Osmond Borradaile

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Osmond H. Borradaile
Born Osmond Hudson Borradaile
(1898-07-17)17 July 1898
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Died 23 March 1999(1999-03-23) (aged 100)
West Vancouver, British Columbia
Occupation cinematographer
Awards Order of Canada
On the set of Beyond the Rocks (1922). Top row, L-R: Gloria Swanson, Rudolph Valentino, unknown, Edythe Chapman, director Sam Wood, Alfred Gilks, Osmond Borradaile (Bottom row) All unknown except Alec B. Francis (far right)

Osmond Hudson Borradaile, OC (17 July 1898 – 23 March 1999) was a Canadian cameraman, cinematographer and veteran of First and Second World War.

Osmond Borradaile grew up in Alberta, moving often during his childhood. While living in Medicine Hat, he saw one of his first movies when he was seven years old.

He started in Hollywood filming silent movies during which period he made movies starring, among others, Wallace Reid and legends such as Rudolph Valentino, Gloria Swanson and Lillian Gish. He then went on to "talkies" working closely on numerous films with Cecil B. DeMille. He filmed the aerial sequences for Howard Hughes' "Hell's Angels" (Hughes was his pilot) this being a precursor to the location and outdoor shooting that would become his trademark. Borradaile's speciality was filming natural environments to serve as backdrops and stock footage. Much of this footage was taken in Africa, where he met and filmed the rituals and daily lives of several tribes. He also behind the camera for the films of Sabu, including Elephant Boy and The Drum and The Four Feathers which won the Oscar for Best Colour Cinematography. In the late 1940s, Borradaile travelled to Antarctica to file sequences for Scott of the Antarctic, one of the most ambitious film projects for the time period.

In 1982, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada, Canada's highest civilian honour.[1]

He died at age 100 in Vancouver.

Borradaile's grandson is former rugby union footballer Norm Hadley.


  • Life Through a Lens, Borradaile, Osmond with Borradaile-Hadley, Anita. McGill-Queen's University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-7735-2297-2.
  1. ^ Order of Canada citation

External links

  • Osmond Borradaile on IMDb
  • New York Times Biography [1]
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