John Alton: Cinematic Poet

John Alton was one of the great noir cinematographers.  Alton’s visual poetry in a stunning chase climax in underground city drains in this edited final sequence from the pulp-b He Walked by Night (1948) attest to his greatness.

A select film noir filmography for Alton as DP:

T-Men (1947)
Bury Me Dead (1947 )
Raw Deal (1948)
Canon City (1948)
The Amazing Mr. X (1948)
He Walked by Night (1948)
Hollow Triumph (1948)
Reign of Terror (1949)
Border Incident (1949)
Mystery Street (1950)
The People Against O’Hara (1951)
Talk About a Stranger (1952)
Count the Hours (1953)
I, the Jury (1953)
Witness to Murder (1954)
The Steel Cage (1954)
The Big Combo (1955)
Slightly Scarlet (1956)
Elmer Gantry (1960)

One thought on “John Alton: Cinematic Poet”

  1. That scene reminds me of Robert Krasker’s brilliant work in the sewers in Carol Reed’s THE THIRD MAN, in that visual poetry is really on display in both. Alton is one of the greats, no doubt, and who can ever forget his superlative work in THE BIG COMBO, T MEN, BORDER INCIDENT aqnd RAW DEAL as well as this B classic.


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