Legendary Cinematographer William Fraker Has Died

The movies Bullitt and Paint Your Wagon couldn’t be more different. One is a devil-may-care spy-type flick with the easy violence of Steve McQueen, and the other is a glorious musical with the sprawling West as a backdrop (a musical that got Clint Eastwood to sing).

So I was surprised to learn somewhere along the way that they were shot by the same man.

William Fraker was not only a visionary, he had something that few cinematographers possess: the range to shoot anything put in front of him. Bullitt was the introduction I had to Fraker’s work, but I’d go on to find a serious appreciation of almost everything he did. Of course, like any career, there are a few movies that aren’t great, but the common thread in all of them is that they look fantastic. His work elevated a picture no matter the script or the actors (or, sometimes, the director).

If you don’t know his name, you most certainly know his work. Films like The Professionals (which I would watch every day of my life), Rosemary’s Baby, Close Encounters, Heaven Can Wait, 1941, WarGames, SpaceCamp, Tombstone, Rules of Engagement…the man has had a phenomenal career.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fraker died Monday after a battle with cancer at the age of 86.

It’s impossible to choose a favorite from the films that the man made. His entire legacy is something worth celebrating.

Can you figure out a favorite from that varied, fantastic list?

A veteran of writing about movies for nearly a decade, Scott Beggs has been the Managing Editor of Film School Rejects since 2009. Despite speculation, he is not actually Walter Mathau's grandson. See? He can't even spell his name right.

Read More from Scott Beggs
Get Film School Rejects in your email. All the cool kids are doing it:
Previous Article
Next Article
Reject Nation
Leave a comment
Comment Policy: No hate speech allowed. If you must argue, please debate intelligently. Comments containing selected keywords or outbound links will be put into moderation to help prevent spam. Film School Rejects reserves the right to delete comments and ban anyone who doesn't follow the rules. We also reserve the right to modify any curse words in your comments and make you look like an idiot. Thank You!