Bruce Surtees

Active - 1971 - 2002  |   Born - Jul 27, 1937   |   Died - Feb 23, 2012   |   Genres - Drama, Thriller, Action, Crime, Western

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Biography by Hal Erickson

The son of Hollywood cinematographer Robert Surtees, Bruce Surtees himself began setting up angles and focus in the late 1960s. Surtees first gained widespread attention for his camerawork on the Clint Eastwood-Don Siegel collaborations The Beguiled (1971) and Dirty Harry (1971). When Eastwood launched his own directorial career, he took Surtees with him, and the results included such visual feasts as Play Misty For Me (1971), High Plains Drifter (1973), The Outlaw Josie Wales (1976) and Pale Rider (1985). Surtees' moody, noirish stylings, best exemplified by his Oscar-nominated black-and-white photography for Bob Fosse's Lenny, earned him the nickname "The Prince of Darkness." Not that Surtees was confined to any one genre; the same Surtees responsible for such shadow-drenched exercises as Escape from Alcatraz and Tightrope also contributed the vibrant colorations of such lighter fare as Movie Movie (1979), Risky Business (1982) and Back to the Death (1987). Surtees died at age 74 in February 2012.

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