Haller began his career in 1914 as an actor for the Biograph Studios. In these early years of the film 's pathways of the new medium were not really regulated, so he probably came through the typical for those times mixture of interest, chance and opportunity to the camera work. He soon became known for the sensitive handling of light and shadow and has risen since the mid-1930s to the chief cameraman from Warner Brothers. There he was responsible for most of the films of Bette Davis. Especially his light lead in Mildred Pierce from 1945 should stylistically - and namesake - are for the film noir. Haller dipped the melodramatic story of an ambitious mother, played by Joan Crawford who dares to climb the social ladder for her daughter by lateral lighting and accentuated rear lights in hard light-dark contrasts ( low key ), which would otherwise have in radical contradiction to the Hollywood, even from the theater lighting traditional, usual bright illumination were with a lot of skylight.
Haller was seven times nominated for an Oscar and received it in 1939 for his work on Gone with the Wind.