Vilmos Zsigmond

Vilmos Zsigmond

Highest Rated: 98% The Last Waltz (1978)

Lowest Rated: 13% The Body (2001)

Birthday: Jun 16, 1930

Birthplace: Szeged, Hungary

Hungarian cinematographer Vilmos Szigmond helped to define the look and scope of such iconic films of the 1970s, including "McCabe & Mrs. Miller" (1971), "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (1977) and "The Deer Hunter" (1978), over the course of an five-decade, Oscar-winning career. Born June 16, 1930 in Szeged, Hungary, he was the son of a famed soccer player and coach, also named Vilmos Szigmond. After earning his master's degree in cinematography from the Academy of Drama and Film in Budapest, he served as director of photography for a film studio. The turmoil of 1956 Hungarian Revolution spurred him and fellow student Laszlo Kovacs to record the clash between his countrymen and the Soviet occupying forces; together, they fled to Austria before making their way to the United States. There, both Szigmond and Kovacs worked on numerous low-budget horror and exploitation titles, most notably the epically titled "Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies" (1964). Director Robert Altman brought him to mainstream features with "McCabe & Mrs. Miller" (1971), which earned him praise for his muted palette of color and light to emphasis the film's cold, dreary environment. The success of the film led to more work with Altman ("The Long Goodbye," 1973), as well as such iconic films of the decade as John Boorman's "Deliverance" (1972), Stephen Spielberg's "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," which earned him an Oscar, Martin Scorsese's "The Last Waltz" (1978) and Michael Cimino's "The Deer Hunter." By the 1980s, Szigmond was one of the most in-demand cinematographers in Hollywood, lending his crisp visuals and painterly use of color to Brian DePalma's "Blow Out" (1981) and "Bonfire of the Vanities" (1990) and Mark Rydell's "The River" (1984), which brought him a second Oscar nomination. In 1992, Szigmond made his debut as director on a Hungarian/Israeli production, "The Long Shadow," but soon returned to cinematography for both features and television, including the HBO biopic "Stalin" (1993), which brought him an American Society of Cinematographers Award, and the TNT miniseries "The Mists of Avalon" (2001), which earned him an Emmy nomination. As his storied body of work began to reap laurels in the late '90s - most notably, a 1999 Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Cinematographers and a PBS documentary "No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo and Vilmos" (2009) - his career continued unabated, and soon included collaborations with Woody Allen ("Melinda and Melinda," 2004) and a third Oscar nomination for DePalma's "The Black Dahlia" (2006). Szigmond had begun work on four films at the time of his death in Big Sur, California on January 1, 2016.

Highest rated movies





No Score Yet No Score Yet Close Encounters with Vilmos Zsigmond Self - 2015
50% 56% Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks Cinematographer $12.5K 2014
No Score Yet 82% God the Father Cinematographer $111.5K 2014
No Score Yet 19% Compulsion Cinematographer - 2013
No Score Yet 88% The Maiden Danced to Death Cinematographer - 2011
33% 50% Louis Hungarian Photographer (Character),
- 2010
46% 34% You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger Cinematographer $3.2M 2010
46% 49% Cassandra's Dream Cinematographer $969.6K 2007
32% 27% The Black Dahlia Cinematographer $22.5M 2006
42% 48% Jersey Girl Cinematographer $25.3M 2004
52% 47% Melinda and Melinda Cinematographer $3.8M 2004
13% 44% The Body Cinematographer $33.6K 2001
47% 88% Life as a House Cinematographer $15.6M 2001
60% 79% Playing by Heart Cinematographer $4.0M 1998
50% 75% The Ghost and the Darkness Cinematographer $38.6M 1996
75% 53% The Crossing Guard Cinematographer $771.7K 1995
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Long Shadow Director - 1992
64% 38% The Two Jakes Cinematographer $9.4M 1990
No Score Yet No Score Yet Journey to Spirit Island Cinematographer - 1988
76% 62% The Witches of Eastwick Cinematographer $58.7M 1987
74% 83% Real Genius Cinematographer $130.8K 1985
57% 33% No Small Affair Cinematographer - 1984
No Score Yet 30% Jinxed! Cinematographer - 1982
85% 82% Blow Out Cinematographer - 1981
59% 54% Heaven's Gate Cinematographer - 1980
88% 55% Winter Kills Cinematographer - 1979
98% 94% The Last Waltz Cinematographer $322.0K 1978
92% 92% The Deer Hunter Cinematographer - 1978
94% 85% Close Encounters of the Third Kind Cinematographer $3.1M 1977
85% 66% The Sugarland Express Cinematographer - 1974
94% 87% The Long Goodbye Cinematographer - 1973
77% 79% Scarecrow Cinematographer - 1973
89% 82% Deliverance Cinematographer - 1972
84% 86% McCabe & Mrs. Miller Cinematographer - 1971
81% 74% The Hired Hand Cinematographer - 1971
No Score Yet 50% The Picasso Summer Cinematographer - 1969
No Score Yet No Score Yet Mondo Mod Cinematographer - 1967
No Score Yet No Score Yet Summer Children Cinematographer - 1965
No Score Yet 14% The Nasty Rabbit Cinematographer - 1964
No Score Yet No Score Yet Spies A-Go-Go Cinematographer - 1964