Pic of the Day: Behind the scenes of Touch of Evil (1958)

Orson Welles on the set of Touch of Evil

Orson Welles and cinematographer Russell Metty on the set of Touch of Evil (1958) – the first film Welles had directed in the United States in nearly a decade following 1948’s Macbeth. An Oscar winner for lensing Kubrick’s Spartacus, Metty also shot Bringing Up Baby for Howard Hawks, The Misfits for John Huston, and Magnificent Obsession, All That Heaven Allows, and Written on The Wind for Douglas Sirk.

Behind the Scenes: Citizen Kane (1941)

Citizen Kane (MovieHistoryPics)

Orson Welles (seated by the giant megaphone) directs a scene from 1941’s Citizen Kane while laid up with a broken ankle he suffered during the shoot. The visor-adorned gentleman next to the camera is cinematographer Gregg Toland.

The magnificent movie blog Cinephilia and Beyond has a new Twitter feed Film History in Pics that’s full of classic production stills such as the Citizen Kane image above. Definitely worth a follow.

Golden Age issues of American Cinematographer

AC 1942 (Shadow of a Doubt, Hitch) copy

(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.
AC 1941 (Citizen Kane) copy
(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.
AC 1926 (Ben Hur) (#2) copy
(Above) The chariot race  from the 1925 silent version of Ben-Hur. Continue Reading ›