Rudolph Maté, Close-Up and Personal


Rudolph Maté

Maté Mystery: the Close-Up Shot… Rudolph Maté (Rezso Mayer) was born in Krakow, Poland, on January 21, 1898; a man self-described as of a ruddy complexion, one-hundred-sixty-pounds, five-feet-nine-inches in height, with brown hair and hazel eyes. Maté married Paula Sophie Hartkopko (born in Copenhagen, Denmark) in Paris on October 14, 1929 and the couple arrived in the United States in 1934. Their voyage was aboard the S. S. Europa, sailing from Cherbourg, France; the ship pulled into port in New York, on April 21, but they decided to continue on their trip and entered the States on foot from Mexicali, Mexico, to Calexico, California on June 26. In August of 1937 Paula Maté died and Rudolph would remain a widower for nearly four years. Maté next married a young lady (20 years his junior) named Regina Opoczynski, a fellow Pole, who had arrived in America in 1936. The ceremony was in Las Vegas on July 6, 1941; they would have a son, Christopher, born the day after Thanksgiving, on November 23, 1945. Their marriage ended in 1958 after Maté left his wife stranded in France for four weeks (this appears to have occurred in January of 1956); that point won her the divorce on March 31, 1958.[1]   Maté the Open Book: the Panoramic View… A storied career as cinematographer, a strong directorial resume and a vision for what appeals to the eye, faintly describes the work of Rudolph Maté. The Passion of Joan of Arc in 1928, started Maté’s rise in the film-world, almost meteoric in scope and with The Passion of Joan of Arc, Rudolph Maté was involved in shooting some of the finest close-up shots (if not the best example) in film history, this with director Carl Theodor Dreyer; his next unusual entry was the experimental, expressionistic Vampyr, 1932, again with master director Dreyer, offering some of the most eclectic use of moving- images ever put on celluloid. rudy220px-Passionarc giphypassion5PassionMaria-Falconetti-în-filmul-The-Passion-of-Joan-of-Arc passion-of-joan-of-arc-silent-film rudy1291965421-m peglegVampyr_1_L Vampyr_4_L Once in Hollywood we see his solid hand in Dodsworth and Come and Get It, both in 1936, Stella Dallas, 1937 and Love Affair, 1939. But it was to be in the 1940’s where Maté’s fame was polished (although no better quality than what had gone before, either in Europe or the States) with 5 consecutive Academy Award nominations for Best Cinematography; in 1940 Foreign Correspondent with director Alfred Hitchcock; That Hamilton Woman, 1941, directed by Alexander Korda; in 1942, The Pride of the Yankees; Sahara, directed by Zoltan Korda in 1943 and Cover Girl (Best Color Cinematography shared with Allen M. Davey). Rudolph Maté’s activities as a cinematographer ended with his uncredited work on The Lady from Shanghai, 1947, while in the same year beginning the directorial phase of his artistic journey with the fantasy-comedy-romance It Had to Be You (starring Ginger Rogers and Cornell Wilde). rudydodsworth rudyPoster - Come and Get It (1936)_02 rudytumblr_lq8hlo599g1qkge9po1_500rudyLove+Affair+poster+1939rudyforeign_correspondent_xlg rudyThat_Hamilton_woman_(1941)rudyThe_Pride_Of_The_Yankees_1942 rudySahara_-_1943_-_-poster rudy3shtPosterrudylady_from_shanghai_ver3rudy220px-It_Had_to_Be_You_FilmPoster D.O.A. from 1950, starts with what has to be accounted as one of the most dramatic and memorable movie-opening-lines with the conversation between lead character Frank Bigelow and the Captain of Homicide Detectives: Frank Bigelow: “I want to report a murder.” Homicide Captain: “Where was this murder committed?” Frank Bigelow: “San Francisco, last night.” Homicide Captain: “Who was murdered?” Frank Bigelow: “I was.” D.O.A. stands as a hallmark for Film-Noir and was just the fourth movie directed by Maté. Not to be roped into the Noir or Thriller genres Rudolph Maté made When Worlds Collide, a taunt record into the Sci-Fi -history-roll.  The Black Shield of Falworth, a historical, adventure-romance tale, 1954, The Violent Men (a westerner with Glen Ford, Barbara Stanwyck and Edward G. Robinson), 1955, Miracle in the Rain (a fanciful wartime romance starring Jane Wyman and Van Johnson), 1956 and the Greek historical-actioner, The 300 Spartans (with such notables as: Ralph Richardson, Richard Egan and Diane Baker), 1962; these films stand as testament to the directing skills of the photographic-maestro. Get your DVD, your Blu-Ray or Stream yourself and yours a Maté matinée  or star-filled evening performance of any of the works of director and cinematographer Rudolph Maté. rudyDOA1950rudyMPW-28234rudyPoster - Black Shield of Falworth, The_02rudythe-violent-men-movie-poster-1955-1020434901rudy22+Miracle+in+the+Rain,+1956.rudythree_hundred_spartans_xlg   By C. S. Williams   [1] Independent (Long beach, California) April 1, 1958

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