Golden Age issues of American Cinematographer
(Above) Alfred Hitchcock peers through the camera’s viewfinder on the set of Shadow of a Doubt, which was shot on location in Santa Rose, California.
The Media History Digital Library boasts a database of more than 800,000 pages of digitized materials from vintage periodicals. That includes full issues of American Cinematographer ranging from 1924 to 1942. The database can be accessed here.
What’s interesting about this era of the magazine is that the cinematographers wrote the features themselves. Thus Greg Toland pens a piece in the February 1941 issue on Citizen Kane and Joseph Valentine contributes a feature in the October 1942 issue on Shadow of a Doubt.
(Above) A low-angle camera set-up from Citizen Kane, a film that broke with the conventions of the era by showing the ceiling of its interiors.
(Above) The chariot race from the 1925 silent version of Ben-Hur.
(Above) Frank Capra’s Meet John Doe.
(Above) An early automobile camera rig for a silent feature starring comedian Harold Lloyd.
(Above) Another on-location still from Shadow of a Doubt.
(Above) Bette Davis ascends the stairs in William Wyler’s 1938 film Jezebel.
(Above) It’s just Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, a half-dozen dudes and a giant camera for this romantic scene from Michael Curtiz’s The Adventures of Robin Hood. (1938)
(Above) The sprawling camera crew for 1924’s Captain Blood.