Douglas Slocombe

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Douglas Slocombe, OBE, BSC, ASC
Born (1913-02-10) 10 February 1913 (age 102)
London, England
Occupation Cinematographer
Years active 1940–89

Douglas Slocombe OBE, BSC, ASC (born 10 February 1913) is a British cinematographer.

Life and work[edit]

As a young photographer Slocombe witnessed the early days leading up to the outbreak of World War II. After catching a train to Danzig in 1939 he photographed the growing anti-Jewish sentiment and, as a consequence, was commissioned by American film-maker Herbert Kline to film events for a documentary called Lights Out.[1] Slocombe was in Warsaw with a movie camera on 1 September 1939 when it was attacked by Germany. Accompanied by Kline he escaped with his film footage on a horse and cart, finally returning to London via Latvia and Stockholm.[1] He became a leading photographer at Ealing Studios during the 1940s.[2]

Slocombe has worked on 84 feature films[3] over a period of 47 years. His early films as cinematographer included several classic Ealing comedies, notably Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), The Man in the White Suit (1951), The Lavender Hill Mob (1951) and The Titfield Thunderbolt (1953).

He has been nominated for an Academy Award on three occasions and also won a BAFTA Award in 1963, 1974 and 1977.

He has won the British Society of Cinematographers Award five times, and was awarded its Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996.[4]

In addition to his nominated and award-winning pictures, Slocombe has been praised for his vision and his creative cinematography[citation needed] for such films as Saraband for Dead Lovers (1948), Freud: The Secret Passion (1962), The L-Shaped Room (1962), Robbery (1967), Roman Polanski's The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967), The Italian Job (1969), The Music Lovers (1970), The Buttercup Chain (1970), Murphy's War (1971), The Maids (1974), Caravans (1978), Nijinsky (1980), and Never Say Never Again (1983).

Personal life[edit]

Slocombe, whose sight has been failing for many years, currently lives in West London with his daughter,[1] his only child. He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2008 New Year Honours. Slocombe features in a book entitled Conversations with Cinematographers (2011) by David A. Ellis, published by American publisher Scarecrow Press. He turned 100 in February 2013.[3][5]


Academy Awards


Saturn Awards

  • Winner Best Cinematography – Rollerball (1975)

American Society of Cinematographers

  • Winner International Award (2002)

British Society of Cinematographers

Los Angeles Film Critics Association

  • Winner Best Cinematography – Julia (1977)

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Vincent Dowd (11 February 2014). "Douglas Slocombe: The cameraman who escaped the Nazi invasion of Poland". BBC News. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  2. ^ Philip French (11 December 2009). "Douglas Slocombe: a tribute". The Observer. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Douglas Slocombe BSC celebrates his 100th birthday". Blog. British Society of Cinematographers. 18 February 2013. Retrieved 23 February 2013. 
  4. ^ BSC: Lifetime Achievement Award Linked 29 July 2013
  5. ^ Wilmington Star News, February 6, 2013: Famed cinematographer Douglas Slocombe turns 100 Linked 29 July 2013

External links[edit]