , a photographer and photojournalist, known for his stark black and white street photography....

. During the 1950s, Howe directed his only English-language feature films, The Invisible Avenger, one of many film adaptions of The Shadow
The Shadow
The Shadow is a collection of serialized dramas, originally in pulp magazines, then on 1930s radio and then in a wide variety of media, that follow the exploits of the title character, a crime-fighting vigilante in the pulps, which carried over to the airwaves as a "wealthy, young man about town"...

, and Go, Man, Go!, a movie about the Harlem Globetrotters
Harlem Globetrotters
The Harlem Globetrotters are an exhibition basketball team that combines athleticism, theater and comedy. The executive offices for the team are currently in downtown Phoenix, Arizona; the team is owned by Shamrock Holdings, which oversees the various investments of the Roy E. Disney family.Over...

. Neither was a critical or commercial success. In 1961 Howe directed episodes of Checkmate
Checkmate
Checkmate is a situation in chess in which one player's king is threatened with capture and there is no way to meet that threat. Or, simply put, the king is under direct attack and cannot avoid being captured...

 and 87th Precinct
87th Precinct
The 87th Precinct is a series of police procedural novels and stories written by Ed McBain. McBain's 87th Precinct works have been adapted, sometimes loosely, into movies and television on several occasions.-Setting:...

 then refocused on cinematography.

Later life and work


Howe's best known work was almost entirely in black and white. His two Academy Awards both came during the period when Best Cinematography Oscars were awarded separately for color and black-and-white films. However, he successfully made the transition to color films and earned his first Academy Award nomination for a color film in 1958 for The Old Man and the Sea
The Old Man and the Sea
The Old Man and the Sea is a novel written by American author Ernest Hemingway in 1951 in Cuba, and published in 1952. It was the last major work of fiction to be produced by Hemingway and published in his lifetime. One of his most famous works, it centers upon Santiago, an aging fisherman who...

. He won his second Academy Award for 1963's Hud
Hud (film)
Hud is a 1963 western film whose title character is an embittered and selfish modern-day cowboy. With screenplay by Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank, Jr., based on Larry McMurtry's 1961 novel Horseman, Pass By, it was directed by Martin Ritt and stars Paul Newman, Melvyn Douglas, Patricia Neal and...

. His cinematography remained inventive during his later career. For instance, his use of fish-eye and wide-angle lenses in Seconds
Seconds (film)
Seconds is a 1966 American film starring Rock Hudson. Characterized sometimes as a science fiction thriller, but with elements of horror, neo-noir, psychedelia, and drama, it was directed by John Frankenheimer with a screenplay by Lewis John Carlino. The script was based on a novel by David Ely...

(1966) helped give an eerie tension to director John Frankenheimer
John Frankenheimer
John Michael Frankenheimer was an American film and television director known for social dramas and action/suspense films...

's science fiction movie. After working on The Molly Maguires (1970), Howe's health began to fail and he entered semi-retirement. In 1974, he was well enough to be selected as a replacement cinematographer for Funny Lady
Funny Lady
Funny Lady is a 1975 film starring Barbra Streisand, James Caan, Omar Sharif, Roddy McDowall, and Ben Vereen.A sequel to the 1968 film Funny Girl, it is a highly fictionalized account of the later life and career of comedienne Fanny Brice and her marriage to songwriter and empresario Billy Rose...

. He collapsed during the filming; American Society of Cinematographers
American Society of Cinematographers
The American Society of Cinematographers is an educational, cultural, and professional organization. It is not a labor union, and it is not a guild. Membership is by invitation and is extended only to directors of photography and special effects experts with distinguished credits in the film...

 president Ernest Laszlo
Ernest Laszlo
Ernest Laszlo, A.S.C. was a Hungarian-American cinematographer for over 60 films, and was known for his frequent collaborations with directors Robert Aldrich and Stanley Kramer...

 filled in for Howe while he was recovering in the hospital. Funny Lady earned Howe his tenth and final Oscar nomination. Three documentaries were made about Howe during the last two decades of his life.

He is buried at Pierce Bros. Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles.

Technical innovations


Howe's earliest discovery was the use of black velvet to make blue eyes show up better on the orthochromatic film stock in use until the early 1920s. Orthochromatic film was "blue blind"; it was sensitive to blue and green light, which showed as white on the developed film. Reds and yellows were darkened. Faced with the problem of actors' eyes appearing washed out or even stark white on film, Howe developed a technique of mounting a frame swathed with black velvet around his camera so that the reflections darkened the actors' eyes enough for them to appear more natural in the developed film.

Howe earned the nickname "Low-Key
Low-key lighting
Low-key lighting is a style of lighting for photography, film or television. It is a necessary element in creating a chiaroscuro effect. Traditional photographic lighting, three-point lighting uses a key light, a fill light, and a back light for illumination...

" because of his penchant for dramatic lighting and deep shadows, a technique that came to be associated with "Film Noir". Later in his career, as film-stocks became faster and more sensitive, Howe would continue to experiment with his photography and lighting techniques, such as shooting one scene in The Molly Maguires solely by candlelight.

Howe also was known for his use of unusual lenses, film stocks, and shooting techniques. In the 1920s, he was an early adopter of the crab dolly, a form of camera dolly
Camera dolly
A camera dolly is a specialized piece of filmmaking and television production equipment designed to create smooth camera movements . The camera is mounted to the dolly and the camera operator and focus puller or camera assistant, usually ride on the dolly to operate the camera...

 with four independent wheels and a movable arm to which the camera is attached. He entered the ring on roller-skates, carrying an early hand-held camera, for the boxing scenes of Body and Soul (1947). Picnic (1955) features a very early example of the helicopter shot filmed by the second-unit cinematographer, Haskell Wexler
Haskell Wexler
Haskell Wexler, A.S.C. is an American cinematographer, film producer, and director. Wexler was judged to be one of film history's ten most influential cinematographers in a survey of the members of the International Cinematographers Guild.-Early life and education:Wexler was born to a Jewish...

, and planned by Wexler and Howe.

Although the film technique of deep focus
Deep focus
Deep focus is a photographic and cinematographic technique using a large depth of field. Depth of field is the front-to-back range of focus in an image — that is, how much of it appears sharp and clear. Consequently, in deep focus the foreground, middle-ground and background are all in focus...

 is most associated with cinematographer Gregg Toland
Gregg Toland
Gregg Toland, A.S.C. was an American cinematographer noted for his innovative use of lighting and techniques such as deep focus, an example of which can be found in his work on Orson Welles' Citizen Kane.-Career:...

, Howe used it in his first sound film, Transatlantic
Transatlantic (film)
Transatlantic is a 1931 comedy film directed by William K. Howard. It won an Academy Award for Best Art Direction by Gordon Wiles. -Cast:* Edmund Lowe - Monty Greer* Lois Moran - Judy Kramer* John Halliday - Henry D. Graham...

, ten years before Toland made the technique on Citizen Kane
Citizen Kane
Citizen Kane is a 1941 American drama film, directed by and starring Orson Welles. Many critics consider it the greatest American film of all time, especially for its innovative cinematography, music and narrative structure. Citizen Kane was Welles' first feature film...

. For deep focus, the cinematographer stops the lens down and floods the set with light so that elements in both the foreground and background remain in sharp focus. The technique requires highly sensitive film and was difficult to achieve with early film stocks; Toland, Howe, and Arthur Edeson
Arthur Edeson
Arthur Edeson, A.S.C. was a film cinematographer, born in New York City.He was nominated for three Academy Awards in his career in cinema.-Career:...

 were among the earliest cinematographers to carry off the effect.

Frequent collaborators

  • Herbert Brenon
  • John Cromwell
    John Cromwell
    John Cromwell may refer to:*John Cromwell , American film director*John P. Cromwell , American naval officer...

  • Victor Fleming
    Victor Fleming
    Victor Lonzo Fleming was an American film director, cinematographer, and producer. His most popular films were The Wizard of Oz , and Gone with the Wind , for which he won an Academy Award for Best Director.-Life and career:Fleming was born in La Canada, California, the son of Elizabeth Evaleen ...

  • Samuel Fuller
    Samuel Fuller
    Samuel Michael Fuller was an American screenwriter, novelist, and film director known for low-budget genre movies with controversial themes.-Personal life:...

  • Howard Hawks
    Howard Hawks
    Howard Winchester Hawks was an American film director, producer and screenwriter of the classic Hollywood era...

  • William K. Howard
    William K. Howard
    William K. Howard was a film director, writer and producer.Howard began his work in Hollywood as an assistant director on the 1920 release The Adorable Savage. The following year, he received his first directing credits, for Get Your Man, Play Square and What Love Will Do...

  • Martin Ritt
    Martin Ritt
    Martin Ritt was an American director, actor, and playwright who worked in both film and theater. He was born in New York City.-Early career and influences:...

  • David O. Selznick
    David O. Selznick
    David O. Selznick was an American film producer. He is best known for having produced Gone with the Wind and Rebecca , both of which earned him an Oscar for Best Picture.-Early years:...


Selected filmography

  • Drums of Fate, 1923
  • On the Trail of the Lonesome Pine, 1923
  • The Alaskan
    The Alaskan (1924 film)
    The Alaskan is a 1924 silent adventure drama based on a novel by James Oliver Curwood set in northwoods country as his novels tend to be. In this case Alaska. The film was produced and released by Paramount Pictures and directed by Herbert Brenon...

    , 1924
  • Peter Pan
    Peter Pan (1924 film)
    Peter Pan is a 1924 adventure silent film released by Paramount Pictures, the first film adaptation of the play by J. M. Barrie. It was directed by Herbert Brenon and starred Betty Bronson as Peter Pan, Ernest Torrence as Captain Hook, Mary Brian as Wendy, and Virginia Browne Faire as Tinker Bell...

    , 1924
  • The King on Main Street
    The King on Main Street (1925 film)
    __notoc__The King on Main Street is a silent film romantic comedy directed by Monta Bell, released by Paramount Pictures, and starring Adolphe Menjou and Bessie Love. Carlotta Monterey, later wife of Eugene O'Neill from 1929 to 1953, has a small role as Mrs...

    , 1925
  • Mantrap, 1926
  • Laugh, Clown, Laugh
    Laugh, Clown, Laugh
    Laugh, Clown, Laugh is a 1928 silent film starring Lon Chaney and Loretta Young. The movie was directed by Herbert Brenon and produced and released through MGM Studios.-Cast:*Lon Chaney - Tito/Flick*Loretta Young - Simonetta...

    1928
  • The Rescue
    The Rescue (1929 film)
    The Rescue is a 1929 romantic adventure film directed by Herbert Brenon, and produced by Samuel Goldwyn. The screenplay was written by Elizabeth Meehan, based on novel by Joseph Conrad. The music score is by Hugo Riesenfeld. The film stars Ronald Colman and Lili Damita.-Cast:*Ronald Colman as Tom...

    , 1929
  • The Criminal Code
    The Criminal Code
    The Criminal Code is a Hollywood crime film, directed by Howard Hawks, based on a play by Martin Flavin with cinematic adaptation by screenwriters Seton I...

    , 1931
  • Transatlantic
    Transatlantic (film)
    Transatlantic is a 1931 comedy film directed by William K. Howard. It won an Academy Award for Best Art Direction by Gordon Wiles. -Cast:* Edmund Lowe - Monty Greer* Lois Moran - Judy Kramer* John Halliday - Henry D. Graham...

    , 1931
  • The Power and the Glory, 1933
  • Manhattan Melodrama
    Manhattan Melodrama
    Manhattan Melodrama is a 1934 crime melodrama film, produced by MGM, directed by W. S. Van Dyke, and starring Clark Gable, William Powell, and Myrna Loy...

    , 1934
  • The Thin Man
    The Thin Man (film)
    The Thin Man is a 1934 American comic detective film starring William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles, a flirtatious married couple who banter wittily as they solve crimes with ease. Nick is a hard drinking retired detective and Nora a wealthy heiress...

    , 1934
  • Mark of the Vampire
    Mark of the Vampire
    Mark of the Vampire is a 1935 horror film, starring Lionel Barrymore, Elizabeth Allan, Bela Lugosi, Lionel Atwill, and Jean Hersholt and directed by Tod Browning...

    , 1935
  • Fire Over England
    Fire Over England
    Fire Over England is a 1937 London Film Productions film drama, notable for providing the first pairing of Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh. It was directed by William K. Howard and written by Clemence Dane from the novel Fire Over England by A. E. W. Mason. Leigh's performance in the movie...

    , 1937
  • The Prisoner of Zenda
    The Prisoner of Zenda
    The Prisoner of Zenda is an adventure novel by Anthony Hope, published in 1894. The king of the fictional country of Ruritania is drugged on the eve of his coronation and thus unable to attend his own coronation. Political forces are such that in order for the king to retain his crown his...

    , 1937
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1938 film)
    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a 1938 American drama film directed by Norman Taurog. The screenplay by John V.A. Weaver was based on the classic 1876 novel by Mark Twain.-Plot:...

    , 1938
  • Algiers
    Algiers (film)
    Algiers is a 1938 American drama film directed by John Cromwell and starring Charles Boyer, Sigrid Gurie, and Hedy Lamarr. The Walter Wanger production was a remake of the successful 1937 French film Pépé le Moko, which derived its plot from the Henri La Barthe novel of the same name...

    , 1938
  • Fantasia
    Fantasia (film)
    Fantasia is a 1940 American animated film produced by Walt Disney and released by Walt Disney Productions. The third feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, the film consists of eight animated segments set to pieces of classical music conducted by Leopold Stokowski, seven of which are...

    , 1940 (Uncredited for Philadelphia Orchestra
    Philadelphia Orchestra
    The Philadelphia Orchestra is a symphony orchestra based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the United States. One of the "Big Five" American orchestras, it was founded in 1900...

     sequences)
  • Abe Lincoln in Illinois
    Abe Lincoln in Illinois (film)
    Abe Lincoln in Illinois is a 1940 biographical film which tells the story of the life of Abraham Lincoln from his departure from Kentucky until his election as President of the United States....

    , 1940
  • The Strawberry Blonde
    The Strawberry Blonde
    -Cast:* James Cagney as T. L. 'Biff' Grimes* Olivia de Havilland as Amy Lind* Rita Hayworth as Virginia Brush* Alan Hale as William 'Old Man' Grimes* Jack Carson as Hugo Barnstead* George Tobias as Nicholas Pappalas* Una O'Connor as Mrs...

    , 1941
  • Shining Victory
    Shining Victory
    Shining Victory is a 1941 film based on the play, Jupiter Laughs, by A. J. Cronin. It stars James Stephenson, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Donald Crisp, and Barbara O'Neil, and it was the first film directed by Irving Rapper. Bette Davis makes a brief cameo appearance as a nurse in the film.-Plot...

    , 1941
  • King's Row, 1942
  • Yankee Doodle Dandy
    Yankee Doodle Dandy
    Yankee Doodle Dandy is a 1942 American biographical musical film about George M. Cohan, known as "The Man Who Owns Broadway". It stars James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston, and Richard Whorf, and features Irene Manning, George Tobias, Rosemary DeCamp and Jeanne Cagney.The movie was written by...

    , 1942
  • Air Force, 1943
  • Hangmen Also Die
    Hangmen Also Die
    Hangmen Also Die! is a 1943 war film directed by the Austrian director Fritz Lang and written by John Wexley, Bertolt Brecht and Lang. The film stars Hans Heinrich von Twardowski, Brian Donlevy, Walter Brennan and Anna Lee, and features Gene Lockhart and Dennis O'Keefe...

    , 1943
  • Confidential Agent
    Confidential Agent
    Confidential Agent is a 1945 spy film made by Warner Bros. It was directed by Herman Shumlin and produced by Robert Buckner with Jack L. Warner as executive producer. The screenplay was by Robert Buckner, based on the novel The Confidential Agent by Graham Greene...

    , 1945
  • Pursued
    Pursued
    Pursued is a 1947 movie starring Robert Mitchum that combines western, film noir and psychological melodrama. The film was directed by Raoul Walsh and photographed in black-and-white by James Wong Howe.-Plot summary:...

    , 1947
  • Body and Soul
    Body and Soul (1947 film)
    Body and Soul is a 1947 film noir which tells the story of a boxer who becomes involved with crooked promoters. It stars John Garfield, Lilli Palmer, Hazel Brooks, Anne Revere and William Conrad....

    , 1947
  • Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House
    Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House
    Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House is a 1948 American comedy film directed by H.C. Potter and starring Cary Grant and Myrna Loy. The film was written and produced by the team of Melvin Frank and Norman Panama...

    , 1948
  • The Baron of Arizona
    The Baron of Arizona
    The Baron of Arizona is a 1950 film by Samuel Fuller and starring Vincent Price. Ed Wood was a stunt double in the film.The film concerns a master forger's attempted use of false documents to lay claim to the territory of Arizona late in the 19th century, and is based on the case of James Reavis,...

    , 1950
  • He Ran All the Way
    He Ran All the Way
    He Ran All the Way is a 1951 crime drama, considered a film noir, starring John Garfield and Shelley Winters. The film was Garfield's last, as accusations of his involvement with the Communist Party and a refusal to name names while testifying before the HUAC led to his blacklisting in Hollywood...

    , 1951
  • Main Street to Broadway
    Main Street to Broadway
    Main Street to Broadway is a 1953 MGM musical comedy starring Tom Morton and Mary Murphy about an aspiring playwright who hopes to stage a Broadway production starring Tallulah Bankhead...

    , 1953
  • Picnic, 1955
  • The Rose Tattoo, 1955
  • Sweet Smell of Success
    Sweet Smell of Success
    Sweet Smell of Success is a 1957 American film noir made by Hill-Hecht-Lancaster Productions and released by United Artists. It was directed by Alexander Mackendrick and stars Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Susan Harrison and Martin Milner. The screenplay was written by Clifford Odets, Ernest Lehman...

    , 1957
  • Bell, Book and Candle, 1958
  • Hud
    Hud (film)
    Hud is a 1963 western film whose title character is an embittered and selfish modern-day cowboy. With screenplay by Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank, Jr., based on Larry McMurtry's 1961 novel Horseman, Pass By, it was directed by Martin Ritt and stars Paul Newman, Melvyn Douglas, Patricia Neal and...

    , 1963
  • This Property Is Condemned
    This Property is Condemned
    This Property Is Condemned is a 1966 American drama film starring Natalie Wood, Robert Redford, Kate Reid, Charles Bronson and Mary Badham and directed by Sydney Pollack. The screenplay was written by Francis Ford Coppola, Fred Coe and Edith Sommer. The story was adapted from the 1946 one-act...

    , 1966
  • Seconds
    Seconds (film)
    Seconds is a 1966 American film starring Rock Hudson. Characterized sometimes as a science fiction thriller, but with elements of horror, neo-noir, psychedelia, and drama, it was directed by John Frankenheimer with a screenplay by Lewis John Carlino. The script was based on a novel by David Ely...

    , 1966
  • Hombre
    Hombre (film)
    Hombre is a 1967 revisionist western film directed by Martin Ritt, based on the novel of the same name by Elmore Leonard. It stars Paul Newman, Richard Boone, Martin Balsam, Diane Cilento and Fredric March....

    , 1967
  • The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter
    The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter
    The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter is the debut 1940 novel by American author Carson McCullers. Written in Charlotte, North Carolina, in houses on Central Avenue and East Boulevard, it is about a deaf man named John Singer and the people he encounters in a 1930s mill town in the US state of Georgia...

    , 1968
  • The Molly Maguires
    The Molly Maguires (film)
    The Molly Maguires is a 1970 American film based on a novel by Arthur H. Lewis that was directed by Martin Ritt. It stars Richard Harris and Sean Connery....

    , 1970
  • Funny Lady
    Funny Lady
    Funny Lady is a 1975 film starring Barbra Streisand, James Caan, Omar Sharif, Roddy McDowall, and Ben Vereen.A sequel to the 1968 film Funny Girl, it is a highly fictionalized account of the later life and career of comedienne Fanny Brice and her marriage to songwriter and empresario Billy Rose...

    , 1975

Further reading


  • Hignam, Charles (1970). Hollywood Cameramen. London: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0-50048-014-1
  • Rainsberger, Todd (1981). James Wong Howe Cinematographer. London: The Tantivy Press. ISBN 0-49802-405-9
  • Silver, Alain (2011). James Wong Howe The Camera Eye. Santa Monica: Pendragon. ISBN 1-45635-688-0


External links