Douglas Slocombe, renown cinematographer, dies at 103

Never Say Never Again's poster

Poster for Never Say Never Again, photographed by Douglas Slocombe

Douglas Slocombe, who photographed more than 80 films in a long career, has died at 103, according to AN OBITUARY BY AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE.

Slocombe’s many credits included the first three Indiana Jones films from 1981 to 1989 as well as the 1983 007 film Never Say Never Again, not part of the 24-film series produced by Eon Productions.

The cinematographer also had his own real life adventure. He was in Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, working on filming for a documentary when Germany invaded the country, starting World War II. Here’s an excerpt FROM A 2014 BBC STORY:

“But I still remember the shock when at about 05:00 on 1 September we awoke to find the attack had begun,” says Slocombe. “There were bombers overhead and the whistle of falling bombs.

“I had no understanding of the concept of blitzkrieg. I had been expecting trouble but I thought it would be in trenches, like WW1. The Germans were coming over the border at a great pace.”

Slocombe and American filmmaker Herbert Klein, who was making the documentary, took a long, arduous trek. At one point, “A young girl died in front of us. We were shaken by that,” Slocombe told the BBC.

For part of the journey, “(W)e walked and walked north with the cart — me, Herbert Kline, the horse and the foal. By now I was an enemy alien so if we’d encountered any Germans that would have been it,” Slocombe told the BBC. They eventually got to Stockholm. The documentary, Lights Out in Europe, came out in 1940.

After something like that, photographing the make-believe Nazis of the Indiana Jones movies must have been child’s play.

Besides Steven Spielberg on the Indiana Jones films and Irvin Kershner on Never Say Never Again, Slocombe worked with a number of famed directors, including John Huston, as noted in this tweet:

Salute to Martin Grace, 007 stuntman

This week, the 007 film world lost Martin Grace, 67, a veteran stuntman who was Roger Moore’s primary stunt double from The Spy Who Loved Me through A View To a Kill. The MI6 Web site reported he died Jan. 27, two months after an accident where he fractured his pelvis. He had suffered a similar injury doubling for Sir Roger in an action sequence set on a train in Octopussy.

It seems fitting that Grace deserves a salute from this site. And a good place to start is For Your Eyes Only, whose pre-titles featured Grace doubling for Sir Roger holding on for dear life in a helicopter controlled by an old acquaintance:

In A View To a Kill, Grace was promoted to the spot of lead stunt arranger while still doubling for 007 in a sequence filmed at the Eiffel Tower.

The veteran stunt man had lots of work outside of the world of James Bond, as this clip shows from a film that’s instantly recognizable: