[ Show ]
Support VoyForums
[ Shrink ]
VoyForums Announcement: Programming and providing support for this service has been a labor of love since 1997. We are one of the few services online who values our users' privacy, and have never sold your information. We have even fought hard to defend your privacy in legal cases; however, we've done it with almost no financial support -- paying out of pocket to continue providing the service. Due to the issues imposed on us by advertisers, we also stopped hosting most ads on the forums many years ago. We hope you appreciate our efforts.

Show your support by donating any amount. (Note: We are still technically a for-profit company, so your contribution is not tax-deductible.) PayPal Acct: Feedback:

Donate to VoyForums (PayPal):

Login ] [ Contact Forum Admin ] [ Main index ] [ Post a new message ] [ Search | Check update time | Archives: 1234567[8]910 ]
Subject: Conrad Hall, Cinematographer

Santa Monica
[ Next Thread | Previous Thread | Next Message | Previous Message ]
Date Posted: January 09, 2003 4:48:58 EDT

Conrad L. Hall, a Hollywood cinematographer with a bohemian's soul and an artist's obsessiveness, who was nominated for nine Oscars and won two of them, three decades apart, died on Saturday in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 76 and split his time between a vintage penthouse just off the Sunset Strip and a private island just off Tahiti.

The cause was complications from bladder cancer, said his wife, Susan Hall.

Mr. Hall won his first Oscar in 1969 for "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and his second in 1999 for "American Beauty." His final film, "Road to Perdition" was released last year.

He became a cinematographer, Mr. Hall often said, by pure chance. He and two friends formed a production company in the 1950's, Canyon Films, and all of them wanted to direct. Instead, they put three scraps of paper into a hat reading "producer," "director" and "cinematographer" and took turns drawing.

"Guess which one I picked," Mr. Hall said.

In 1994 the American Society of Cinematographers gave him a lifetime achievement award, and he was scheduled to receive another one later this month from the National Board of Review. Mr. Hall was also a leading force in the cinematographer's branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and a member of the academy's board of governors.

A look at the films for which Mr. Hall received Oscar nominations displays the breadth of his work: "Morituri" (1965), "The Professionals" (1966), "In Cold Blood" (1968), "The Day of the Locust" (1975), "Tequila Sunrise" (1988), "Searching for Bobby Fischer" (1993) and "A Civil Action" (1998).

Mr. Hall was born in 1926 in Papeete, Tahiti. His South Pacific childhood ended when he was 8, and he moved in with relatives in San Diego after his father decided he needed a good American education.

His father, James Norman Hall, had moved to Tahiti after reading a book about the mutiny on H.M.S. Bounty. There, he and a collaborator, Charles Nordhoff, wrote their own "Mutiny on the Bounty" trilogy and it became the source for the 1935 Oscar-winning film starring Clark Gable. The elder Mr. Hall named his son after his favorite South Pacific writer, Joseph Conrad.

Conrad Hall decided to study journalism at the University of Southern California, but a bad grade on a writing assignment persuaded him to try something else, and it was while paging through the university course guide that he stumbled across the listing for a cinema course.

"I thought: `Cinema? You mean like movies? Rubbing elbows with stars? Making all that money?,' " Mr. Hall said in a Los Angeles Times interview last year. "For all the wrong reasons, I signed up, and then had a love affair with the visual language and learned to tell stories like my father."

When his fledgling production company went under, Mr. Hall turned to television in the early '60s, working for shows like "Stoney Burke" and "The Outer Limits." Then, he said, he was fortunate to break into movies just as the effects of the French New Wave were being felt in Hollywood, and he was able to help translate that personal, naturalistic approach into American filmmaking.

"I started off in a sort of naturalistic style, as opposed to an operatic style, and I've refined that over the years to fit the stories," Mr. Hall told one interviewer.

His first work as a credited cinematographer was in "Wild Seed" in 1965, the same year that he got his first Oscar nomination for "Morituri," a moody, black-and-white sea thriller starring Marlon Brando.

Two films with Paul Newman "Harper" (1966) and "Cool Hand Luke" (1967) helped him land the job on "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," probably his most admired work. While working on that film that he met his first wife, the actress Katharine Ross, to whom he was married from 1969 to 1975.

Mr. Hall's son, Conrad W. Hall, is also a cinematographer, whose work includes "Panic Room" (2002). His two daughters, Kate Hall-Feist and Naia Hall-West, and a sister, Nancy Rutgers, also survive him.

One ambition that Mr. Hall was never able to realize was to direct a film. He worked for more than three decades to get a pet project off the ground, an adaptation of William Faulkner's "Wild Palms." Another script, which he wrote himself, was about a gigolo having a midlife crisis.

"That's what I like," he said. "Human stories. The human condition. That's the most wonderful condition."

[ Next Thread | Previous Thread | Next Message | Previous Message ]

[ Contact Forum Admin ]

Forum timezone: GMT-5
VF Version: 3.00b, ConfDB:
Before posting please read our privacy policy.
VoyForums(tm) is a Free Service from Voyager Info-Systems.
Copyright © 1998-2019 Voyager Info-Systems. All Rights Reserved.