Cinematographer Nicholas Musuraca was born in Riace, Italy in 1892, emigrated to the U.S. in 1907 and shot his first movie in 1922. However, he only came into his own in his fifties (love late bloomers), at RKO Pictures, where his supreme gift for contrasting shadows and light (chiaroscuro) was essential to the look of the studio’s seminal film noirs such as “Out of the Past” and the feel of producer Val Lewton‘s horror movies like “Cat People” and “The Seventh Victim”. His invaluable lensing on Robert Siodmak’s marvelous horror/thriller “The Spiral Staircase” was influenced the German Expressionist cinema of the early 1920s while he dispensed with shadows almost entirely for the crisp black-and-white of director George Steven’s first film after returning from World War 2; “I Remember Mama”, for which he received his only Oscar nomination.
|1939||Golden Boy||Rouben Mamoulian||B-|
|1940||Stranger on the Third Floor||Boris Ingster||C+|
|1942||Cat People||Jacques Tourneur||B|
|1943||The Seventh Victim||Mark Robson||B-|
|1946||The Spiral Staircase||Robert Siodmak||A-|
|1946||The Locket||John Brahm||C+|
|1947||Out of the Past||Jacques Tourneur||A-|
|1947||The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer||Irving Reis||B|
|1948||I Remember Mamma*||George Stevens||B+|
|1948||Blood on The Moon||Robert Wise||C+|
|1952||Clash by Night||Fritz Lang||C-|
- Academy Award nomination for best black-and-white cinematography.