Friday, April 11, 2008

Gregg Toland

I read an article some time ago about Golden-age cinematographer Gregg Toland and what a genius he was. He did Citizen Kane and The Grapes of Wrath and (probably shamefully) Song of the South, among a lot of other great films. Steven Soderbergh was quoted in the article:

If we shot black-and-white now, maybe we could catch up to what Toland was doing then. Have you seen The Long Voyage Home? It looks like it was shot tomorrow.

Well, I was looking over his great, all-too-short filmography when I came across December 7th, the only film he ever directed (co-directed with John Ford). It was apparently just another piece of wartime propaganda fluff, but my favorite thing about the film is that Dana Andrews plays a character called "Ghost of US sailor killed at Pearl Harbor." Wow, that movie sounds like it could be entertaining. I'd love to make a movie with a character called that, floating around begging young men to avenge him.

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