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Ted Tetzlaff Edit Profile

also known as Dale H. "Ted" Tetzlaff

cinematographer , film director

Ted Tetzlaff was an american lab assistant before becoming a camera assistant, and became a cinematographer in 1926.


Ted Tetzlaff was born on 3 June, 1903 in Los Angeles, California, United States.


Ted Tetzlaff was educated locally.


Ted, or Teddy as he was known circa 1930, had a long apprenticeship in photography and camerawork at Fox. From 1926-50 he was an active lighting cameraman, not in the first rank but an accomplished exponent of low'-key black and white with a feeling for intrigue. That culminated in the lustrous, shadowy interiors of Notonous (Alfred Hitchcock), even if the subtlest visual effects in that movie may have come from Hitch, thus prompting Tetzlaff’s “Getting a bit technical, aren’t you, Pop?” A telling remark, since Hitchcock’s genius rested more in his technique than a technician already beginning to direct could see. Tetzlaffs twenty-five years with the camera included The Power of the Press (Frank Capra); The Donovan Affair (Capra); The Younger Generation (Capra); Mexicali Rose (29, Erie C. Kenton); ToVable David (John G. Blystone); Fugitive Lovers (Richard Bole- slavsky); Paris in Spring (Lewis Milestone); My Man Godfrey (36, Gregor)' La Cava); Easy Living (Mitchell Leisen); Fools for Scandal (38, Le Roy): Remember the Night (Leisen); / Married a Witch (René Clair); and The Enchanted Cottage (John Cromwell).

World Premiere, at Paramount, was John Barry¬more’s penultimate film, an undoubted trial for a new director up from the ranks. Tetzlaff seems to have been much happier at RKO after the war, where he was hired by Dore Schary to work as director and photographer. His films there are B pictures, mostly thrillers, with such stars as George Raft and Pat O'Brien. But The White Tower is six people climbing an Alpine peak including Valli, Claude Rains, Glenn Ford, and Cedric Hardwicke. And The Window is a genuinely original film, about an overimaginative child not believed when he sees a murder. At a modest scale, it is a Hitchcockian subject, and the maker of Rear Window may have liked it enough to remember the idea. (Both came from stories by Cornell Woolrich.) Bobby Driscoll is pop-eyed with fright as the boy, but Tetzlaf f deserves special credit for his use of Paul Stewart as the villain, the yes-and-no sentimental butler from Kane, and a face of sly malice.



Tetzlaff was particularly favored by the actress Carole Lombard, whom he photographed in 10 films.

Carole Lombard
Carole Lombard - friend of Ted Tetzlaff