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General information  

  • Place of birth : London
  • Date of birth : 22/12/1917
  • Date of death : 22/12/1917

Alias  

  • Francis Freddie

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Freddie Francis (1917)

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  Summary  

Frederick William Francis BSC (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 and Glory . As a director, he has cult status on account of his association with the British production companies Amicus and Hammer in the 1960s and 1970s.

  Biography  

 early life and career
Born in Islington in London, England, Francis was originally on the way to a career in engineering. 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 a stills photographer by the name of Louis Prothero. Freddie stayed with him for six months. In this time they photograped stills for a Stanley Lupino picture made at Ealing. This led to him successively becoming a clapper boy, camera loader and focus puller. He started his career at B.I.P, then to British and Dominions. His first film as a clapper boy was The Marriage of Corbal.

In 1939, Francis joined the Army, where he would spend the next seven years. Eventually he was assigned as a cameraman and director to the Army Kinematograph Unit at Wembley, 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."

Upon his return to civilian life, Francis spent the next 10 years working as a camera operator. Some of the films he worked on during this period include The Elusive Pimpernel , The Tales of Hoffmann , Beat the Devil , and Moby Dick ; he was a frequent collaborator with cinematographers Christopher Challis and Oswald Morris . His first feature with Morris was Golden Salamander.

He was on the second unit of Moby Dick. He then went on to become a main unit director of photography on A Hill in Korea, which was shot in Portugal. He went on to handle such prestige pictures as Room at the Top , Saturday Night and Sunday Morning , Sons and Lovers , and The Innocents , 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.

 personal life
Freddie 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.

He died at age 89 as the result of the lingering effects of a stroke, after a long and distinguished career in the cinema. His son Kevin Francis is a film producer.

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  Sources

Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Freddie Francis", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.