8.2.1899 – 4.8.1950
Photo caption: Gunther Krampf BSC (camera right) with Guy Green BSC his assistant on Marigold (1938)
GUNTHER KRAMPF BSC
Günther Krampf was an Austrian cinematographer who later settled and worked in Britain. Krampf has been described as a "phantom of film history" because of his largely forgotten role working on a number of important films during the silent and early sound era. Only two of Krampf's films The Student of Prague (1926) directed by Henrik Galeen and The Ghoul (1933) directed by T. Hayes Hunter, were expressionist, as he generally used a naturalistic style.
Krampf first worked as a cinematographer in 1920. During the following decade Krampf worked alongside a number of the leading directors of the Weimar era including F. W. Murnau, Robert Wiene, G. W. Pabst, Richard Oswald and Rudolf Meinert at a time when German films enjoyed a high critical reputation.
In his native Germany, he worked as an assistant cameraman on Nosferatu (1922) directed by F. W. Murnau and photographed by Fritz Arno Wagner. His first solo credit was Das Mädchen mit der Protektion (1925) directed by Max Mack. Other films include: Pandora’s Box (1929) directed by G. W. Pabst,
Krampf moved to Britain to work in 1931 and made six films for Gaumont British, a leading studio, between 1932 and 1936. He returned to Germany in 1935 to work on the historical epic Joan of Arc (1935) directed by Gustav Ucicky. An agreement Krampf had with an Austrian company to work on Mausi (which was ultimately never made), was broken by the studio because of pressure from Nazi Germany possibly because Krampf might have been of Jewish heritage. Krampf successfully sued in court, and returned to Britain, where he lived for the remainder of his career.
After leaving Gaumont, Krampf worked mainly at Welwyn Studios. During the Second World War Krampf collaborated with Alfred Hitchcock on two short propaganda films Aventure malgache and Bon Voyage. His final film of note was Fame is the Spur (1947) directed by Roy Boulting, a thinly disguised biopic of the politician Ramsay MacDonald, by the Boulting brothers. His last credit is for The Franchise Affair (1951) directed by Lawrence Huntingdon.