25 Beautiful Shots from the Films of Martin Scorsese

The director has been making great movies for over 50 years, and these shots are a key element of what makes them so brilliant.
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By  · Published on November 28th, 2019

Martin Scorsese has been making movies for over half a century. In that time, he’s made everything from cheapie exploitation fare to award-winning masterworks. However, regardless of which lane the director is operating in, his cinematic output contains some beautiful cinematography.

Scorsese’s films are no strangers to critical acclaim and iconic status among film aficionados. That said, it’s surprising to know that only six of his narrative features have been nominated in the Best Cinematography category at the Oscars. Raging Bull, Kundun, Gangs of New York, and Silence were unfortunate to lose out at their respective ceremonies. But The Aviator and Hugo took home the prize at theirs.

Interestingly, Robert Richardson shot two of those Oscar-winning films. He is one of the director’s most frequent collaborators, having worked with him five times so far.

Michael Ballhaus, meanwhile, only received one nomination for his contributions to Scorsese’s filmography. Prior to his death, he was the director’s most regular collaborator behind the camera, as they teamed up for seven films that rank among some of the director’s finest works.

Michael Chapman and Rodrigo Prieto deserve some high praise as well. Chapman worked with Scorsese on two features and one documentary during his career, winning one Oscar and being criminally overlooked of a nomination for Taxi Driver. Prieto, on the other hand, is catching up with the others, having shot Scorsese’s last three films.

Of course, the Scorsese movies that weren’t nominated for any prestigious awards deserve some recognition for their beautiful visuals as well. Therefore, I have prepared this list to highlight some of the best shots from his oeuvre. Enjoy.

Who’s That Knocking At My Door (1967)

Who's That

Cinematography by Richard H. Coll, Michael Wadleigh

Boxcar Bertha (1972)

Boxcar Bertha

Cinematography by John Stephens

Mean Streets (1973)

Martin Scorsese Shots Mean Streets

Cinematography by Kent L. Wakeford

Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974)

Alice Doesn't

Cinematography by Kent L. Wakeford

Taxi Driver (1976)

Martin Scorsese Shots Taxi Driver

Cinematography by Michael Chapman

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Kieran is a Contributor to the website you're currently reading. He also loves the movie Varsity Blues.