Magazine article American Cinematographer

In Memoriam: Fred Mandl, ASC

Magazine article American Cinematographer

In Memoriam: Fred Mandl, ASC

Article excerpt

Fred Mandl, ASC, a cinematographer whose work took him to many parts of the world, died February 21. He is survived by his wife, Lee, son, Peter, daughter, Nicolette, and brother, Hans.

Born in Cologne in 1908, the son of a prominent film producer, he started work in the film lab at the UFA studio in Berlin at the age of 16. After two years he became assistant to Karl Freund, ASC, who made some of the most celebrated German silent films during that period. Later, as first cameraman, he filmed two features for Sascha Film in Vienna. In 193D he went to Paramount in Paris, where he was assistant to Harry Stradling (Sr.), ASC. He also became well known as an aerial, second unit and process cameraman, and photographed two features in England.

In 1934 he shot 20 documentary shorts in Europe for Paramount and the Tobis feature, Mauvaise Graine, directed by Billy Wilder. He then moved to Spain as chief cinematographer for that country's largest studio, where he photographed six features including Verdena de la Paloma (1935), the most honored Spanish production of the 1930s. His work as a combat cameraman during the Spanish Civil War led to a political situation which made it necessary for him to leave in a hurry. He came to the United States in 1937.

Unable to find work in Depression-stricken Hollywood, Mandl joined Azteca Films in Mexico City, to make several features including Odio (1939), which won international acclaim and was released in the U.S. as Harvest of Hate by RKO-Radio. …

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