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W240

Robert Burks

Cinematographer

 

Biography

‘Burks was King Chameleon, both in his skill in adopting the type of camerawork or visual styling which exactly suited each film, and in the way his own work could vary in merit depending upon the inspiration (or lack of it) of the director. Thus, he produced, for a constantly on-form Hitchcock, a string of superbly lensed movies which ranged from the entirely convincing, impersonalized, documentary look of ’The Wrong Man’, to the spectacular colorful location work of ‘North by Northwest’ and ‘Vertigo’, to the claustrophobic, single set restrictions of ‘Rear Window’. Compared to the Hitch films, Burks’ relatively uninspired work on ‘The Great Imposter’ and ‘The Music Man’ (cheerful and well lit, but characterless) or ‘A Covenant with Death’ (downright gaudy and unattractive), reflects the lack of imagination displayed by the directors concerned.’ —David Badder in ‘Film Dope’, #5, July 1974. 

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