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Directors and Crew

Jack Cole

Film directors are a unique group of people, not only within the panoply of American artistic endeavor, but also as a group unto themselves in Hollywood. One the one hand, these people relate to their studio bosses in special ways. Often they are responsible directly to the principal executives of their production companies, but that does not mean that their artistic efforts are defined by that relationship. Often they are given wide latitude to express themselves as they see fit. William Wellman, in his autobiography, "A Short Time for Insanity", describes his meetings with a studio chief executive as "bowing before God". It is his humorous way to portray himself as a unique part of the film making process.

On the other hand, directors develop relationships with their cast members which are often close, even intimate. It is this part of the director's role which these photographs in this section tend to portray. In his excellent book from 1984 titled "Great American Film Directors in Photographs", Richard Koszarsky makes the point that this kind of photograph was specifically made to promote a film in a special way, and despite the vanity of some directors, the major goal of such photographic efforts was promotion of a specific movie. In these photographs there are "characteristic poses and elements of special visual interest" which define this kind of still photography as a type all its own in Hollywood. The director's photographs which Ned Scott created most definitely fall into this category.

This theme reaches further without losing any of its significance.  Sensitive to the presence and vital function of other crew members such as himself, Ned Scott took the opportunity to photograph other still photographers, hair stylists, grips, electricians and sound techs, designers and others who daily shared space with him on and off the sound stage.  These images speak to the crucial roles played by others employed in the film industry.

Fred Zinnemann

Ned Scott photographed Fred Zinnemann during filming of "Redes/The Wave" shot in 1934. This film was Fred Zinnemann's directorial debut. In his 1992 autobiography, Fred devoted a chapter to this experience. He included Ned Scott's images from the film in this chapter, referring to them as "classics".

Fred Zinnemann (with hands on hips) directing scene with Paul Strand cranking the Akeley camera, Henwar Rodakeiwicz (hand on pole) and Gomez Muriel, hands on knees. Actor Sylvio Hernandez awaits direction (at net). This scene occurs at the very beginning of the film when Muro (Sylvio) tries, but fails, to catch fish in his throw net.

Paul Strand, cranking Akeley camera, standing with Fred Zinnemann who is observing on set action. The fish buyer's clerk is paying the fisherman only a few pesos for his fish, not the expected bountiful amount, and the unfortunate man hangs his head in disappointment.

Paul Strand filming with tripod mounted camera while Gomez Muriel and Henwar Rodiekiewicz agitate container filled with water. Agitating the water in a container was Henwar's idea, according to Gunther von Fritsch (editor of the film). The resulting footage was eventually placed at the very beginning of the movie to set the mood.

Fred Zinnemann clowns around while Paul Strand and Henwar Rodakiewicz ready camera for next shoot.

Tania Tuttle

From "Spring Night", shot in 1935.

Director Tania Tuttle and cinematographer George Clemens shooting a scene with actor David Lichine.

Director Tuttle and George Clemens. Clemens went on to film another ten movies in the 1930's, but really distinguished himself with the Twilight Zone TV series, having photographed all 117 episodes.

Paul Strand

From "Redes", shot in 1936.

Paul Strand operates the Akeley camera while Henwar Rodakiewicz on the left lines up the shot with alternate camera, and Pailevo (Strand's Mexican assistant) sits at the right. This setting is the stern of a small boat with a faint water wake trailing astern.

John Ford

From "Stagecoach", shot in 1938.

Here is Director John Ford as he appeared to Ned Scott on location during filming of "Stagecoach" near Kayenta, Arizona. According to Ned Scott's letter from the production filming, the days were long, the wind was always blowing a gale, and the air was very cool, if not freezing. Sequences of the film during which the stage is rolling over the floor of Monument Valley, often there was an inch or to of snow on the ground. Ford's grimace in this portrait shows much of the man as he oversaw filming under those conditions.

John Ford and Bert Glennon, the cinematographer

Filming in Monument Valley near Kayenta, Arizona. It was very cold for days during filming, and there was a strong wind blowing relentlessly. Film crew members were billeted in an old CCC camp in Kayenta, and they slept on cots in a large sleeping porch.

Filming in Chatsworth, California at the Iverson Movie Ranch.

John Ford issues his orders to Tim Holt who plays a cavalry officer in the film. The famous background of Monument Valley adds drama to the scene.

Charles Vidor

One can only speculate how strongly Ned Scott understood Rita Hayworth, a complicated star with a troubled past, but the fact is that in these images with director Charles Vidor, something is captured which is far beyond the stage requirement. Ned Scott has an eye for this kind of thing, and he was always on the lookout for relationship complexties as they appeared in front of him. How a film worked depended on these relationships, and he understood that fact. Expressing it with photographs was his specialty.

From "Cover Girl", shot in 1944.

Here is a moment from the set from 'Cover Girl", 1944. On the left is Lee Bowman who plays a wealthy theatrical producer in the film. Charles Vidor is in the center between Lee and Rita. This could be a relaxed moment among three very good friends instead of a quick interlude taken by the film director to connect with the actors on the set. According to Adrienne McClean in her scholarly book "Being Rita Hayworth", 2004, Vidor gave two interviews to Photoplay magazine in 1946 in which he discussed his understanding of Rita's past, particularly her childhood experiences with her father Eduardo, and how that influenced her work as a film actor. Besides being beautiful, talented, and sweet, Rita was also "like a trusting child--the most beautiful and obedient child in the world". Ned Scott noticed a special closeness between the two, and fired the shutter.

Here again is Charles Vidor in tight with his actors. They are discussing the Cover Girl shooting script. The 1944 studio caption for this print reads: Players with Columbia's Technicolor "Cover Girl" discuss scene with Director Charles Vidor.  Left to right: Susan Shaw who has posed from more bridges (1643) than any other cover girl, Director Vidor, Eve Arden and Jinx Falkenburg.

An ensemble photograph of the Cover Girl cast and key production personnel. On the left is cinematographer Rudy Mate, Phil Silvers, Sammy Cahn who helped with choreography, Rita, Gene Kelley and Charles Vidor.

From "A Song to Remember", shot in 1945.

Cornell Wilde, Charles Vidor and Merle Oberon from the film "A Song to Remember".  Richard Koszarsky featured this image in his book, mentioned above.  It is his way of saying that the relationship of Director to cast needs to be realxed, even intimate for the filming to proceed smoothly.

From Cover Girl, 1944

A relaxed gathering of principal actors and Director Charles Vidor on the set of Cover Girl.  On the left is Rita Hayworth, then Gene Kelley, Lee Bowman, Charles Vidor with open script, Eve Arden, Phil Silvers and Leslie Brooks.  Ned Scott was always on the alert for possible set-ups for popular photo types which resonated with the movie-going audience.  Not only did he capture a an excellent off set grouping of stars with the director, but he also highlighted the bare legs of the female stars as "bookends" of the group.  In his 1943 article on still photography, he called this still type "leg art". 

From The Guilt of Janet Ames

During a break in the Columbia Studios cafeteria, Directors Charles Vidor and Orson Welles chat with each other as Rosalind Russell and Melvyn Douglas look on.  Right at this time, the films The Lady From Shanghai and The Guilt of Janet Ames were in production.  Orson Welles both directed and starred in Shanghai and Charles Vidor directed Janet Ames.  Ned Scott took this opportunity to document a certain ease, flair and mutual respect among cast and diectors at Columbia.  The date was 1947. 

From...

Director Charles Vidor discusses the shooting script with Rita Hayworth and Cinematographer Rude Mate off stage between filming takes for the musical comedy, Cover Girl, 1944.

Al Hall

Rita, Gary Cooper and Director Al Hall on set of Down to Earth

Gary Cooper did not act in Columbia Pictures productions.  He was obviously a well-known personality in the industry, but contract employees like Rita and Al hall tended to keep to Columbia business, especially when performing duites on Columbia property.  Nonetheless, Ned Scott saw the opportunity for a great photograph as Cooper "dropped in" on the set one day.  What happened in those days, as long as cast or crew members had the right credentials, was impromptu meetings on different lots and sets--no restrictions.  Ned Scott did this himself on occasion as associates came to him with requests or questions.  A high level of respect and regard shines through among members of the acting industry in this great image. 

Tay Garnett

Director Tay Garnett, Fredric March, Joan Bennett, Ralph Bellamy, Ann Southern, Cinematographer Rudy Mate

In keeping with other cast photographs which Ned Scott made during this time, this photo portrays the same relaxed and easy atmosphere and style which existed between key cast and production personnel on the set of Director Tay Garnett's detectivecomedy, Trade Winds, 1938.  Nothing is forced here and comradery is evident along with the general theme of the film. 

Director Tay Garnett does his best to cheer up his star, Joan Bennett, who is undergoing a hair color change for her role in Producer Walter Wanger"s  detective comedy, Trade Winds, 1938. 

Bette Davis and Director William Wyler from The Little Foxes, 1941

William Wyler

Ned Scott captures a fine working moment between Bette Davis and Director William Wyler during filming of The Little Foxes, 1941.  It's a relaxed moment in which the concentration of both parties is at its height.  Davis is no doubt aware that her legs are poured into the adjacent chair, but she forgets them entirely as she absorbs Wilder's script pointers.  Ever the perfectionist in the matter of form, Ned Scott sees Wyler's right hand with the insistent pen, and Davis' left arm upraised with her head resting on her hand.  One just knows that there is lots being said here, and that a good movie is being made in a moment.

Jean Louis

Costume Designer Jean Louis

As in some previous images where key crew members such as cinematographers, choreographers and the like have been featured along with film directors, here I have featured just one man, a very famous costume designer, Jean Louis, who worked on contract with Columbia Studios during the time when Ned Scott was also there.  Louis was responsible for all the sensational garments worn by Rita Hayworth, the Love Goddess as well as other actresses such as Janet Blair, Dusty Anderson, Jinx Falkenberg, Leslie Brooks, Ann Miller and Evelyn Keyes.  Here Louis is perfecting designs for Dorothy Lamour in the film Lulu Belle, 1948.  

Rosalind Russell

Highlighting Crew Contributions

Rosalind Russell signs autographs for a group of hair stylists at Columba Studios in 1943 while she was starring in What a Woman. From left to right, flanking Rosalind Russell who is seated, are Rhoda Donaldson, Hazel Keats, Flore' and Helen Hunt, chief hair stylist for Columbia Pictures

Robert Coburn

Photographer Robert Coburn

Robert Coburn was the department head of Still Photography at Columbia Studios when Ned Scott served as a contract employee there from 1945-48.  This image by Scott captures Coburn in the act of prepping Rita Hayworth for a group of off-set photographs  during the filming of The Lady From Shanghai.  Rita Hayworth was a very willing subject for Coburn, and this image captures that intimacy.  

Still photographer Robert Coburn discusses upcoming poses with Rita Hayworth as both of them take a break while filming Director Orson Welles' film noir mystery, Lady From Shanghai, 1947. Rita casually lays her left hand on the top of the vertical support for the 8 x 10 camera chassis. Ned Scott was always looking for expressive involvement of hands in different situations, and with this 8 x 10 image, he found a good one. 

Josef von Sternberg

Director Josef von Sternberg grabs a much needed offstage nap during flming of The Shanghai Gesture in 1941. Here he is attended by Ona Munson, in costume as Madame Gin Sling, the proprietor of a notorious gambling house in Shanghai.  Notice the stage props scattered around and the cigarette which Munson has in her left hand.  Most film types of the day, both cast and crew, smoked constantly while on the job. 

Choreographer Jack Cole

Offstage, during a break in filming, Choreographer Jack Cole shares a joke with main stars Larry Parks, Rita Hayworth and Mark Platt for Director All Hall's dance extravaganza, Down To Earh, 1947.

The 1947 studio caption for this print reads: Preparing for the dancing sequences in Columbia's Technicolor musical fantasy, 'Down to Earth', are Mark Platt and Rita Hayworth. They are shown here during a rehearsal with Columbia's dance director, Jack Cole (sitting), giving front row instructions. Studio practice scene from Director Alexander Hall's dance extravaganza, "Down To Earth", 1947.