William H. Clothier

William H. Clothier, A.S.C. (February 21, 1903 – January 7, 1996) was an American cinematographer.

William H. Clothier, A.S.C.
Born(1903-02-21)21 February 1903
DiedJanuary 7, 1996(1996-01-07) (aged 92)


Born in Decatur, Illinois, Clothier entered the film industry painting sets at Warner Bros., and at the end of the silent era began photographing such films as Wings (1927) and Ernst Lubitsch's The Patriot (1928). Between 1933 and 1938, he worked in Spain, where he was imprisoned during the Spanish Civil War. He was a lieutenant colonel in the United States Air Force during World War II, during which he flew seventeen missions on the Memphis Belle.[1]

In 1955, Clothier filmed The Sea Chase, his first project as Director of Photography with John Wayne, after which the actor signed him to a contract with his Batjac Productions. The two went on to collaborate on 21 more films, including John Ford's The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. He retired in 1972 after filming The Train Robbers for Burt Kennedy.

Clothier was nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Cinematography for The Alamo (1960) and Cheyenne Autumn (1964). His work on numerous Westerns earned him the 1973 Heritage Award from the Cowboy Hall of Fame, and he received the American Society of Cinematographers President's Award in 1995.



Year Title Director
1936 Corner in Madrid León Artola
1948 Fort Apache[1] John Ford
1950 Once a Thief W. Lee Wilder
1954 Track of the Cat William A. Wellman
1955 The Sea Chase John Farrow
1955 Blood Alley William A. Wellman
1956 Gun the Man Down Andrew V. McLaglen
1956 Man in the Vault Andrew V. McLaglen
1956 Good-bye, My Lady William A. Wellman
1956 Seven Men from Now Budd Boetticher
1957 Dragoon Wells Massacre Harold D. Schuster
1958 China Doll Frank Borzage
1958 Darby's Rangers William A. Wellman
1959 Escort West Francis D. Lyon
1959 The Horse Soldiers John Ford
1960 The Alamo John Wayne
1961 The Deadly Companions Sam Peckinpah
1961 The Comancheros Michael Curtiz
1962 Merrill's Marauders Samuel Fuller
1962 The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance John Ford
1963 Donovan's Reef John Ford
1963 McLintock! Andrew V. McLaglen
1964 A Distant Trumpet Raoul Walsh
1964 Cheyenne Autumn John Ford
1965 Shenandoah Andrew V. McLaglen
1966 The Rare Breed Andrew V. McLaglen
1966 Stagecoach Gordon Douglas
1967 The Way West Andrew V. McLaglen
1968 The Devil's Brigade Andrew V. McLaglen
1968 Firecreek Vincent McEveety
1968 Bandolero! Andrew V. McLaglen
1968 Hellfighters Andrew V. McLaglen
1969 The Undefeated Andrew V. McLaglen
1970 The Cheyenne Social Club Gene Kelly
1970 Chisum Andrew V. McLaglen
1970 Rio Lobo Howard Hawks
1971 Big Jake George Sherman
1973 The Train Robbers Burt Kennedy

^ with Archie Stout.


Year Title Role
1927 Wings Camera operator
1932 The Big Stampede Camera operator
1933 King Kong First assistant camera
1953 Island in the Sky Aerial cameraman
1954 The High and the Mighty Aerial cameraman
1957[2] Jet Pilot Aerial cameraman

^ Originally filmed in 1949 but not released until 1957.


  • Cheyenne - episode - Fury at Rio Hondo - Director of Photography (1956)
  • Gang Busters - 4 episodes - Director of Photography (1952-1955)


  • The Hollywood Greats - episode - John Wayne - Himself (1984)
  • John Wayne's The Alamo - Video Documentary - Himself (1992)


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