This article was originally published on showwatcher.com on 4/20/12.
It seems that the Academy Award categories that everyone cares about is Best Picture, Best Director, and the acting awards. However, when you think of the films that are worthy of taking home the little golden man, what you picture is largely the amazing visuals from those movies. Who is responsible for the memorable images? The cinematographer, also known as the director of photography, oversees the lighting and camerawork. A director can have a wonderful eye, but without his trusted D.P. at his side, his vision won’t make it to the big screen. Steven Spielberg has Janusz Kaminski, Christopher Nolan has Wally Pfister, Martin Scorses has Robert Richardson, Oliver Stone has Robert Richardson, Quentin Tarentino has Robert Richardson. But how much do you know about these magicians of light and shadow? Click the button below to take the Best Cinematography Oscar Quiz:
After taking the quiz, scroll down to see more information about the questions (or cheat and skip the quiz altogether):
Last warning for spoilers!
The two winners who tied at most Academy Awards for Best Cinematography received 4 Oscars each.
- The Black Swan – 1953*
- Leave Her to Heaven – 1946
- Wilson – 1945
- Cleopatra – 1964
- The Great Waltz – 1939
- Mrs. Minerva – 1943
- Somebody Up There Likes Me – 1957
- Gigi – 1959
Conrad L. Hall was the oldest posthumous winner for Best Cinematogrphy. He would have been 76 when he won for Road to Perdition in 2002, but died two months before the Oscar ceremony.
Conrad L. Hall was the oldest non-posthumous Best Cinematography winner at age 73 for American Beauty in 1999.
The youngest Best Cinematography winner, Charles B. Lang, Jr., was 30 when he won for A Farewell to Arms in 1934. He was nominated three years prior for The Right to Love.
The last movie Charles B. Lang, Jr. was nominated for was Butterflies Are Free in 1972.
George Folsey was nominated for the most Best Cinematography Oscars without winning with a total of 13 nominations:
- Reunion in Vienna – 1934
- Operator 13 – 1935
- The Gorgeous Hussy – 1937
- Thousands Cheer – 1944
- Meet Me in St. Louis – 1945
- The White Cliffs of Dover – 1945
- The Green Years – 1947
- Green Dolphin Street – 1948
- Million Dollar Mermaid – 1953
- All the Brothers Were Valiant – 1954
- Executive Suite – 1955
- Seven Brides for Seven Brothers – 1955
- The Balcony – 1964
Ten movies directed by Steven Spielberg been nominated for Best Cinematography:
- Close Encounters of the Third Kind – 1978 (won)
- 1941 – 1980
- Raiders of the Lost Ark – 1982
- E.T. the Extraterrestrial – 1983
- The Color Purple – 1986
- Empire of the Sun – 1988
- Schindler’s List – 1994 (won)
- Amistad – 1998
- Saving Private Ryan – 1999 (won)
- War Horse – 2012
Three Batman movies have been nominated for Best Cinematography:
- Batman Forever – 1996
- Batman Begins – 2006
- The Dark Knight – 2009
Two movies directed by Martin Scorses have won the Oscar for Best Cinematography: The Aviator (2005) and Hugo (2012).
Of Citizen Kane, Casablanca, The Ten Commandments, and Lawrence of Arabia, only Lawrence of Arabia won the Best Cinematography Oscar. The other three were nominated, but did not win.
* Dates are the year of the Oscar presentation, not year the movie was released.
© 2012 Jamie Helton
- Steven Spielberg Quiz (FilmVerse)
- James Cameron Quiz (FilmVerse)
- Tim Burton Quiz (FilmVerse)
- The Tree of Life back in race for cinematography Oscar (guardian.co.uk)
- Cinematographers Prepare for Expanded Role as Directors of Imagery (prweb.com)
- The Cinematography Category (boston101.wordpress.com)
- ASC Nominees. Cinematography With the Soldier-Spy Tattoo (thefilmexperience.net)
- The Carpetbagger: ‘Tree of Life’ and the Cinematography Race (carpetbagger.blogs.nytimes.com)