|Died||17 March 2007 89) (aged|
|Resting place||Mortlake Crematorium, Kew, London, England|
|Occupation||Cinematographer, film director|
(m. 1940;div. 1961)
|Awards|| Academy Award for Best Cinematography |
1960 Sons and Lovers
Frederick William Francis (22 December 1917 – 17 March 2007) was an English cinematographer and film director.
He achieved his greatest successes as a cinematographer, including winning two Academy Awards for Sons and Lovers (1960) and Glory (1989).As a director, he was associated with the British production companies Amicus and Hammer in the 1960s and 1970s.
Born in Islington in London, England, Francis originally planned to become an engineer. At school, a piece he wrote about films of the future won him a scholarship to the North West London Polytechnic in Kentish Town. He left school at age 16, becoming an apprentice to photographer Louis Prothero. Francis stayed with Prothero for six months. In this time they photographed stills for a Stanley Lupino picture made at Associated Talking Pictures (later Ealing Studios). This led to his successively becoming a clapper boy, camera loader and focus puller. He began his career in films at British International Pictures, then moved to British and Dominions. His first film as a clapper boy was The Prisoner of Corbal (1936).
In 1939, Francis joined the Army, where he would spend the next seven years. Eventually, he was assigned as cameraman and director to the Army Kinematograph Service at Wembley Studios, where he worked on many training films. About this, Francis said, "Most of the time I was with various film units within the service, so I got quite a bit of experience in all sorts of jobs, including being a cameraman and editing and generally being a jack of all trades."
Following his return to civilian life, Francis spent the next 10 years working as a camera operator. Films he worked on during this period include The Elusive Pimpernel (1950), The Tales of Hoffmann (1951), Beat the Devil (1953), and Moby Dick (1956); he was a frequent collaborator with cinematographers Christopher Challis (nine films) and Oswald Morris (five films). His first feature with Morris was Golden Salamander (1950).
Francis was on the second unit of Moby Dick. He became a main unit director of photography on A Hill in Korea (1956), which was shot in Portugal. He subsequently worked on such prestige pictures as Room at the Top (1959), Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960), Sons and Lovers (1960), and The Innocents (1961), which he regarded as one of the best films he shot.
Francis received many industry awards, including, in 1997, an international achievement award from the American Society of Cinematographers, and in 2004, BAFTA's special achievement award.
Following his Academy Award win for Sons and Lovers, Francis began his career as director of feature films. His first feature as director was Two and Two Make Six (1962). For the next 20-plus years, Francis worked continuously as a director of low-budget films, most of them in the genres of horror or psycho-thriller.
Beginning with Paranoiac (1963), Francis made numerous films for Hammer throughout the 1960s and 1970s. These films included thrillers like Nightmare (1964) and Hysteria (1965), as well as monster films such as The Evil of Frankenstein (1964) and Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968). On his apparent typecasting as a director of these types of film, Francis said "Horror films have liked me more than I have liked horror films".
Also in the mid-1960s, Francis began an association with Amicus Productions, another studio like Hammer which specialised in horror pictures. Most of the films Francis made for Amicus were anthologies such as Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1965), Torture Garden (1968) and Tales from the Crypt (1972). He also did two films for the short-lived company Tyburn films. These were The Ghoul (1975) and Legend of the Werewolf (1975). As a director, Francis was more than competent, and his horror films possessed an undeniable visual flair. However, he regretted that he was seldom able to move beyond genre material as a director. Francis directed the little-seen Son of Dracula (1974), starring Harry Nilsson in the title role and Ringo Starr as Merlin the Magician. Of the films Francis directed, one of his favorites was Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny, and Girly (1970). Mumsy... was a black comedy about an isolated, upper-class family whose relationships and behaviors came equipped with deadly consequences. The film was not very well received by mainstream critics but has gone on to become a minor cult favorite among fans. In 1985, Francis directed The Doctor and the Devils , based on the crimes of Burke and Hare.
Francis's last film as director was 1987's Dark Tower (no relation to the 2004 book of the same name by Stephen King). Francis thought it was a bad picture owing to poor special effects and had his name taken off it. His name was substituted with the name Ken Barnett. Francis is featured in the book Conversations with Cinematographers (2012) by David A Ellis and published by American publisher Scarecrow Press.
With The Elephant Man (1980), directed by David Lynch, Francis gained a new-found industry and critical respect as a cinematographer. During the 1980s, he worked on films such as The Executioner's Song (1982), Dune (1984) and Glory (1989), which earned him his second Academy Award. Francis provided the cinematography for the critical favorite The Man in the Moon as well as Martin Scorsese's remake of Cape Fear (both 1991). His final film as cinematographer was David Lynch's The Straight Story (1999), which was shot on location in Iowa in 23 days. One of his favorite camera operators was Gordon Hayman. He made several films with him including the Cape Fear remake and Glory, but Hayman was left off the credits for the later film by mistake.
Francis married Gladys Dorrell in 1940, with whom he had a son; in 1963 he married Pamela Mann-Francis, with whom he had a daughter and a second son.
Francis died at age 89 as the result of the lingering effects of a stroke.
|1956||A Hill in Korea||Julian Amyes|
|1957||Time Without Pity||Joseph Losey|
|The Scamp||Wolf Rilla|
|1958||Next to No Time||Henry Cornelius|
|Virgin Island||Pat Jackson|
|1959||Room at the Top||Jack Clayton|
|1960||Saturday Night and Sunday Morning||Karel Reisz|
|Sons and Lovers||Jack Cardiff||Academy Award for Best Cinematography|
|Never Take Sweets from a Stranger||Cyril Frankel|
|1961||The Innocents||Jack Clayton|
|1980||The Elephant Man||David Lynch||Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Cinematography|
|1981||The French Lieutenant's Woman||Karel Reisz||Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Cinematography|
|1982||The Executioner's Song||Lawrence Schiller|
|1983||The Jigsaw Man||Terence Young|
|1984||Memed, My Hawk||Peter Ustinov|
|1985||Return to Oz||Walter Murch||Uncredited|
|Code Name: Emerald||Jonathan Sanger|
|1988||Clara's Heart||Robert Mulligan|
|1989||Her Alibi||Bruce Beresford|
|Brenda Starr||Robert Ellis Miller||With Peter Stein|
|Glory||Edward Zwick|| Academy Award for Best Cinematography |
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Cinematography
|1991||Cape Fear||Martin Scorsese||Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Cinematography|
|The Man in the Moon||Robert Mulligan|
|1992||School Ties||Robert Mandel|
|1993||A Life in the Theatre||Gregory Mosher||TV movie|
|1999||The Straight Story||David Lynch||Final film|
|1962||Two and Two Make Six||Prometheus Film||Romantic comedy|
|1963||Paranoiac||Hammer||Oliver Reed (lead), Thriller|
|1964||The Evil of Frankenstein||Hammer||Peter Cushing (lead)|
|1964||Traitor's Gate||Rialto Film||West German-British co-production|
|1964||Nightmare||Hammer||Moira Redmond (female lead)|
|1965||Dr. Terror's House of Horrors||Amicus||Anthology film|
|1965||The Skull||Amicus||Scored by Elisabeth Lutyens|
|1965||Hysteria||Hammer||Robert Webber (lead)|
|1966||The Psychopath||Amicus||Patrick Wymark (lead)|
|1967||The Deadly Bees||Amicus||Suzanna Leigh (lead)|
|1967||They Came from Beyond Space||Amicus||Science fiction|
|1967||Torture Garden||Amicus||Anthology film|
|1968||Dracula Has Risen from the Grave||Hammer||Veronica Carlson (lead)|
|1970||Trog||Herman Cohen Productions||Cult film; last Joan Crawford film|
|1970||Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly||Brigitte, Fitzroy Films Ltd, Ronald J. Kahn Productions||Cult film|
|1971||The Vampire Happening||Aquila Film Enterprises||German-language|
|1972||Tales from the Crypt||Amicus||Anthology film|
|1973||The Creeping Flesh||Tigon||Christopher Lee (lead)|
|1973||Tales That Witness Madness||World Film Services||Anthology film|
|1974||Son of Dracula||Apple Films||Harry Nilsson (lead), Musical film|
|1975||The Ghoul||Tyburn Film Productions||Peter Cushing (lead)|
|1975||Legend of the Werewolf||Tyburn Film Productions||Peter Cushing (lead)|
|1985||The Doctor and the Devils||Brooksfilms||Timothy Dalton (lead)|
|1989||Dark Tower||Sandy Howard Productions||Michael Moriarty (lead)|
Hammer Film Productions Ltd. is a British film production company based in London. Founded in 1934, the company is best known for a series of Gothic horror and fantasy films made from the mid-1950s until the 1970s. Many of these involve classic horror characters such as Baron Victor Frankenstein, Count Dracula, and the Mummy, which Hammer reintroduced to audiences by filming them in vivid colour for the first time. Hammer also produced science fiction, thrillers, film noir and comedies, as well as, in later years, television series. During its most successful years, Hammer dominated the horror film market, enjoying worldwide distribution and considerable financial success. This success was, in part, due to its distribution partnerships with American companies United Artists, Warner Bros., Universal Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, American International Pictures and Seven Arts Productions.
Amicus Productions was a British film production company, based at Shepperton Studios, England, active between 1962 and 1977. It was founded by American producers and screenwriters Milton Subotsky and Max Rosenberg.
Jack Cardiff, was a British cinematographer, film and television director, and photographer. His career spanned the development of cinema, from silent film, through early experiments in Technicolor, to filmmaking more than half a century later.
Roy Ward Baker was an English film director. His best known film is A Night to Remember (1958) which won a Golden Globe for Best English-Language Foreign Film in 1959. His later career included many horror films and television shows.
Peter Suschitzky, A.S.C. is a British cinematographer and photographer. Among his most known works as director of photography are The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Empire Strikes Back, and Mars Attacks! and the later films of David Cronenberg. Suschitzky succeeded Mark Irwin as Cronenberg's regular cinematographer when Irwin left during the pre-production of Dead Ringers (1988), and has been the cinematographer for all of Cronenberg's films since. He has also collaborated with directors John Boorman, Ken Russell, Bernard Rose, and Tim Burton.
Denys Neil Coop was an English camera operator and cinematographer. He was a president of the British Society of Cinematographers from 1973 to 1975.
John Coquillon (1930–1987) was a Dutch cinematographer.
Clytie Jessop was a British-based Australian actress, gallerist, painter, screenwriter and film director, notable mainly for her association with cinematographer and film director Freddie Francis.
The Skull is a 1965 British horror film directed by Freddie Francis for Amicus Productions, and starring the frequently paired horror actors Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, alongside Patrick Wymark, Jill Bennett, Nigel Green, Patrick Magee and Peter Woodthorpe.
Alan Hume, BSC was an English cinematographer.
Sons and Lovers is a 1960 British black and white film adaptation of the D. H. Lawrence 1913 semi-autobiographic novel of the same name. It was adapted by T. E. B. Clarke and Gavin Lambert, directed by Jack Cardiff, and stars Trevor Howard, Dean Stockwell, Wendy Hiller, Mary Ure, William Lucas and Donald Pleasence. Location shooting took place near Nottingham in the East Midlands of England, very close to where Lawrence himself grew up.
Oswald Norman Morris, BSC was a British cinematographer. Known to his colleagues by the nicknames "Os" or "Ossie", Morris's career in cinematography spanned six decades.
Ronald Charles Taylor BSC was a British cinematographer, best known for his collaborations with directors Richard Attenborough and Dario Argento. Throughout his career, he was nominated for two BAFTA Awards for Best Cinematography and won an Academy Award for his work on Gandhi (1982), which he shared with Billy Williams.
Craze is a 1974 horror film directed by Freddie Francis. It stars Jack Palance as a psychotic antiques dealer who sacrifices women to the statue of an African god.
The Doctor and The Devils is a 1985 British gothic horror film directed by Freddie Francis, and produced by Mel Brooks, through his production company Brooksfilms. It is based upon the true story of Burke and Hare, who in 1828 Edinburgh, Scotland, murdered at least 16 people and sold their bodies for anatomical dissection.
Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny, and Girly, released as Girly outside the United Kingdom, is a 1970 British horror-comedy film. The film originated as a dream project for renowned cinematographer-turned-director Freddie Francis, who wanted the opportunity to direct a film over which he had complete creative control, instead of working on assignment from a studio. Francis teamed with writer Brian Comport to build the movie around Oakley Court, which Francis had used for exterior shots in previous films. The script was based on a two-act play by Maisie Mosco entitled Happy Family, which was later adapted into a novella by screenwriter Brian Comport as "Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny, and Girly". Though the film fared poorly in British cinemas, it enjoyed a brief but successful run in North America before going on to achieve status as a cult film.
What Became of Jack and Jill? is a 1972 British horror film directed by Bill Bain and starring Mona Washbourne, Paul Nicholas, and Vanessa Howard. It was part of an abandoned attempt by Amicus Pictures to compete with Hammer Studios by breaking into the grindhouse market. Studio executives were ultimately too disturbed by the final product to release it under the Amicus name, and they sold the film to 20th Century Fox.
A Taste for Honey is a 1941 mystery novel by H. F. Heard.
John Laurence Wilcox, BSC was a British cinematographer. He frequently worked with director Freddie Francis and photographed many popular British films, including Carve Her Name with Pride, Summer Holiday and Dr. Who and the Daleks.
Frankenstein is the title of several horror-adventure films loosely based on the 1818 novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley, centered on Baron Victor Frankenstein, who experiments in creating a creature beyond human.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Freddie Francis .|
Freddie Francis interview British Entertainment History Project https://historyproject.org.uk/interview/freddie-francis