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Périnal, Georges (1897-1965)


Main image of Périnal, Georges (1897-1965)

Cinematographer Georges Périnal entered films in 1913 as assistant cameraman in Paris, winning acclaim for the films he shot for René Clair from the later 1920s, including Sous les toits de Paris (France, 1930), before coming to England to work for Korda in 1933.

He is responsible for the black-and-white sheen of such important London Films productions as The Private Life of Henry VIII (d. Alexander Korda, 1933) and Things to Come (d. William Cameron Menzies, 1936), as well of its Technicolor adventures, The Drum (d. Zoltan Korda, 1938) and The Four Feathers (d. Zoltan Korda, 1939), and the fantasy The Thief of Bagdad (d. Michael Powell, Ludwig Berger, Tim Whelan, 1940).

He is thus a major contributor to the prestige arm of prewar British cinema, not to speak of the wartime glory of The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (d. Powell & Pressburger, 1943) and the postwar peak of The Fallen Idol (1948), Périnal's camera colluding with Carol Reed's vision of a child's world in alarming disarray.

If his 1950s work is generally less distinguished, that is the fault of the films rather than his.

Brian McFarlane, Encyclopaedia of British Cinema

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Selected credits

Thumbnail image of Drum, The (1938)Drum, The (1938)

London Films' first Technicolor feature, a stirring Empire epic

Thumbnail image of Fallen Idol, The (1948)Fallen Idol, The (1948)

Classic child's eye story from Carol Reed and Graham Greene

Thumbnail image of First of the Few, The (1942)First of the Few, The (1942)

Moving wartime biopic of R.J. Mitchell, designer of the Spitfire

Thumbnail image of Four Feathers, The (1939)Four Feathers, The (1939)

Lavish Technicolor costume epic about an alleged coward fighting in the Sudan

Thumbnail image of Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, The (1943)Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, The (1943)

Ambitious wartime saga which infuriated Churchill

Thumbnail image of Private Life of Henry VIII, The (1933)Private Life of Henry VIII, The (1933)

Charles Laughton stars as Henry VIII in British cinema's first US smash hit

Thumbnail image of Rembrandt (1936)Rembrandt (1936)

Charles Laughton stars in Korda's biopic of the great Dutch painter

Thumbnail image of Sanders of the River (1935)Sanders of the River (1935)

The first of Korda's British colonial epics, disowned by its star

Thumbnail image of Thief of Bagdad, The (1940)Thief of Bagdad, The (1940)

Michael Powell co-directed Korda's lavish Arabian Nights fantasy

Thumbnail image of Things to Come (1936)Things to Come (1936)

Britain's biggest sci-fi film of the 1930s, adapted from H.G.Wells

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