George Folsey

Active - 1921 - 2007  |   Born - Jan 1, 1898   |   Died - Nov 1, 1988   |   Genres - Drama, Romance, Comedy, Musical, Crime

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American cinematographer George Folsey broke into films as an office boy in Lasky Photoplays' New York office. An assistant cameraman in his teens, Folsey was promoted to director of photography at 19 when the chief cameraman on a production failed to show up. A loyal company man, Folsey tended to put up resistance when upstart directors like Rouben Mamoulian suggested offbeat camera angles; nonetheless, Folsey's camerawork on Mamoulian's 1929 talkie Applause is perhaps the most innovative of that year. Folsey spent most of his career at MGM, where he was a personal favorite (and personal friend) of actress Joan Crawford. He most enjoyed working on comedies; while filming a sequence with Red Skelton, Folsey nearly ruined a take by laughing so hard that he fell off his camera perch. After several years' retirement, Folsey returned to MGM to shoot the linking narration sequences of the 1976 musical compendium That's Entertainment Part II. Nominated for 13 Academy Awards, Folsey always went home empty-handed, though he was always held in the highest esteem by his contemporaries. George Folsey's son, George Folsey Jr., was likewise in the movie business. As a film editor and producer (Folsey Jr. and John Landis were among the defendants in the notorious Twilight Zone: The Movie lawsuit a few years back).

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