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Gaudio, Tony

GAUDIO, Tony



Cinematographer. Nationality: Italian. Born: Gaetano Antonio Gaudio in Cosenza, 1885. Education: Attended an art school, Rome. Family: Brother of the cinematographer Eugene Gaudio. Career: Assistant to his father and elder brother, portrait photographers; 1903–06—photographed hundreds of short subjects for Italian film companies (first title: Napoleon Crossing the Alps); 1906–08—made "song slides" for Al Simpson, New York; 1908—worked in Vitagraph laboratories, New York, then supervised construction of Laemmle laboratories, New York; 1910–12—chief of cinematographers at Laemmle's Imp Company; then worked for Biograph and other companies; 1922—invented the Mitchell camera finder; also invented the camera focusing microscope; 1923–24—President, American Society of Cinematographers; 1930–43—at Warner Bros.. Award: Academy Award for Anthony Adverse, 1936. Died: In 1951.


Films as Cinematographer:

1903

Napoleon Crossing the Alps

1908

Madame Nicotine

1910

Submarine

1911

Pictureland; Their First Misunderstanding (T. Ince and Tucker); The Dream (T. Ince and Tucker); Maid or Man (T. Ince); At the Duke's Command; The Mirror; While the Cat's Away; Her Darkest Hours (T. Ince); Artful Kate (T. Ince); A Manly Man (T. Ince); The Message in the Bottle (T. Ince); The Fisher-Maid (T. Ince); In Old Madrid (T. Ince); Sweet Memories of Yesterday (T. Ince); The Stampede; Second Sight; The Fair Dentist; For Her Brother's Sake (T. Ince and Tucker); Back to the Soil; In the Sultan's Garden (T. Ince); The Master and the Man; The Lighthouse Keeper; For the Queen's Honor (+ ro); A Gasoline Engagement; At a Quarter of Two; Science; The Skating Bug; The Call of the Song; The Toss of a Coin; The Sentinel Asleep; The Better Way; His Dress Shirt; The Nose's Story; From the Bottom of the Sea

1914

Classmates (Kirkwood); Strongheart (Powell or Kirkwood); The Woman in Black (Marsten); The Cricket on the Hearth (Marsten)

1916

The Unpardonable Sin (O'Neill); The Masked Rider ; Mister 44 (Otto); The River of Romance (Balshofer); Big Tremaine (Balshofer)

1917

Pidgin Island (Balshofer); The Promise (Balshofer); The Hidden Children (Apfel); The Haunted Pajamas (Balshofer); The Hidden Spring (Hopper); Under Handicap (Balshofer); Paradise Garden (Balshofer); The Square Deceiver (Balshofer); The Avenging Trail (F. Ford)

1918

Broadway Bill (Balshofer); The Landloper (Irving); Lend Me Your Name (Balshofer); Pals First (Carewe)

1919

Man of Honor (Balshofer and Lockwood); In Wrong (Kirkwood); The Inferior Sex (Henabery)

1920

Fighting Shepherdess (José); Her Kingdom of Dreams (Neilan); The Mark of Zorro (Niblo); The Forbidden Thing (Dwan); Kismet (Gasnier); Whispering Devils (Garson); In Old Kentucky (Neilan)

1921

The Other Woman (Sloman); The Ten Dollar Raise (Sloman); The Sin of Martha Queed (Sins of the Parents) (Dwan); Shattered Idols (Sloman); Pilgrims of the Nights (Sloman)

1922

The Woman He Loved (How a Man Loves) (Sloman); The Eternal Flame (Floyd); East Is West (Franklin)

1923

The Voice from the Minaret (Lloyd) (co); Adam and Eva (Vignola) (co); Within the Law (Lloyd); Ashes of Vengeance (Lloyd); The Song of Love (Franklin and Marion)

1924

Secrets (Borzage); Husbands and Lovers (Stahl); The Only Woman (Olcott)

1925

The Lady (Borzage); Déclassée (The Social Exile) (Vignola); Graustark (Buchowetzki)

1926

The Gay Deceiver (The Mask of Comedy) (Stahl) (co); The Temptress (Niblo) (co); Upstage (Bell); The Blonde Saint (Gade)

1927

An Affair of the Follies (Webb); The Notorious Lady (Baggot); Two Arabian Knights (Milestone) (co)

1928

The Gaucho (Jones); The Racket (Milestone)

1929

She Goes to War (H. King) (co); On with the Show (Crosland); Tiger Rose (Archainbaud); General Crack (Crosland)

1930

Hell's Angels (Hughes); Little Caesar (LeRoy); All Quiet on the Western Front (Milestone) (2nd cam)

1931

The Lady Who Dared (The Devil's Playground) (Beaudine)

1932

Sky Devils (Sutherland); Tiger Shark (Hawks); The Mask of Fu Manchu (Brabin)

1933

Blondie Johnson (Enright); Ex-Lady (Florey); The Silk Express (Enright); The Narrow Corner (Green); Private Detective 62 (Curtiz); Voltaire (Adolfi); Ladies Must Love (Dupont); The World Changes (LeRoy); Lady Killer (Del Ruth)

1934

Upperworld (Del Ruth); Mandalay (Curtiz); Fog over Frisco (Dieterle); The Man with Two Faces (Mayo); The Dragon Murder Case (Humberstone); Happiness Ahead (LeRoy); Bordertown (Mayo)

1935

The White Cockatoo (Crosland); Sweet Music (Green) (co); Oil for the Lamps of China (LeRoy); Go into Your Dance (Casino de Paree) (Maro); Front Page Woman (Curtiz); Little Big Shot (Curtiz); The Case of the Lucky Legs (Mayo); Dr. Socrates (Dieterle)

1936

The Story of Louis Pasteur (Dieterle); The White Angel (Dieterle); Anthony Adverse (LeRoy); God's Country and the Woman (Keighley) (co)

1937

The King and the Chorus Girl (Romance Is Sacred) (LeRoy); Kid Galahad (Dieterle); Another Dawn (Dieterle); The Life of Emile Zola (Dieterle)

1938

Torchy Blane in Panama (Trouble in Panama) (Clemens); The Adventures of Robin Hood (Curtiz and Keighley) (co); The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (Litvak); Gardens of the Moon (Berkeley); Secrets of an Actress (Keighley) (co); The Sisters (Litvak); The Dawn Patrol (Goulding)

1939

Juarez (Dieterle); The Old Maid (Goulding); We Are Not Alone (Goulding)

1940

The Fighting 69th (Keighley); 'Till We Meet Again (Goulding); Brother Orchid (Bacon); The Letter (Wyler); Knute Rockne—All-American (A Modern Hero) (Bacon)

1941

High Sierra (Walsh); The Great Lie (Goulding); Affectionately Yours (Bacon); Navy Blues (Bacon) (co); The Man Who Came to Dinner (Keighley)

1942

Larceny Inc. (Bacon); Wings for the Eagle (Bacon); You Can't Escape Forever (Graham)

1943

Action in the North Atlantic (Bacon) (co); The Constant Nymph (Goulding); Background to Danger (Walsh); Corvette K-225 (The Nelson Touch) (Rosson)

1944

Days of Glory (Tourneur); Experiment Perilous (Tourneur); I'll Be Seeing You (Dieterle); A Song to Remember (C. Vidor) (co)


1946

The Bandit of Sherwood Forest (G. Sherman and Levin) (co); I've Always Loved You (Concerto) (Borzage); Swell Guy (Tuttle)

1947

That's My Man (Will Tomorrow Ever Come?) (Borzage); Love from a Stranger (A Stranger Walked In) (Whorf)

1949

The Red Pony (Milestone)



Publications


On GAUDIO: articles—

Film Comment (New York), Summer 1972.

Focus on Film (London), no. 13, 1973.

Tibbetts, John C., "The Gaucho," in Films in Review, July-August 1996.


* * *

Gaetano (Tony) Gaudio, along with Sol Polito, Barney McGill, and Sid Hickox, helped create the Warner Bros. photographic style of the 1930s, crisp and economic, with a strong influence of German Expressionism. Warners, unlike MGM and Paramount, did not demand pretty pictures, and these cameramen were able to light for mood and atmosphere. Gaudio was extremely versatile and able to handle all types of pictures, from big-budget extravaganzas to B-movies like the Torchy Blane series.

Gaudio was a pioneer cinematographer; as early as 1911 he was the chief cameraman for Carl Laemmle's Universal Pictures. In the 1920s he photographed two Douglas Fairbanks adventures, The Mark of Zorro and The Gaucho, and worked with top directors like Marshal Neilan, Allan Dwan, and Frank Borzage. He contributed to some of the earliest Technicolor sequences (The Gaucho, On with the Show, General Crack), as well as the seminal war films All Quiet on the Western Front (second camera to Arthur Edeson) and Hell's Angels, handling the dialogue scenes with Harry Perry on the aerial cinematography.

Gaudio hit his stride when he signed with Warner Bros. in 1930. He shot Mervyn LeRoy's gangster classic Little Caesar in a harsh style befitting the gritty subject. Throughout the 1930s Gaudio handled Warners' most prestigious films, such as LeRoy's Oil for the Lamps of China and Anthony Adverse, and William Dieterle's Story of Louis Pasteur and Life of Emile Zola. The LeRoy films were among the studio's most ambitious projects and, with the Dieterle biographies, gave Warners unaccustomed Oscar status. Gaudio's work met with critical acclaim, and he won an Academy Award for his impressive work on Anthony Adverse.

After shooting Warners' first three-strip Technicolor film, God's Country and the Woman, Gaudio was reteamed with that picture's director William Keighley for The Adventures of Robin Hood, a color spectacle with Errol Flynn in the title role. Keighley and Gaudio started the picture on a difficult location and work went too slowly, prompting producer Hal Wallis to replace them with director Michael Curtiz and cameraman Sol Polito, although they all shared screen credit. Gaudio's footage included the first meeting in the forest between Robin and Little John, portions of the archery tournament, the banquet in the woods, and the fight between Robin and Friar Tuck. Gaudio was director of photography on another Flynn picture, Edmund Goulding's The Dawn Patrol, a remake of Howard Hawks' 1930 World War I aviation story. Aerial scenes from the original were used in the Goulding version, and Gaudio was responsible for the claustrophobic interiors.

Gaudio was a regular cameraman for Bette Davis. For Ex-Lady, an early attempt to turn her into a sex symbol, Gaudio gave Davis the glamour treatment. By the time he shot Bordertown, the studio realized her histrionic talents, and Gaudio brought a stark realism to the seedy Mexican setting. Kid Galahad gave him the opportunity to contrast high-key Art Deco scenes with the smoky interiors of the boxing ring. Gaudio deglamorized Davis in two period films, Juarez and The Old Maid, gave the contemporaneous The Great Lie a shining look, and reached the zenith of his Warner days with William Wyler's The Letter. One of Davis' best remembered vehicles, The Letter is distinguished by Gaudio's moody cinematography, especially the memorable opening shot, a slow track through a Malaysian rubber plantation that sets the tone for the whole picture.

Gaudio lit Raoul Walsh's crime masterwork High Sierra in an ultrarealistic, documentary-like fashion. Gaudio left Warners in 1943, and his subsequent work lacks the same consistency he had previously demonstrated, although he achieved some fine color cinematography on A Song to Remember and The Red Pony. Like many of the technicians during the Golden Age of Hollywood, Gaudio was at his best in the highly departmentalized confines of the studio system.

—John A. Gallagher

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