Karl Freund

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Description:
Karl W. Freund, A.S.C. (January 16, 1890-May 3, 1969) was a cinematographer and film director.

Early life

Born in Dvůr Králové , Bohemia, his career began in 1905 when, at age 15, he got a job as an assistant projectionist for a film company in Berlin where his family moved in 1901.

Early career

He worked as a cinematographer on over 100 films, including the German Expressionist films The Golem (1920), The Last Laugh (1924) and Metropolis (1927). Freund co-wrote, and was cinematographer on, Symphony of a Metropolis (1927), directed by Walter Ruttmann.

Freund emigrated to the United States in 1929 where he continued to shoot well remembered films such as Dracula (1931) and Key Largo (1948). He won an Academy Award for Best Cinematography for The Good Earth (1937).

Directing, acting, and TV career

Between 1921 and 1935, Freund also directed ten films, of which the best known are probably The Mummy (1932) starring Boris Karloff, and his last film as director, Mad Love (1935) starring Peter Lorre.

Freund's only known film as an actor is Carl Dreyer's Michael (1924) in which he has a cameo as a sycophantic art dealer who saves the tobacco ashes dropped by a famous painter.

At the beginning of the 1950s, he was persuaded by Desi Arnaz at Desilu to be the cinematographer in 1951 for the televisions series I Love Lucy. Critics have credited Freund for the show's lustrous black and white cinematography, but more importantly, Freund designed the "flat lighting" system...
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