ByKarly Rayner, writer at
Movie Pilot's celebrity savant
Karly Rayner

Douglas Slocombe, the man who Steven Spielberg managed to lure away from retirement to become the cinematographer for Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark, has died at the age of 103.

Douglas Slocombe in 2011
Douglas Slocombe in 2011

By the time he worked on Indiana Jones at the age of 68, British born Slocombe was already a legend among cinematographers thanks to his enormously varied body of work and personal experiences.

Slocombe was hired by Herbert Kline to film the political unrest and war in Europe during WWII and was in Poland the day the Nazis invaded. He managed to escape with his life and was so dedicated to chronicling this turbulent time that he did it all again in the Netherlands.

Along with this impressive and unique feat, Slocombe worked on classics that make up almost the entire history of modern cinema, including The Lavender Hill Mob and Kind Hearts and Coronets from the '50s, The Italian Job in the '60s, and Jesus Christ Superstar and The Great Gatsby in the '70s.

Slocombe was well respected in the industry for his incredible technical ability and versatility. There was no particular Slocombe style and his knack for using film stock in a multitude of different ways made him an asset to any movie genre. Check out one of his epic action scenes from The Italian Job below:

Harrison Ford once noted that he never saw Slocombe use a light meter because his skills were so fine-tuned.

Slocombe filmed the first three Indiana Jones movies before retiring after completing Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade due to failing eyesight. When Oscar-winning cinematographer Janusz Kaminski took over filming the franchise, he carefully imitated Slocome's original creative vision and use of warm, golden light because it was so integral to the feel of the movies.

Slocombe enjoyed a long retirement before passing away today in London at the age of 103. Although he is no longer with us, he leaves behind a stunning legacy that will never be forgotten.

(Source: The Guardian)


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