News, features, and commentary from the biggest city in the Americas, Mexico City.

Remembering a Legendary Mexican Movie Maker: Gabriel Figueroa

Figueroa at work behind the camera.

Figueroa at work behind the camera.

Today we take a moment to honor a man who made a great contribution to the world of filmmaking, both in Mexico and Hollywood.

April 24 marks the birthday of the late Mexican cinematographer, Gabriel Figueroa, who was born this day in 1907 in Mexico City.

Over a 50-year career, he worked on an incredible 235 films, in both Mexico and the U.S., and was widely recognized for his outstanding abilities.

Google Doodle for April 24, 2013

Google Doodle for April 24, 2013

To highlight just a few of his stellar works, in 1947, he was in charge of photography on the John Ford film, The Fugitive, starring Henry Fonda and Dolores del Río. The film was shot on location in Mexico.

And in 1962, Figueroa went to the then small village of Puerto Vallarta, for the filming of the John Huston classic, The Night of the Iguana, starring Richard Burton, Ava Gardner, Deborah Kerr, and Sue Lyon.

Figueroa was nominated for an Oscar for his work on the film, which was shot and set just beyond the outskirts of Puerto Vallarta, in the community of Mismaloya.

The release of The Night of the Iguana in 1964 was a turning point for Puerto Vallarta. Until then, it was a small fishing village. But after that, it quickly gained fame (and saw major development), thanks to Hollywood, which put the locale on the map internationally.

Even Elizabeth Taylor accompanied her then soon-to-be husband Burton to Mexico for the movie shoot, and would buy a home of her own in the community.

Official Movie Poster for Night of the Iguana.

Official Movie Poster for Night of the Iguana.

Figueroa died April 27, 1997 in his native Mexico City, just three days after his 90th birthday.

So if you haven’t seen either The Fugitive or The Night of the Iguana, add them to your “must see” list.

And remember, the director of photography on both of these works was none other than legendary Mexican cinematographer, Gabriel Figueroa.

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This entry was posted on April 24, 2013 by in Movies and tagged , , .
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