Karl W Freund




Born January 16th 1890    Koniginhof  Bohemia
Died  May 3rd 1969             Santa Monica, California

Freund’s  career began in 1905 at the early age of 15 when he was hired as an assistant projectionist in Berlin. His family had moved there in 1901.

He  emigrated to the US  in 1929 and became known for his work on films such as Dracula (1931) and Key Largo (1948). On Dracula he worked as the cinematographer, but effectively contributed as an uncredited director . He won an Academy Award for Best Cinematography for The Good Earth (1937).

Between 1921 and 1935, Freund directed ten films, the most renown being our offerings , The Mummy (1932) and his last film as director, Mad Love (1935).

At the start of the 1950’s he was approached by Desi Arnaz, the cinematographer for the televisions series I Love Lucy from 1951. 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 whereas Freund did not invent the three camera shooting system, he did perfect it for use with film cameras in front of a live audience. His work ensured the fortunes of Desilu Productions, and the personal fortunes of Desilu owners Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball, as he provided them with quality films of each show that could be easily syndicated into perpetuity. I am proof of this as the show was one of my favourites and I still watch episodes today. The sign of a great series was the list of stars lining up to be made fun of by the great Lucille Ball. My gems, John Wayne and Richard Widmark. The George Reeves Superman episode was timeless. The supporting roles of Fred and Ethel just made the series in my view.

In 1937, he visited Germany to bring to the United States his only daughter, Gerda Maria Freund, saving her from almost certain death in the concentration camps. His ex-wife, Susette Freund remained in Germany, where she was interned at the Ravensbrück concentration camp.



I Love Lucy (TV Series) –  148 episodes, 1951 – 1956

Our Miss Brooks (TV Series) – director of photography – 126 episodes 1952-1956

December Bride (TV Series) – 5 episodes 1954-1955

Those Whiting Girls (TV Series) – 1 episode 1955

Willy  (TV Series) – 16 episodes

1953 I Love Lucy

1950 Bright Leaf

1950 Montana

1949 South of St. Louis

1948 The Decision of Christopher Blake

1948 Key Largo

1948 Wallflower

1947 That Hagen Girl

1947 This Time for Keeps

1946 Undercurrent

1946 Two Smart People

1946 A Letter for Evie

1945 The Thin Man Goes Home (director of photography)

1945 Dangerous Partners

1945 Without Love

1944 The Seventh Cross (director of photography)

1943 A Guy Named Joe

1943 Cry ‘Havoc’ (director of photography)

1943 Du Barry Was a Lady

1942 The War Against Mrs. Hadley (director of photography)

1942 A Yank at Eton

1942 Tortilla Flat (director of photography)

1941 The Chocolate Soldier (director of photography)

1941 Blossoms in the Dust (director of photography)

1940 Keeping Company (director of photography)

1940 Pride and Prejudice (director of photography)

1940 We Who Are Young (director of photography)

1940 Florian

1940 Green Hell (director of photography)

1940 The Earl of Chicago (uncredited)

1939 Balalaika

1939 Barricade

1939 Golden Boy (director of photography)

1939 Rose of Washington Square

1939 Tail Spin

1938 Letter of Introduction

1938 Port of Seven Seas

1938 Three Comrades (uncredited)

1938 Man-Proof (photographed by)

1937 Marie Walewska

1937 Parnell (photographed by)

1937 The Good Earth (photographed by)

1936 Camille (photographed by)

1936 The Great Ziegfeld (segment “Ziegfeld Roof Numbers”)

1933 The Kiss Before the Mirror

1932 Merry-Go-Round

1932 Air Mail

1932 Back Street (uncredited)

1932 Scandal for Sale

1932 Murders in the Rue Morgue

1931 Strictly Dishonorable

1931 Personal Maid

1931 Fires of Youth

1931 The Bad Sister

1931 Dracula

1930 The Boudoir Diplomat

1930 The Lottery Bride (uncredited)

1930 All Quiet on the Western Front (uncredited)

1930 Sleeping Partners

1929 Miss Else

1928 A Knight in London

1928 Doña Juana

1927 Berlin: Symphony of a Great City (Documentary) (uncredited)

1927 Metropolis

1926 Manon Lescaut

1925 Tartuffe (as Carl Freund)

1925 Vaudeville

1924 The Last Laugh (camera)

1924 Michael (photographed by)

1924 Finances of the Grand Duke

1923 Die Austreibung (Short)

1923 Der Tiger des Zirkus Farini

1923 Der große Sensationsprozeß

1923 Tiefland

1922 Herzog Ferrantes Ende

1922 Lucrezia Borgia

1922 Der brennende Acker (second half)

1922 Marizza, genannt die Schmuggler-Madonna

1922 Louise de Lavallière

1922 Kinder der Finsternis – 2. Kämpfende Welten

1921 Kinder der Finsternis – 1. Der Mann aus Neapel

1921 Der Roman der Christine von Herre

1921 Die Ratten

1921 Der Schwur des Peter Hergatz

1921 Der tote Gast

1921 Aus dem Schwarzbuch eines Polizeikommissars, 1. Teil – Loge Nr. 11

1921 Torgus

1921 The Lost Shadow

1920 Die Frau im Delphin, oder 30 Tage auf dem Meeresgrund

1920 The Golem

1920 Catherine the Great

1920 Der Januskopf

1920 Der Bucklige und die Tänzerin

1920 Die Spinnen, 2. Teil – Das Brillantenschiff

1920 Satanas

1919 Augen

1919 Die Spinnen, 1. Teil – Der Goldene See

1919 Die letzten Menschen

1919 Rausch

1919 The Arc

1919 Emerald of Death

1919 Die Dame, der Teufel und die Probiermamsell

1918 Die blaue Laterne

1918 Die Sieger

1918 Die Heimkehr des Odysseus

1918 Das Maskenfest des Lebens

1918 Gefangene Seele

1918 Agnes Arnau und ihre drei Freier

1918 Das Geschlecht derer von Ringwall

1918 Auf Probe gestellt

1918 Edelsteine – Phantastisches Drama in 4 Akten (Short)

1918 Gräfin Küchenfee

1917 Die Faust des Riesen

1917 Höhenluft

1917 Die Claudi vom Geiserhof

1917 Die Prinzessin von Neutralien

1917 Christa Hartungen

1917 Der Liebesbrief der Königin (Short)

1917 Die Ehe der Luise Rohrbach

1917 Feenhände

1917 Bummelstudenten (Short)

1916 Frau Eva

1916 Gelöste Ketten

1916 Die Räuberbraut (Short)

1916 Abseits vom Glück

1916 Engeleins Hochzeit

1916 Die ewige Nacht

1916 Der Mann im Spiegel

1915 Die Tochter der Landstraße

1915 Vordertreppe – Hintertreppe

1914 Das Feuer. Die alte Gnädige (Short)

1914 Der Hund von Baskerville

1914 A Venetian Night

1914 Das Feuer

1914 Zapata’s Gang (Short)

1914 The Call of the Child

1914 Engelein (Short)

1913 Engelein – Mimisches Lustspiel (Short)

1913 The Film Primadonna (Short)

1913 S1 (Short)

1913 Die Suffragette

1913 Pampulik hat Hunger (Short)

1912 Jadna majka (Short)

1912 Pampulik als Affe (Short)

1912 Pampulik kriegt ein Kind (Short)

1911 Gipsy Blood (Short)


1935 Mad Love

1934 Gift of Gab

1934 I Give My Love

1934 Uncertain Lady

1934 The Countess of Monte Cristo

1934 Madame Spy

1933 Moonlight and Melody

1932 The Mummy

1931 Dracula (uncredited)

1928 A Chinese Moon (Short)

1928 A Fascinating Vamp (Short)

1928 A Snowman’s Romance (Short)

1928 In a Japanese Garden (Short)

1928 Madeleine (Short)

1928 The Keys of Heaven (Short)

1928 Toddlin’ Along (Short)

1928 Tune Up the Uke (Short)

1928 Zulu Love (Short)

1923 Der große Sensationsprozeß

1921 Der tote Gast

Camera and Electrical Department 

1950 Montana (camera operator – uncredited)

1940 Comrade X (camera operator: night exteriors – uncredited)

1929 Miss Else (camera operator)

1927 Metropolis (camera operator)

1919 Augen (lsboratory technician)

1914 A Venetian Night (assistant camera)

1914 The Perfect Thirty-Six (assistant camera)

1913 Die Insel der Seligen (assistant camera)

1906 Der Hauptmann von Köpenick (Short) (camera operator – unconfirmed)