“Who was Henry Freulich?” by S.M. O’Connor

Henry Freulich (1906-1981) rose from being a still photographer at First National Pictures to cameraman to cinematographer at Columbia Pictures and later worked on television shows in the 1950s and early ‘60s.  Freulich’s first film was The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), which starred Lon Chaney, Sr. (1883-1930).[1]  His career began as a still photographer at First National Pictures. [2]  After Warner Brothers acquired First National Pictures, he moved to Columbia, where he worked for thirty-one years. [3]  As Second Cameraman, he helped film Frank Capra’s screwball romantic comedy It Happened One Night (1934), which starred Clark Gable (1901-1960) and Claudette Colbert (1903-1996). [4] Colleen Moore’s personal cameraman, Freulich planned the lighting of Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle.[5]  She wrote, “Henry Freulich lighted the castle rooms with the gravity and finesse he gave to the most important film sets.”[6]

At Columbia, he rose to cinematographer (also known as director of photography). [7]  At the age of twenty-seven, he was inducted into the American Society of Cinematographers, and was the youngest member. [8]  He made dozens of feature films at Columbia. [9]  These included the Blondie series, which were adapted from Chic Young’s comic strip of the same name; the Boston Blackie series, which were adapted from Jack Boyle’s short stories; the Lone Wolf series; and the Three Stooges series. [10]  He filmed over 100 Three Stooges comedies. [11]  During the Second Great World War, he served as a combat cameraman in the Pacific Theater. [12]  In 1953, Freulich and Harry C. Newman both set a new record by each filming eleven films that year.[13]  He turned to television in his later years, and worked on the C.B.S. series Playhouse 90 (1956-1960), the N.B.C. series Celebrity Playhouse (1955-1956), and the N.B.C. series Thriller (1960-1962). [14]

[1] “Henry Freulich, Veteran Movie Cameraman, Dies” Los Angeles Times, 7 December, 1985 (http://articles.latimes.com/1985-12-07/local/me-14326_1_three-stooges) Accessed 12/04/17

[2] “Henry Freulich, Veteran Movie Cameraman, Dies” Los Angeles Times, 7 December, 1985

[3] “Henry Freulich, Veteran Movie Cameraman, Dies” Los Angeles Times, 7 December, 1985

[4] “Henry Freulich, Veteran Movie Cameraman, Dies” Los Angeles Times, 7 December, 1985

[5] Colleen Moore, Colleen Moore’s Doll House.  Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc. (1979), pages 6 and 12

[6] Moore, Colleen Moore’s Doll House, p. 12

[7] “Henry Freulich, Veteran Movie Cameraman, Dies” Los Angeles Times, 7 December, 1985

[8] “Henry Freulich, Veteran Movie Cameraman, Dies” Los Angeles Times, 7 December, 1985

[9] “Henry Freulich, Veteran Movie Cameraman, Dies” Los Angeles Times, 7 December, 1985

[10] “Henry Freulich, Veteran Movie Cameraman, Dies” Los Angeles Times, 7 December, 1985

[11] “Henry Freulich, Veteran Movie Cameraman, Dies” Los Angeles Times, 7 December, 1985

[12] “Henry Freulich, Veteran Movie Cameraman, Dies” Los Angeles Times, 7 December, 1985

[13] H. Mario Raimondo-Souto, Motion Picture Photography: A History, 1891-1960. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers (2007), p. 335

[14] “Henry Freulich, Veteran Movie Cameraman, Dies” Los Angeles Times, 7 December, 1985 (http://articles.latimes.com/1985-12-07/local/me-14326_1_three-stooges) Accessed 12/04/17

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