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Jack Hildyard, BSC (March 17, 1908 in London – September 11, 1990) was a British cinematographer who worked on more than 80 films during a career that spanned four decades.[1]

Jack Hildyard
Jack Hildyard

(1908-03-17)March 17, 1908
DiedSeptember 12, 1990(1990-09-12) (aged 82)
Years active1934–1986
AwardsAcademy Award for Best Cinematography
1958, The Bridge on the River Kwai

Beginning in the 1940s, Hildyard worked with many of the top British directors of the era, collaborating with the likes of David Lean, Anthony Asquith, Ken Annakin, and Alfred Hitchcock, in addition to American directors Anatole Litvak, Joseph Losey, and Cy Endfield. He specialized in exotic location photography, a trait carried into his later films with Syrian-American filmmaker Moustapha Akkad. He won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography for Lean's The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), and was nominated for three BAFTA Awards for Best Cinematography.

Hildyard was a founding member of the British Society of Cinematographers, and won their Lifetime Achievement Award in 1990.[2]



He made several films with David Lean including The Sound Barrier (1952) and Hobson's Choice (1954), as well as The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), for which he won an Academy Award for Best Cinematography and the British Society of Cinematographers Award.[3]

His first film was Freedom of the Seas in 1934, as a focus-puller, before working as camera operator on films for Leslie Howard and others, including Pygmalion, The Divorce of Lady X and Pimpernel Smith. His first film as cinematographer was Laurence Olivier's 1944 film Henry V, which gave him invaluable experience of colour cinematography and his subsequent films made him one of the most sought after cameramen in England.

His other films included Caesar and Cleopatra (1945), Anastasia (1956), The Sundowners (1960), 55 Days at Peking (1963), Battle of the Bulge (1965), Casino Royale (1967), The Beast Must Die (1974), Emily (1976), and The Wild Geese (1978).[4] He was the original cinematographer on the Elizabeth Taylor-led Cleopatra (1963), but left the project after original director Rouben Mamoulian was fired and replaced by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, only some of this original footage is present in the final version.[5] He photographed both of producer-director Moustapha Akkad's films on Islamic history, The Message (1976) and Lion of the Desert (1981). His final feature film was director Mohamed Shukri Jameel's 1983 Iraqi historical epic, Clash of Loyalties, which produced by then-Iraqi dictator. Saddam Hussein. It was nominated for the Golden Prize at the 1983 Moscow International Film Festival.[6] After Clash, Lean continued to work on made-for-television films and miniseries, his final credit was a 1985 television film based on the life of Florence Nightingale.

Personal lifeEdit

Jack Hildyard was the brother of sound engineer and two times Oscar winner David Hildyard. He died at the age of 82 in London.[7]



Year Title Director Notes
1944 Henry V Laurence Olivier Co-cinematographer with Robert Krasker
1945 Caesar and Cleopatra Gabriel Pascal Co-cinematographer with Freddie Young, Jack Cardiff & Robert Krasker
1946 School for Secrets Peter Ustinov
1947 While the Sun Shines Anthony Asquith
1948 The First Gentleman Alberto Cavalcanti
Vice Versa Peter Ustinov
Sleeping Car to Trieste John Paddy Carstairs
1949 Cardboard Cavalier Walter Forde
The Perfect Woman Bernard Knowles
The Chiltern Hundreds John Paddy Carstairs
1950 The Reluctant Widow
Tony Draws a Horse
The Dancing Fleece Frederick Wilson Short film
1951 Talk of a Million John Paddy Carstairs
Hotel Sahara Ken Annakin
1952 Home at Seven Ralph Richardson Co-cinematographer with Edward Scaife
The Sound Barrier David Lean
1953 Folly to Be Wise Frank Launder
The Heart of the Matter George More O'Ferrall
1954 Hobson's Choice David Lean
The Green Scarf George More O'Ferrall
The Teckman Mystery Wendy Toye
1955 Summertime David Lean
The Deep Blue Sea Anatole Litvak
1956 The March Hare George More O'Ferrall
Charley Moon Guy Hamilton
Anastasia Anatole Litvak
1957 The Living Idol Albert Lewin
The Bridge on the River Kwai David Lean Academy Award for Best Cinematography
BSC Best Cinematography Award
1958 The Gypsy and the Gentleman Joseph Losey
Another Time, Another Place Lewis Allen
1959 The Journey Anatole Litvak
The Devil's Disciple Guy Hamilton
Jet Storm Cy Endfield
Suddenly, Last Summer Joseph L. Mankiewicz
1960 The Millionairess Anthony Asquith
The Sundowners Fred Zinnemann
1962 The Road to Hong Kong Norman Panama
Live Now, Pay Later Jay Lewis
1963 55 Days at Peking Nicholas Ray
Cleopatra Joseph L. Mankiewicz Replaced by Leon Shamroy
The V.I.P.s Anthony Asquith Nominated- BAFTA Award for Best Cinematography
1964 Circus World Henry Hathaway
The Yellow Rolls-Royce Anthony Asquith Nominated- BAFTA Award for Best Cinematography
1965 Battle of the Bulge Ken Annakin
1966 Modesty Blaise Joseph Losey Nominated- BAFTA Award for Best Cinematography
1967 Casino Royale John Huston
Ken Hughes
Joseph McGrath
Robert Parrish
Val Guest
Co-cinematographer with Nicolas Roeg & John Wilcox
The Long Duel Ken Annakin
1968 Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter Saul Swimmer
Villa Rides Buzz Kulik
1969 Hard Contract S. Lee Pogostin
Topaz Alfred Hitchcock
1971 Puppet on a Chain Geoffrey Reeve
1973 Super Bitch Massimo Dallamano
1974 The Beast Must Die Paul Annett
Mousey Daniel Petrie
1976 The Message Moustapha Akkad
Emily Henry Herbert
Not Now, Comrade Ray Cooney
1978 The Wild Geese Andrew V. McLaglen
1980 Lion of the Desert Moustapha Akkad
1983 Clash of Loyalties Mohamed Shukri Jameel


Year Title Director Notes
1976 Beauty and the Beast Fielder Cook Television film
1984 The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood Ray Austin
Ellis Island Jerry London Miniseries
1985 Florence Nightingale Daryl Duke Television film

Awards and nominationsEdit

He was also nominated for BAFTA Awards for his work on The V.I.P.s (1963), The Yellow Rolls-Royce (1964) and Modesty Blaise (1966).[8][9][10]

He was awarded the British Society of Cinematographers Lifetime Achievement Award in 1990.[7]


  1. ^ "Jack Hildyard".
  2. ^ "BSC Members | British Society of Cinematographers". Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  3. ^ "BFI Screenonline: Hildyard, Jack (1908-1990) Biography".
  4. ^ "Jack Hildyard - Movies and Filmography - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  5. ^ "JACK HILDYARD". Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  6. ^ "IMDB - awards". Retrieved 14 February 2009.
  7. ^ a b "Jack Hildyard Profile". Turner Classic Movies.
  8. ^ "BAFTA Awards".
  9. ^ "BAFTA Awards".
  10. ^ "BAFTA Awards".

External linksEdit