Archie J. Stout

Active - 1924 - 1954  |   Born - Mar 30, 1886 in Renwick, IA  |   Genres - Western, Action, Drama, Adventure

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American cinematographer Archie Stout abandoned his previous profession as a forest ranger to go to work in the Keystone Studios' cameraman pool. Keystone was perhaps the great practical education a photographer could have: one had to speed up, slow down, and perform in-camera trickery, usually within the course of a few seconds' worth of film. During the '20s, Stout did collaborative and second unit work on such major Cecil B. DeMille films as The Ten Commandments (1923) and Feet of Clay (1924). His assignments temporarily decreased in importance in the '30s, to the point that Stout was grinding out 4-day quickie westerns at Monogram. But these cheap westerns boasted crystal-clear photography and cleverly composed landscape shots that still impress when seen today. Certainly Stout's under-pressure expertise was not lost on Monogram cowboy star John Wayne, who when attaining big-time stardom at Republic insisted that Stout work on his films (Angel and the Badman [1947] being a particular good example). Wayne's friend John Ford likewise gave Stout a free hand in such superbly shot A-pictures as Fort Apache (1948) and The Quiet Man (1952), the latter film representing perhaps Stout's best work, not to mention some of most vivid Technicolor photography seen anywhere. After collecting an Academy Award for his work in Quiet Man, Archie Stout suffered a heart attack, compelling him to retire in 1955; he died ten years later.

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