14 Unforgettable Films Shot By Douglas Slocombe
It is a sad, sad truth that many of our greatest heroes are mostly unsung. In the film industry, it’s practically the norm: for every excellent actor or director that the average audience member knows by name, there are dozens of below the line geniuses without whom none of the movies we love would be lovable, and whose identities are often overlooked by throngs of excited fans.
One such genius is Douglas Slocombe, a name well-known to cineastes but perhaps not terribly well recognized by most. Slocombe was the director of photography for dozens of films over his nearly 50-year career, meaning that if you liked the way any of those movies looked, he deserved your applause. The original Indiana Jones films, Rollerball, and The Italian Job are just a few of his better known, most unforgettable films.
Sadly, Douglas Slocombe passed away this week, at the incredible age of 103. He retired over 25 years ago, but his work lives on, regularly playing on TV screens across the world and regularly reintroduced to new fans who owe him a debt of gratitude. Douglas Slocombe got his start as a photojournalist shortly before World War II and eventually turned his camera towards iconic comedies, thrilling adventures and serious dramas alike. He was so skilled that by the time he shot Raiders of the Lost Ark in the early 1980s, he didn’t even need a light meter. If you don’t know exactly what that means, let’s put it this way: shooting Raiders without a light meter would be like cooking the world’s most delicious ten-course meal without a sense of smell.
Douglas Slocombe deserves spectacular credit for his spectacular career. To say goodbye to this late, great titan, we present 14 particularly unforgettable films that he shot, and shot beautifully. Rest in peace, sir.