Friday, August 7, 2015

Commemorating Cinematographer Ted Moore….Day 219 of Bond 365

Ted Moore
Born this day in 1914
Director of Photography in Dr. No, From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, Diamonds Are Forever, Live and Let Die, The Man with the Golden Gun

Ted Moore was originally from Benoni, Western Cape, South Africa. He moved to the United Kingdom in 1930 and served in the RAF during World War II. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) as well as a French Croix De Geurre. For part of his service, Moore worked with the film unit since by wartime, Moore had already been working as a cameraman in the film industry.

Moore got his professional start as a camera operator for the war drama Sons of the Sea (1939) and get this, an actor by the name of Ian Fleming was cast as a Naval Intelligence Officer – if that isn’t foreshadowing, I don’t know what is?! Some years later, Moore met up with what would become part of the core crew for the Bond franchise in the film Paratrooper (1953). For that film, Terence Young directed, Richard Maibaum was the screenwriter and it co-produced by Albert Broccoli. Further down into the credits, I found stuntman Bob Simmons as well. And, in 1956, Moore, Young and Broccoli joined forces again for Safari. This time, Moore led the Director of Photography for the second unit.

Moore did incredible work on seven Bond films as the cinematographer, creating numerous memorable scenes. Some of the other films that stand out in his filmography that I have seen: The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973), Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977), the disturbing Orca (1977), television mini-series The Martian Chronicles (1980), and the epic Clash of the Titans (1981), which was one of his very last projects.

Throughout Moore’s career, that spanned over four decades, he earned four accolades: for A Man for All Seasons (1966) he won an Academy Award and a BAFTA and for From Russia with Love (1963) he won a BAFTA and recognition from the British Society of Cinematographers.

In 1987, Moore passed away at the age of 72 in Surrey, England.

Interesting fact: Moore and actress Charlize Theron were both from Benoni and each earned the first Oscar for their respective fields (cinematography and acting) as representatives from South Africa. Moore was actually the very first South African to receive an Oscar.

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