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George Barnes Biography

  • Profession: Cinematographer
  • Born: Jan 1, 1893
  • Died: May 30, 1953

Cinematographer George Barnes got his start with producer Thomas Ince in 1919, where he lensed one of the first anti-Communist propaganda films, Dangerous Hours. Barnes was best known for his soft-edged, ethereal photography of such silent-film romances as Son of the Shiek (1926), The Night of Love (1927), and The Magic Flame (1927). His mastery of the Black and White spectrum was as adaptable to noirish melodramas like Sherlock Holmes (1932) as it was to splashy musicals like Footlight Parade (1933). (One of Barnes' seven wives was Footlight Parade costar Joan Blondell.) During the early 1930s, George Barnes spent most of his time at the Sam Goldwyn Studio, where he helped nurture the skills of his brilliant assistant, future Citizen Kane cinematographer Gregg Toland. In 1940, Barnes won an Academy Award for his work on Hitchcock's Rebecca. George Barnes' final film was the Technicolor sci-fi fest War of the Worlds (1953), one of the most visually vivid movie efforts of the early 1950s. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi