Tony Gaudio - Writer

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Cinematographer. Nationality: Italian. Born: Gaetano Antonio Gaudio in Cosenza, 1885. Education: Attended an art school, Rome. Family: Brother of the cinematographer Eugene Gaudio. Career: Assistant to his father and elder brother, portrait photographers; 1903–06—photographed hundreds of short subjects for Italian film companies

Tony Gaudio with Ann Blyth
Tony Gaudio with Ann Blyth
(first title: Napoleon Crossing the Alps ); 1906–08—made "song slides" for Al Simpson, New York; 1908—worked in Vitagraph laboratories, New York, then supervised construction of Laemmle laboratories, New York; 1910–12—chief of cinematographers at Laemmle's Imp Company; then worked for Biograph and other companies; 1922—invented the Mitchell camera finder; also invented the camera focusing microscope; 1923–24—President, American Society of Cinematographers; 1930–43—at Warner Bros.. Award: Academy Award for Anthony Adverse , 1936. Died: In 1951.

Films as Cinematographer:


Napoleon Crossing the Alps


Madame Nicotine




Pictureland ; Their First Misunderstanding (T. Ince and Tucker); The Dream (T. Ince and Tucker); Maid or Man (T. Ince); At the Duke's Command ; The Mirror ; While the Cat's Away ; Her Darkest Hours (T. Ince); Artful Kate (T. Ince); A Manly Man (T. Ince); The Message in the Bottle (T. Ince); The Fisher-Maid (T. Ince); In Old Madrid (T. Ince); Sweet Memories of Yesterday (T. Ince); The Stampede ; Second Sight ; The Fair Dentist ; For Her Brother's Sake (T. Ince and Tucker); Back to the Soil ; In the Sultan's Garden (T. Ince); The Master and the Man ; The Lighthouse Keeper ; For the Queen's Honor (+ ro); A Gasoline Engagement ; At a Quarter of Two ; Science ; The Skating Bug ; The Call of the Song ; The Toss of a Coin ; The Sentinel Asleep ; The Better Way ; His Dress Shirt ; The Nose's Story ; From the Bottom of the Sea


Classmates (Kirkwood); Strongheart (Powell or Kirkwood); The Woman in Black (Marsten); The Cricket on the Hearth (Marsten)


The Unpardonable Sin (O'Neill); The Masked Rider ; Mister 44 (Otto); The River of Romance (Balshofer); Big Tremaine (Balshofer)


Pidgin Island (Balshofer); The Promise (Balshofer); The Hidden Children (Apfel); The Haunted Pajamas (Balshofer); The Hidden Spring (Hopper); Under Handicap (Balshofer); Paradise Garden (Balshofer); The Square Deceiver (Balshofer); The Avenging Trail (F. Ford)


Broadway Bill (Balshofer); The Landloper (Irving); Lend Me Your Name (Balshofer); Pals First (Carewe)


Man of Honor (Balshofer and Lockwood); In Wrong (Kirkwood); The Inferior Sex (Henabery)


Fighting Shepherdess (José); Her Kingdom of Dreams (Neilan); The Mark of Zorro (Niblo); The Forbidden Thing (Dwan); Kismet (Gasnier); Whispering Devils (Garson); In Old Kentucky (Neilan)


The Other Woman (Sloman); The Ten Dollar Raise (Sloman); The Sin of Martha Queed ( Sins of the Parents ) (Dwan); Shattered Idols (Sloman); Pilgrims of the Nights (Sloman)


The Woman He Loved ( How a Man Loves ) (Sloman); The Eternal Flame (Floyd); East Is West (Franklin)


The Voice from the Minaret (Lloyd) (co); Adam and Eva (Vignola) (co); Within the Law (Lloyd); Ashes of Vengeance (Lloyd); The Song of Love (Franklin and Marion)


Secrets (Borzage); Husbands and Lovers (Stahl); The Only Woman (Olcott)


The Lady (Borzage); Déclassée ( The Social Exile ) (Vignola); Graustark (Buchowetzki)


The Gay Deceiver ( The Mask of Comedy ) (Stahl) (co); The Temptress (Niblo) (co); Upstage (Bell); The Blonde Saint (Gade)


An Affair of the Follies (Webb); The Notorious Lady (Baggot); Two Arabian Knights (Milestone) (co)


The Gaucho (Jones); The Racket (Milestone)


She Goes to War (H. King) (co); On with the Show (Crosland); Tiger Rose (Archainbaud); General Crack (Crosland)


Hell's Angels (Hughes); Little Caesar (LeRoy); All Quiet on the Western Front (Milestone) (2nd cam)


The Lady Who Dared ( The Devil's Playground ) (Beaudine)


Sky Devils (Sutherland); Tiger Shark (Hawks); The Mask of Fu Manchu (Brabin)


Blondie Johnson (Enright); Ex-Lady (Florey); The Silk Express (Enright); The Narrow Corner (Green); Private Detective 62 (Curtiz); Voltaire (Adolfi); Ladies Must Love (Dupont); The World Changes (LeRoy); Lady Killer (Del Ruth)


Upperworld (Del Ruth); Mandalay (Curtiz); Fog over Frisco (Dieterle); The Man with Two Faces (Mayo); The Dragon Murder Case (Humberstone); Happiness Ahead (LeRoy); Bordertown (Mayo)


The White Cockatoo (Crosland); Sweet Music (Green) (co); Oil for the Lamps of China (LeRoy); Go into Your Dance ( Casino de Paree ) (Maro); Front Page Woman (Curtiz); Little Big Shot (Curtiz); The Case of the Lucky Legs (Mayo); Dr. Socrates (Dieterle)


The Story of Louis Pasteur (Dieterle); The White Angel (Dieterle); Anthony Adverse (LeRoy); God's Country and the Woman (Keighley) (co)


The King and the Chorus Girl ( Romance Is Sacred ) (LeRoy); Kid Galahad (Dieterle); Another Dawn (Dieterle); The Life of Emile Zola (Dieterle)


Torchy Blane in Panama ( Trouble in Panama ) (Clemens); The Adventures of Robin Hood (Curtiz and Keighley) (co); The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (Litvak); Gardens of the Moon (Berkeley); Secrets of an Actress (Keighley) (co); The Sisters (Litvak); The Dawn Patrol (Goulding)


Juarez (Dieterle); The Old Maid (Goulding); We Are Not Alone (Goulding)


The Fighting 69th (Keighley); 'Till We Meet Again (Goulding); Brother Orchid (Bacon); The Letter (Wyler); Knute Rockne—All-American ( A Modern Hero ) (Bacon)


High Sierra (Walsh); The Great Lie (Goulding); Affectionately Yours (Bacon); Navy Blues (Bacon) (co); The Man Who Came to Dinner (Keighley)


Larceny Inc. (Bacon); Wings for the Eagle (Bacon); You Can't Escape Forever (Graham)


Action in the North Atlantic (Bacon) (co); The Constant Nymph (Goulding); Background to Danger (Walsh); Corvette K-225 ( The Nelson Touch ) (Rosson)


Days of Glory (Tourneur); Experiment Perilous (Tourneur); I'll Be Seeing You (Dieterle); A Song to Remember (C. Vidor) (co)


The Bandit of Sherwood Forest (G. Sherman and Levin) (co); I've Always Loved You ( Concerto ) (Borzage); Swell Guy (Tuttle)


That's My Man ( Will Tomorrow Ever Come? ) (Borzage); Love from a Stranger ( A Stranger Walked In ) (Whorf)


The Red Pony (Milestone)


On GAUDIO: articles—

Film Comment (New York), Summer 1972.

Focus on Film (London), no. 13, 1973.

Tibbetts, John C., " The Gaucho ," in Films in Review , July-August 1996.

* * *

Gaetano (Tony) Gaudio, along with Sol Polito, Barney McGill, and Sid Hickox, helped create the Warner Bros. photographic style of the 1930s, crisp and economic, with a strong influence of German Expressionism. Warners, unlike MGM and Paramount, did not demand pretty pictures, and these cameramen were able to light for mood and atmosphere. Gaudio was extremely versatile and able to handle all types of pictures, from big-budget extravaganzas to B-movies like the Torchy Blane series.

Gaudio was a pioneer cinematographer; as early as 1911 he was the chief cameraman for Carl Laemmle's Universal Pictures. In the 1920s he photographed two Douglas Fairbanks adventures, The Mark of Zorro and The Gaucho , and worked with top directors like Marshal Neilan, Allan Dwan, and Frank Borzage. He contributed to some of the earliest Technicolor sequences ( The Gaucho , On with the Show , General Crack ), as well as the seminal war films All Quiet on the Western Front (second camera to Arthur Edeson) and Hell's Angels , handling the dialogue scenes with Harry Perry on the aerial cinematography.

Gaudio hit his stride when he signed with Warner Bros. in 1930. He shot Mervyn LeRoy's gangster classic Little Caesar in a harsh style befitting the gritty subject. Throughout the 1930s Gaudio handled Warners' most prestigious films, such as LeRoy's Oil for the Lamps of China and Anthony Adverse , and William Dieterle's Story of Louis Pasteur and Life of Emile Zola . The LeRoy films were among the studio's most ambitious projects and, with the Dieterle biographies, gave Warners unaccustomed Oscar status. Gaudio's work met with critical acclaim, and he won an Academy Award for his impressive work on Anthony Adverse .

After shooting Warners' first three-strip Technicolor film, God's Country and the Woman , Gaudio was reteamed with that picture's director William Keighley for The Adventures of Robin Hood , a color spectacle with Errol Flynn in the title role. Keighley and Gaudio started the picture on a difficult location and work went too slowly, prompting producer Hal Wallis to replace them with director Michael Curtiz and cameraman Sol Polito, although they all shared screen credit. Gaudio's footage included the first meeting in the forest between Robin and Little John, portions of the archery tournament, the banquet in the woods, and the fight between Robin and Friar Tuck. Gaudio was director of photography on another Flynn picture, Edmund Goulding's The Dawn Patrol , a remake of Howard Hawks' 1930 World War I aviation story. Aerial scenes from the original were used in the Goulding version, and Gaudio was responsible for the claustrophobic interiors.

Gaudio was a regular cameraman for Bette Davis. For Ex-Lady , an early attempt to turn her into a sex symbol, Gaudio gave Davis the glamour treatment. By the time he shot Bordertown , the studio realized her histrionic talents, and Gaudio brought a stark realism to the seedy Mexican setting. Kid Galahad gave him the opportunity to contrast high-key Art Deco scenes with the smoky interiors of the boxing ring. Gaudio deglamorized Davis in two period films, Juarez and The Old Maid , gave the contemporaneous The Great Lie a shining look, and reached the zenith of his Warner days with William Wyler's The Letter . One of Davis' best remembered vehicles, The Letter is distinguished by Gaudio's moody cinematography, especially the memorable opening shot, a slow track through a Malaysian rubber plantation that sets the tone for the whole picture.

Gaudio lit Raoul Walsh's crime masterwork High Sierra in an ultrarealistic, documentary-like fashion. Gaudio left Warners in 1943, and his subsequent work lacks the same consistency he had previously demonstrated, although he achieved some fine color cinematography on A Song to Remember and The Red Pony . Like many of the technicians during the Golden Age of Hollywood, Gaudio was at his best in the highly departmentalized confines of the studio system.

—John A. Gallagher

User Contributions:

David Jeffers
Report this comment as inappropriate
Jun 21, 2008 @ 6:18 pm
There seems to be some dispute as to the existence of Technicolor segments in the original release of Douglas Fairbanks' film The Gaucho (1927), The AFI silent feature catalog includes a reference, as do several other online database listings. Another source, has the transcription of an original review from Motion Picture Magazine, which vaguely suggests Technicolor. According to one Fairbanks expert, he mentioned in an interview given several weeks into production, The Gaucho would not be in color. Business records for this film would identify the use of Technicolor, but they are absent from archived materials that include his other films. Since there is no direct evidence of Technicolor footage in this film that I can find, the numerous references are curious and puzzling. Can you offer any direct proof to support the use of Technicolor segments in the original release of The Gaucho

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