Oscar Directors: Cardiff, Jack

Born on September 18, 1914, in Yarmouth, England.

Cardiff entered British films at four as a child actor and continued as a camera assistant at 13. By 1936, he was a competent camera operator and worked in that capacity on such distinguished productions as “As You Like It,” “The Ghost Goes West” (both 1936), “Knight Without Armor,” and Britain's first three-color Technicolor film, “Wings of the Morning” (both 1937).

As a color expert, he photographed many travelogue shorts and was a second-unit cameraman on “The Four Feathers” (1939). With the Crown Film Unit of the Ministry of Information during WWII, Cardiff photographed many documentaries, including the excellent Western Approaches (1944). He later became one of UK's most accomplished directors of photography and provided the dazzling color camerawork for some of the country's most prestigious productions.

Cardiff received an Oscar Award for the Cinematography of “Black Narcissus” (1947), and later worked on some American and international productions, such as John Huston's “The African Queen,” in 1951.

In the late 1950s, he turned to directing, beginning with “Intent to Kill” (1958) and “Beyond This Place” 1959). Cardiff received a Director Oscar nomination for “Sons and Lovers,” which was also nominated for Best Picture.

Oscar Context

In 1960, Cardiff competed for the Best Director Oscar with Billy Wilder, who won for “The Apartment,” Jules Dassin for “Never on Sunday,” Hitchcock for “Psycho,” and Fred Zinnemann for “The Sundowners.”