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Taylor, Gilbert (1914-)


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In the industry from 1929 as assistant in the Gaumont-British camera department, Gilbert Taylor came into his own after his RAF service. He worked as camera operator for the Boultings on Fame is the Spur and Brighton Rock (1947), then as director of photography on three films for the brothers: The Guinea Pig (1948), and the contemporary thrillers, Seven Days to Noon (1950) and High Treason (1951), in which he began to develop his realistic use of black-and-white film.

Less concerned with aesthetic beauty than with dramatic veracity, he honed his technique further on the dramas he made for J. Lee Thompson, notably Yield to the Night (1956), Woman in a Dressing Gown (1957) and Ice-Cold in Alex (1958) - and on The Beatles' debut film, A Hard Day's Night (d. Richard Lester, 1964).

His achievements in black-and-white were recognised in his BAFTA nominations for the Polanski films, Repulsion (1965) and the visually remarkable Cul-de-sac (1966). He also worked with Stanley Kubrick, but with apparently less satisfaction.

Duncan Petrie, The British Cinematographer, 1996.

Brian McFarlane, Encyclopedia of British Film

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Selected credits

Thumbnail image of Brighton Rock (1947)Brighton Rock (1947)

Graham Greene thriller with Richard Attenborough as a vicious gangster

Thumbnail image of Cul-de-Sac (1966)Cul-de-Sac (1966)

Roman Polanski's black comedy about a couple terrorised by gangsters

Thumbnail image of Dam Busters, The (1955)Dam Busters, The (1955)

Much-loved World War II classic about the famous bombing raid

Thumbnail image of Hard Day's Night, A (1964)Hard Day's Night, A (1964)

The Beatles star in one of the defining films of the Swinging Sixties

Thumbnail image of Ice Cold in Alex (1958)Ice Cold in Alex (1958)

Classic war film charting a perilous journey across North Africa

Thumbnail image of Number Seventeen (1932)Number Seventeen (1932)

Early Hitchcock sound thriller about criminals holed up in a deserted house

Thumbnail image of Punch and Judy Man, The (1962)Punch and Judy Man, The (1962)

Tony Hancock stars in a tragi-comedy set in a small seaside resort

Thumbnail image of Rebel, The (1960)Rebel, The (1960)

Tony Hancock's big-screen debut stars him as a talentless but ambitious artist

Thumbnail image of Repulsion (1965)Repulsion (1965)

Terrifying psychological thriller about a mentally disturbed young woman

Thumbnail image of Seven Days to Noon (1950)Seven Days to Noon (1950)

Tense Boulting Brothers nuclear thriller - still surprisingly powerful today

Thumbnail image of Weak and the Wicked, The (1954)Weak and the Wicked, The (1954)

A young woman, framed for fraud, journeys through the prison system

Thumbnail image of Woman in a Dressing Gown (1957)Woman in a Dressing Gown (1957)

Powerful and progressive drama of a marriage in crisis

Thumbnail image of Yield to the Night (1956)Yield to the Night (1956)

Diana Dors stars in a powerful anti-capital punishment film

Related collections

Thumbnail image of Boulting BrothersBoulting Brothers

Directors, Producers, Screenwriters

Related people and organisations

Thumbnail image of Lee Thompson, J. (1914-2002)Lee Thompson, J. (1914-2002)

Director, Writer, Producer