Douglas Slocombe, Legendary Cinematographer of ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark,’ Dies at 103
Sad news via Variety: The film world lost one of its greatest cinematographers today. Douglas Slocombe, the man who spent 50 years shooting some of the finest movies of all time, has died. He was 103 years old.
Slocombe was a three-time Oscar nominee, for 1972’s Travels With My Aunt, 1977’s Julia, and a little movie from 1982 you might have heard of called Raiders of the Lost Ark. He didn’t win the Oscar that year (Vittorio Storaro took home the gold for Reds), but Academy Award or not, his work on the film is immortal. These images will outlive all of us:
Before hooking up with Steven Spielberg, Slocombe, who was born in London but raised in France, worked at England’s famed Ealing Studios on some of the period’s most revered comedies. He shot Kind Hearts and Coronets, The Man in the White Suit and The Lavender Hill Mob, to name just a few of his Ealing efforts. And Slocombe reteamed with Spielberg for the first two Indy sequels, Temple of Doom and The Last Crusade. His work in both cases was stellar.
Other highlights from an amazing career: The Lion in Winter, The Fearless Vampire Killers, Jesus Christ Superstar, and the original versions of The Great Gatsby, The Italian Job, and Rollerball. There may be something to the fact that so many of his movies got remade. His images were unforgettable.
Slocombe was not a household name, but odds are if you consider yourself a movie lover, and you have any knowledge of British and American cinema of the last 50 years, you have enjoyed (and probably adored) a movie he shot. Here’s a BSC documentary on Slocombe’s career. He will be missed, but not forgotten.