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Place of Birth Königinhof, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary [now Dvur Kralove, Czech Republic]
Birthday 1890-01-16
Death 1969-05-03
Also Known As Carl Freund
Karl W. Freund

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​.   Karl W. Freund, A.S.C. (January 16, 1890-May 3, 1969) was a cinematographer and film director. Born in Dvůr Králové (Königinhof), 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. 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 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). In 1937, he went to Germany to bring his only daughter, Gerda Maria Freund, back to the United States, saving her from almost certain death in the concentration camps. Karl's ex-wife, Susette Freund (née Liepmannssohn), remained in Germany where she was interned at the Ravensbrück concentration camp and eventually taken in March, 1942 to Bernburg Euthanasia Center where she was murdered. 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 for shooting sitcoms that is still in use today. This system covers the set in light, thus eliminating shadows and allowing the use of three moving cameras without having to modify the lighting in-between shots. And where Freund did not invent the three camera shooting system, he did perfect it for use with film cameras in front of a live audience. Freund and his production team also worked on other sitcoms produced at/through Desilu such as "Our Miss Brooks".

Acting

1924Michael as LeBlanc - Art Dealer


Other Roles

2013I Love Lucy Christmas Special - Director of Photography
1950Bright Leaf - Director of Photography
1950Montana - Director of Photography
1948The Decision of Christopher Blake - Director of Photography
1948Key Largo - Director of Photography
1948Wallflower - Director of Photography
1946Undercurrent - Director of Photography
1946Two Smart People - Director of Photography
1946A Letter for Evie - Director of Photography
1945Dangerous Partners - Director of Photography
1944The Seventh Cross - Cinematography
1944A Guy Named Joe - Director of Photography
1943Cry 'Havoc' - Director of Photography
1943Du Barry Was a Lady - Director of Photography
1942Tortilla Flat - Director of Photography
1941Blossoms in the Dust - Director of Photography
1940Comrade X - Camera Operator
1940Pride and Prejudice - Cinematography
1940We Who Are Young - Director of Photography
1940Florian - Director of Photography
1940Green Hell - Director of Photography
1940The Earl of Chicago - Director of Photography
1939Balalaika - Director of Photography
1939Golden Boy - Director of Photography
1939Rose of Washington Square - Director of Photography
1939Tail Spin - Director of Photography
1938Letter of Introduction - Director of Photography
1938Port of Seven Seas - Director of Photography
1938Three Comrades - Director of Photography
1938Man-Proof - Director of Photography
1937Conquest - Director of Photography
1937Parnell - Director of Photography
1937The Good Earth - Director of Photography
1936Camille - Director of Photography
1936The Great Ziegfeld - Director of Photography
1935Mad Love - Director
1934Gift of Gab - Director
1934I Give My Love - Director
1934The Countess of Monte Cristo - Director
1934Madame Spy - Director
1933Moonlight and Pretzels - Director
1933The Kiss Before the Mirror - Director of Photography
1932Back Street - Director of Photography
1932Murders in the Rue Morgue - Director of Photography
1932The Mummy - Director
1931Strictly Dishonorable - Director of Photography
1931Up for Murder - Director of Photography
1931The Bad Sister - Director of Photography
1931Dracula - Director of Photography
1930All Quiet on the Western Front - Director of Photography
1930Sleeping Partners - Director of Photography
1929Fräulein Else - Director of Photography
1928A Knight in London - Director of Photography
1927Berlin: Symphony of a Great City - Author
1927Berlin: Symphony of a Great City - Director of Photography
1927Berlin: Symphony of a Great City - Producer
1927Metropolis - Camera Operator
1927Metropolis - Director of Photography
1926Madame Wants No Children - Producer
1926Manon Lescaut - Director of Photography
1925Tartuffe - Director of Photography
1925Variety - Director of Photography
1924The Last Laugh - Director of Photography
1924Michael - Director of Photography
1924The Finances of the Grand Duke - Director of Photography
1922Lucrezia Borgia - Director of Photography
1922The Burning Soil - Director of Photography
1922Marizza - Director of Photography
1921Torgus - Director of Photography
1920The Golem: How He Came Into the World - Director of Photography
1920Panic in the House of Ardon - Director of Photography
1920The Head of Janus - Director of Photography
1920Der Bucklige und die Tänzerin - Director of Photography
1920The Spiders - The Diamond Ship - Director of Photography
1920Satanas - Director of Photography
1919The Spiders - The Golden Lake - Cinematography
1919Die letzten Menschen - Director of Photography
1919The Arc - Director of Photography
1919Intoxication - Director of Photography
1919Emerald of Death - Director of Photography
1918Die Dame, der Teufel und die Probiermamsell - Director of Photography
1918Die blaue Laterne - Director of Photography
1918Auf Probe gestellt - Director of Photography
1918Gräfin Küchenfee - Director of Photography
1917The Giant's Fist - Director of Photography
1917Die Claudi vom Geiserhof - Director of Photography
1917Der Liebesbrief der Königin - Director of Photography
1916The Robber Bride - Director of Photography
1916Das wandernde Licht - Director of Photography
1916Little Angel's Wedding - Camera Operator
1916Frau Eva - Director of Photography
1916Bummelstudenten - Director of Photography
1916The Man in the Mirror - Director of Photography
1914The Hound of the Baskervilles - Director of Photography
1914A Venetian Night - Director of Photography
1914Zapata's Gang - Director of Photography
1914Little Angel - Director of Photography
1913The Film Prima-Donna - Director of Photography
1913The Suffragette - Director of Photography


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