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Saturday, July 3, 2010

The great Iverson cinematographers: William Bradford

born September 1905, Vermont
died May 1959, Los Angeles (age 53)

William Bradford’s career as a movie cinematographer essentially spanned 1942-1954, followed by a healthy plunge into TV. He shot B-Westerns for Republic for six years before hitching his wagon to Gene Autry when the Republic star went independent in the late 1940s. 

"Secret Service in Darkest Africa" (1943)

Early in his career, Bradford "apprenticed" at Republic, learning the ropes from legendary Iverson cinematographer Ernest Miller and graduating to director of photography on a series of labor-intensive serials such as "Secret Service in Darkest Africa."

"Annie Oakley" TV show (1954)

Bradford later became the primary DP for Gene Autry Productions, shooting the company’s entire film output over the next five years before leading the camera work on the various Autry TV productions.

The Aztec, center, and Notch Hill, filmed by William Bradford in Carson City Raiders (1948)

He distinguished himself at Republic with some standout work with cowboy stars Roy Rogers, Allan “Rocky” Lane and Wild Bill Elliott

All of these features remain in place today

Prime examples of Bradford's Iverson cinematography from this period include the Rocky Lane features Carson City Raiders (1948) and Stagecoach to Monterey (1944), the Roy Rogers classic Heldorado (1946), the Wild Bill Elliott Western Old Los Angeles (1948) and a pair of 1947 Red Ryder movies starring Rocky Lane, Rustlers of Devil’s Canyon and Marshal of Cripple Creek.

"The Hills of Utah" (1951) — Upper Iverson

A highlight of Bradford's film work with Gene Autry Productions is The Hills of Utah (1951). He would continue to work at Iverson on TV shows such as Range Rider, Death Valley Days, Buffalo Bill Jr., The Gene Autry Show, The Adventures of Champion, Annie Oakley and eventually Sky King.

William Bradford — Plymouth Colony governor (not the same guy)

William Bradford filmography on IMDb

Bradford — the cinematographer, not the Plymouth Colony governor — kept working his whole life, but died at the age of 53. It may be that the DPs of the era were overworked, because I've found that many of them died young.

1 comment:

L. Milford said...

Fun fact: William Bradford the cinematographer was in fact a direct descendant of Gov. William Bradford of the Mayflower fame.