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22 FEBRUARY 2016
CINEMATOGRAPHER DOUGLAS SLOCOMBE (1913-2016)

By: Anders Frejdh
Published:
2016-02-23
FSWL is saddened to report the passing of legendary British cinematographer Douglas Slocombe (born in London on 10th February, 1913) on 22 February 2016 at age 103. Douglas lensed Sean Connery's comeback as James Bond in the 1983 film Never Say Never Again. We send our deep condolences to his family and thank him for decades of brilliant Cinematography.

Douglas Slocombe obituary: (by Anders Frejdh and Mark Cerulli)
Douglas Slocombe has more than 80 film credits to his name. His career was at its peak in the 1970s and 1980s.

Slocombe became world famous for lensing three of the Indiana Jones movies including the original 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). The last co-starring Sean Connery as Indy's father.

James Bond fans know him for being the Cinematographer of 1982’s Never Say Never Again. The film's Stunt Coordinator, Vic Armstrong, remembers Douglas:

"Dougie Slocombe was a legend, I know this phrase is used a lot but it has never been more meaningful than when it refers to Douglas “Dougie” Slocombe.

I went to a special screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark at the Glasgow Film Festival this last weekend and was so impressed again at the beauty and dramatic quality of the photography of this film. Dougie captured the rich colours and the mysterious shadows of the period exactly right.

I was always amazed watching Dougie work, to look at he was like a college professor, but his energy was that of a 20 year old, and the thing that fascinated me most was that he never used a light meter he just measured the shadows on his hand with his naked eye and called out the stop to his camera crew, and he did it with total confidence and the results are stunningly good.

Not only was he a master at photographing action he was a master at photographing drama and emotion, and he did it all so effortlessly and with such good humour. His talent must have been something that he naturally inherited because I truly believe that sort of instinct cannot be taught. Together with Steven Spielberg they were a masterful duo and made three of the greatest adventure movies of all time, which is a wonderful legacy to leave behind for not only all the generations of filmgoers but for his beautiful and lovingly supportive family.

Dougie Slocombe will be sorely missed, as we say after they made him they broke the mould."

Fatima Blush, aka actress Barbara Carrera, also shared her thoughts on Douglas with us:

"Douglas Slocombe was, undoubtedly, one of the greatest cinematographer in our film industry! Certainly, the greatest that I ever had the good fortune of working with!

He was a true artist. He once told me that he could spend an entire day just shooting a 'dew drop' because of the beautiful changes that occurred with the reflection of light. His lighting was reminiscent of the old master's paintings. Each scene, or frame, was lit like a Rembrandt masterpiece. His lights & shadows were reflected in three dimensions, the foreground, as well as the far background, was always lit beautifully.

We have lost A GREAT MASTER! But, his work will live on as a testament of outstanding achievement and excellence.

We will miss you Dougie! RIP"

Along with shooting Connery’s triumphant return as 007, Slocombe also served as the Cinematographer of The Lady Vanishes (1979), Julia (1977), Rollerball (1975, co-starring Octopussy's Maud Adams), The Great Gatsby (1974), The Italian Job (1969), Blue Max (1966, co-starring Dr. No’s Ursula Andress) and many other titles.

He won three BAFTA Awards for Cinematography and a lifetime achievement award from the British Society of Cinematrographers. His work also received three Oscar nominations.

Although plagued with vision problems towards the end of his life, Slocombe was also honoured with an Order of the British Empire in 2008.

Douglas is survived by his daughter, Georgina Slocombe, who said it was a sad day: "I was his only child. My mother died several years ago. We were very close as a family."

Photo above:
Douglas Slocombe in action. Photo by Richard Blanshard. © 1990 Moviepix/Gettyimages. All rights reserved.

For more information about Douglas Slocombe's career, check out his IMDB profile:
www.imdb.com/name/nm0005878/

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