Alex Thomson
Born(1929-01-12)12 January 1929
London, England, United Kingdom
Died14 June 2007(2007-06-14) (aged 78)
Chertsey, Surrey, England, United Kingdom

Alexander Thomson BSC (12 January 1929 – 14 June 2007) was a British cinematographer.


Born in London, England, he was first offered a job by Bert Easey (1901-1973), who was head of cameras at Denham and Pinewood Studios. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography for Excalibur (1981).

His other films included Year of the Dragon (1985), Legend (1985),[1] Labyrinth (1986), The Krays (1990), Alien 3 (1992), Cliffhanger (1993), Demolition Man (1993), Executive Decision (1996) and two of Kenneth Branagh's Shakespeare adaptations, Hamlet (1996) and Love's Labour's Lost (2000).

After beginning his film career in the late 1940s, he went on to serve as a camera operator under cinematographer Nicolas Roeg on twelve films between 1961 and 1966. In 1998 he shot the Royal Premiered CinemaScope short "The Troop" (dir: Marcus Dillistone) An interview with Alex Thomson appears in a new book Conversations with Cinematographers by David A Ellis, published by Scarecrow Press. Thompson was an avid user of Joe Dunton's custom-built Xtal Xpress lenses, shooting many of his more high-profile projects such as Labyrinth, Legend, The Keep, Year of the Dragon and The Sicilian with them.

He was married to the sculptor Diana Thomson, and they had a daughter.[2] Thomson died on 14 June 2007, at the age of 78, in Chertsey, Surrey.


Year Film Director Other notes
1967 Ervinka Ephraim Kishon
1968 The Strange Affair David Greene
Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush Clive Donner
1969 Alfred the Great
I Start Counting David Greene
The Best House in London Philip Saville
1970 The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer Kevin Billington
1971 The Night Digger Alastair Reid
1972 Dr. Phibes Rises Again Robert Fuest
Death Line Gary Sherman
Fear Is the Key Michael Tuchner
1978 Rosie Dixon – Night Nurse Justin Cartwright
The Class of Miss MacMichael Silvio Narizzano
1979 Game for Vultures James Fargo
The Cat and the Canary Radley Metzger
1981 Excalibur John Boorman Nominated - Academy Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated - British Society of Cinematographers Award for Best Cinematography
1983 Eureka Nicolas Roeg Nominated - British Society of Cinematographers Award for Best Cinematography
Bullshot Dick Clement
The Keep Michael Mann
1984 Electric Dreams Steve Barron
1985 Year of the Dragon Michael Cimino
Legend Ridley Scott British Society of Cinematographers Award for Best Cinematography
1986 Raw Deal John Irvin
Labyrinth Jim Henson
Duet for One Andrei Konchalovsky
1987 The Sicilian Michael Cimino
Date with an Angel Tom McLoughlin
1988 Track 29 Nicolas Roeg
High Spirits Neil Jordan
1989 Leviathan George Pan Cosmatos
The Rachel Papers Damian Harris
1990 The Krays Peter Medak
Mr. Destiny James Orr
Wings of Fame Otakar Votocek
1992 Alien 3 David Fincher
1993 Cliffhanger Renny Harlin
Demolition Man Marco Brambilla
1994 Black Beauty Caroline Thompson
1995 The Scarlet Letter Roland Joffé
1996 Executive Decision Stuart Baird
Hamlet Kenneth Branagh British Society of Cinematographers Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated - Golden Frog
Nominated - Satellite Award for Best Cinematography
2000 Love's Labour's Lost
2003 Listening Short Film


  1. ^ Canby, Vincent (18 April 1986). "THE SCREEN: RIDLEY SCOTT'S 'LEGEND'". The New York Times.
  2. ^ "Diana Thomson" Silver Wood Books. Retrieved 25 January 2024.