fb icon

Glamour Shots

Early in 1940,  Gunther von Fritsch, Ned Scott's old friend from the production days of the 1934 Mexican protest film Redes, suggested he contact Willard Morgan, chief honcho at The New York Alliance, publisher of the photographer's magazine The Complete Photographer. Gunther and Ned had kept in contact through the years, and even though Gunther was working for Life Magazine in New York City, far across the country from Hollywood, he was attuned to the activites in the film industry.   Whether Gunther had the idea, or whether Ned Scott spawned it, or whether Willard Morgan put out feelers to his publishing cohorts in New York about the matter, the nod fell in Ned's direction to write an article on still photography in the motion picture industry for the magazine. 

Much has been written about this subject. But it has to be noted that all of these treatises have been produced second or third hand after the Classic Era had passed.  Ned Scott was the only practicioner of the artform at that time to set pen to paper in a serious and scholarly way, while he was engaged full time in the industry.  The result was a multi-page article in the March, 1943 edition of The Complete Photographer. 

Key for this discussion is Ned Scott's assertion that three types of still photographs were the most popular for moviegoers; the menace shot, the glamour shot, and the gag/leg art shot. All the other types of still photographs were important to the promotion and production of motion pictures, but these types were the most widely distributed, especially in newspapers and magazines.  In their own special ways, these kinds of photographs allowed the movie-going audience a special connection with their favorite stars. 

Hollywood has always been associated with glamour.  As time has elapsed in the film industry it can be said that one is synonomous with the other.  Ned Scott's brand of glamour was based on a nacient understanding of light.  He was influenced a little by Hurrell and his one-light-source technique, but he preferred two light sources for maximum effect.  Shadow was just as important as the display of light, and this combination in Ned Scott's skilled hands produced the height of portraiture.  Hair arrangement, pose, angle, background and setting all added to the effect which Ned Scott wanted to achieve.  So it is that Jeff Donnell and Anna Lee, never known for their romantic roles in film (comedy and drama, respectively), come across as strikingly alluring in Ned Scott's glamour portrayals.  And his treatment of Rita Hayworth, herself the living essence of the glamorous female star, rises to the heights of possibility of the genre.  Inspired by Ned Scott's immortal portraits of Rita for the film "Down to Earth, Winthrop Sargeant, a senior writer for Life Magazine, dubbed her the "Love Goddess" in 1947, a description which remains fitting even today. 

Janet Blair

Janet Blair takes on an enhanced air of refinement in this image created while she was starring in Director Alfed E. Green's musical comedy, Tars and Spars, 1946.

Anna Lee

Anna Lee arches luxuriously in a portrait session during the period when she was starring in Director Fritz Lang's film noir wartime drama, Hangmen Also Die, 1943

Marguerite Chapman

Marguerite Chapman oozes over the couch in this sumptuous portrait supporting her role in Director Ray Enright's romantic comedy, One Way To Love, 1946

Phyllis Brooks

Phyllis Brooks is captured with bare shoulders and luxurious flowing hair to support her role as the Chorus Girl in Director Joseph von Sternberg's film noir crime drama, The Shanghai Gesture, 1941

In front of Ned Scott's portrait camera, Phyllis Brooks takes on a seductive persona  to support her role as the gay chorus girl in Director Josef von Sternberg's film noir crime drama, The Shanghai Gesture, 1941. 

Claire Trevor

A sultry glance is caught in this portrait of Claire Trevor for her role as the Outcast Girl in Director John Ford's epic Western drama, Stagecoach, 1939.

Cindy Garner

Cindy Garner evinces endless allure in this portrait for Director John Cromwell"s war drama "Since You Went Away", 1944. 

Dorothy Lamour

Statuesque pose for Dorothy Lamour to support her role in Director Douglas Sirk's romantic comedy, Slightly French, 1948

Adele Jergens

Adele Jergens glistens as Boots Nestor, the showgirl, from the wacky domestic dust-up I Love Trouble, 1947.  This film also served as the genesis for the zany TV series 77 Sunset Strip which aired in 1958.

Adele Jergens glistens as Boots Nestor, the showgirl, from the wacky domestic dust-up in Director S. Sylvan Simon's film noir mystery, I Love Trouble, 1947. This film also served as the genesis for the zany TV series 77 Sunset Strip which aired in 1958.

Ann Miller

Ann Miller poses enticingly, in costume, to support her role as Linda Lorens, featured player in a Rio revue in Director S. Sylvan Simon's musical, The Thrill of Brazil, 1946.

Rita Hayworth

Rita Hayworth poses as the Love Goddess from Director Al Hall's grand musical fantasy, Down To Earth, 1947.

Janis Carter

Janis Carter imparts a luscious glow in this portrait to support her role in Director Ray Enright's romantic comedy, One Way To Love, 1946. Janis Carter traveled to Ned Scott's house in La Canada, California for a photo sitting and this portrait was one of several created at that time. Janis and Ned Scott were friends, and remained so for many years after both departed the Hollywood scene.

Evelyn Ankers

Evelyn Ankers was known as the "scream queen" for the '40's era horror set.  After her appearance in the 1941 horror film "The Lone Wolf", Evelyn began a series of detective mysteries, called the Lone Wolf series,  with leading men such as Melvyn Douglas, Ron Randell and Gerald Mohr.  This is a film from 1947, a detective mystery with Evelyn playing the role of Iris Chatham, romantic interest for the suspected thief, Michael Lanyard, played by Gerald Mohr.  Director Leslie Goodwins' detective mystery, "The Lone Wolf in London", 1947. 

 

Menace Shots

It was in 1943 that the New York Alliance, publisher of the photographer's magazine The Complete Photographer, printed a definitive article by Ned Scott called Still Photography in the Motion Picture Industry.  It was at the time, and still remains, the only authoritative article on the subject written by a practitioner of the art form while he was working full time in the industry.

Key for this discussion is Ned Scott's assertion that three types of still photographs were the most popular for moviegoers: the menace shot, the glamour shot, and the leg art and gag shot.  All the other types of still phtographs were very important for the promotion and production of motion pictures, but these three types were the most widely distributed, especially in newspapers.  In their own special ways, these kinds of stills allowed the moviegoing public a personal connection with their favorite celebrities. 

Menace photography was effective because it conveyed threat.   With threat on the one hand and hope on the other, the dramatic essence of any story will engage the viewer.  Good menace photographs underpinned the movement of drama by making the threat real.  Ned Scott's effectiveness with this kind of image helped to sell films and increase box office receipts.    

Brian Donlevy

Nazis search the town for assassin Karel Vanek, played by Brian Donlevy, who has just successfully killed Reich-Protector Reinhard Heidrich, alias The Hangman

Nazis search the town for assassin Karel Vanek, played by Brian Donlevy, who has just successfully killed Reich-Protector Reinhard Heidrich, alias The Hangman.  The threat inherent in this image is visceral.  It was understood that if the desperate Nazis were to be successful in apprehending Vanek, the likely outcome would be his torture and execution. Director Fritz Lang's film noir wartime thriller, Hangmen Also Die, 1943.

Brain Donlevy portrays accused assassin Karel Vanek, alias Dr. Svodoba, as he eludes the clutches of the Nazi horde trying to capture him in Hangmen Also Die, 1943

Brain Donlevy portrays accused assassin Karel Vanek, alias Dr. Svodoba, as he eludes the clutches of the Nazi horde trying to capture him in Hangmen Also Die, 1943

Charlie Arnt

Character actor Charlie Arnt portrays a heartless crime boss in this portrait from 1936.  The newspapers from the era were loaded with highly politicized accounts of crime figures whose exploits were rendered in graffic detail.   The public at large, including those who went to the movies, were ripe to believe the worst of such men whose appearance conveyed menace. From a promotional portfolio of 8 x 10 negatives, 1936. 

Charlie Arnt portrays a Nazi death camp officer in this pictorial layout from 1936. Despite the fact that no death camps existed in 1936, Ned Scott and Charlie created this metaphorical image of the ultimate political, cultural and racial domination of the Nazi regime which followed years later.

Ian Hunter

Set against the background of the emerging conflict of WWII, the voyage of the SS Glencairn, a vessel which carries sensitive and dangerous cargo, inevitably encounters brushes with aggressive forces along the way.  The crew, with new members just recruited in port, begins to suspect that they have a spy onboard.  Ian Hunter, man of mystery signed on as able seaman, is the object of their suspicion.

Set against the background of the emerging conflict of WWII, the voyage of the SS Glencairn, a vessel which carries sensitive and dangerous cargo, inevitably encounters brushes with aggressive forces along the way. The crew, with new members just recruited in port, begins to suspect that they have a spy onboard. Ian Hunter, man of mystery signed on as able seaman, is the object of their suspicion. The Long Voyage Home, 1940

Maylia

Maylia plays Chinese bad girl Shu Pan Wu, a devious murderer and drug smuggler, in To The Ends of the Earth, 1948

Maylia plays Chinese bad girl Shu Pan Wu, a devious murderer and drug smuggler, in To The Ends of the Earth, 1948

Hatfield

After coming upon the burned out remnants of one of the way stations along the stagecoach route,  Hatfield, the Southern gentleman, checks on one the the station employees who has fallen victim to Apache attack.  He finds that she has been brutally slaughtered, and his facial expression mirrors pity along with the worst fears of the coach passengers:  that further attacks are imminent along their journey's path.

After coming upon the burned out remnants of one of the way stations along the stagecoach route, Hatfield, the Southern gentleman, checks on one of the station employees who has fallen victim to Apache attack. He finds that she has been brutally slaughtered, and his facial expression mirrors pity along with the worst fears of the coach passengers: that further attacks are imminent along their journey's path. Stagecoach, 1939.

J.J. Twardowski

J.J. Twardowski portrays Reinhold Heidrich, the vicious anti-semite and brutal murderer of several million Jews during the course of WWII in Fritz Lang's Hangmen Also Die, 1943. He appears in the beginning of the film, dominating the scene with his arrogant, glowering presence and setting the tone for the struggles to come as the plot unfolds.

Skip Hormier

Skip Hormeir plays the role of teenager Emil Bruckner, the German nephew of Mike Frame, a middle class American businessman played by Frederich March.  Frame invites his nephew for an extended visit.  Little did Frame know, Emil turns out to be a fully indoctrinated member of the Hitler Youth.  Emil begins to terrorize everyone in the household and in his school, using anti-semitic slogans, threatening to knife a playmate, and assaulting his cousin with a fireplace tool.  Tension mounts as the film progresses, and the full text of the Nazi agenda is revealed through the Emil character in his relations with his uncle's family and community.  

Leg Art and Gag Shots

Some of the most widely distributed still photographs were those which connected the movie going audience with their favorite celebrities and stars. These stills assumed immediately recognizable forms and situations. Everyone can relate to Christmas, the Fourth of July, Veterans Day, etc. The still photographer created scenes in which studio stars were depicted with firecrackers, turkeys, bunnies, household pets, Santa hats, Christmas trees, fire engines, baseball bats and backyard bric a brac. These were called ''gag shots".

Another favorite with the movie audience was the photographer's use of situations which accentuated the female stars' legs. These took different forms depending on mood, circumstance and studio preferences. But these all appealed to men and women alike. A teasing humor often found its way into these set-ups, and when done properly, the impact was stunning. These were called ''leg art".

What is not apparent from a review of these images is that they were created mostly for newspaper exposure, not magazines. Therefore, the contrast and depth of the photograph is sacrificed for the monotone preferences of newspaper photo editors. Not only that, these had to be "right" on the negative. This means that the entire plate had to display the subject. 

Contrast the essence of these stills to those the still photographer made while filming was in progress on the sound stage.  Or, consider those the photographer made off-stage, between takes, while actors were still in costume but resting between takes.  These kinds of stills required the photographer to plan ahead for crucial features of the set-up: lighting, angle, distance, exposure, pose and mood. The leg art or gag shot was far more relaxed, inviting helpful hints and comments from the subject, and one can therefore assume, allowed the participants time to express themselves often in creative and humorous ways. The atmosphere around the studio was charged and tense most of the time when filming was in progress on the sound stage, but with leg art and gag shots photographers and subjects could relax and have a little fun. 

Jimmy Stewart

Jimmy Stewart plays failed music shop owner Jimmy Haskell, here surrounded by leggy rhumba dancers who accompany an orchestra act in Pot O' Gold, 1941.

Jimmy Stewart plays failed music shop owner Jimmy Haskell, here surrounded by leggy rhumba dancers who accompany an orchestra act in the romantic comedy Pot O' Gold, 1941.

Glenn Ford

 
Glenn Ford prefers to read a book while enticing models attempt to get his attention.  Between takes on the set of The Mating of Millie, 1948.

Playing a professor in The Mating of Millie, 1948, Glenn Ford would rather lose himself in a good book than cavort with enticing models who surround him. 

John Wayne

The bumboat girls flirt with John Wayne (Ole) and Driscoll (Thomas Mitchell) in a scene from 'Long Voyage Home', 1940.

The bumboat girls flirt with seaman Ole (John Wayne) and Driscoll the bosun (Thomas Mitchell) in a scene from Long Voyage Home, 1940.

Jeff Donnell

As a seasonal Easter promotion, Jeff Donnell poses with a nest for a hat, complete with hidden eggs.

As a seasonal Easter promotion, Jeff Donnell poses with a nest for a hat, complete with hidden eggs.

Michael Phineas gives his mother, Jeff Donnell, tips on how to repair his wagon.  This photograph supported the Columbia star in her role as Anne Parks Duncan in the Boston Blackie film 'The Phantom Thief', 1946.

Michael Phineas gives his mother, Jeff Donnell, tips on how to repair his wagon. This photograph supported the Columbia star in her role as Anne Parks Duncan in the Boston Blackie film The Phantom Thief, 1946.

Jeff Donnell and her four year old son, Michael, picking fruit in their backyard on a sunny day in the Los Angeles area.

Gene Autry at his home in Fan Fernando

Gene Autry and his wife smile a greeting from the balcony of their home in San Fernando Valley.  This photograph supported Columbia's film 'The Strawberry Roan', 1948.

Gene Autry and his wife smile a greeting from the balcony of their home in San Fernando Valley. This photograph supported Columbia's film The Strawberry Roan, 1948.

Ted Donaldson and the Hollywood Boys Club

Ted Donaldson, star of Columbia's  'The Rusty'  films of the mid-'40's, gets teased by Joe Dixon, center for the Los Angeles Mustangs, as 'Big Bill' Freelove, owner of the team looks on.   The occasion is a gift of funds to support the Hollywood Boy's Club in its effort to outfit its baseball and football teams.  Ted Donaldson was a member of the club at the time.

Ted Donaldson, star of Columbia's 'The Rusty' films of the mid-'40's, gets teased by Joe Dixon, center for the Los Angeles Mustangs, as 'Big Bill' Freelove, owner of the team, looks on. The occasion is a gift of funds to support the Hollywood Boy's Club in its effort to outfit its baseball and football teams. Ted Donaldson was a member of the club at the time.  This photo supported his role in the Columbia Pictures comedy Once Upon A Time, 1944.

Leslie Brooks

Leslie Brooks poses provocatively for Columbia Studios' Christmas celebration in 1946.

Leslie Brooks poses provocatively for Columbia Studios' Christmas celebration in 1947. This photograph supported her role as Ellen Wilcox in the Columbia Pictures romantic comedy Cigarette Girl, 1947.

She curls up in a leggy pose to support  the film 'Cover Girl', 1944.

She curls up in a leggy pose to support her role as Maurine Martin in Columbia Pictures romantic comedy Cover Girl, 1944

Ann Miller

Ann Miller poses carefully with a bunny for a hat in a photograph which supported her role as Linda Lorens in The Thrill of Brazil, 1946.

Eadie Allen, college girl and nightclub  dancer, never failed to attract a full house crowd in Columbia Pictures wartime musical comedy Eadie Was a Lady, 1945.  It has to be something very captivating in that newspaper for the seated officer to ignore Eadie while she is sporting a rival come-hither pose which vies unsuccessfully for his attention even though she is nearly rubbing against his right arm.  Played by actress and dancer Ann Miller who appears in other Ned Scott portraits from her films produced by Columbia from 1944 to 1946.

Eadie Allen, college girl and nightclub dancer, never failed to attract a full house crowd in Columbia Pictures wartime musical comedy Eadie Was a Lady, 1945. It has to be something very captivating in that newspaper for the seated officer to ignore Eadie while she is sporting a rival come-hither pose which vies unsuccessfully for his attention even though she is nearly rubbing against his right arm. Played by actress and dancer Ann Miller who appears in other Ned Scott portraits from her films produced by Columbia from 1944 to 1946.

Adele Mara

Columbia Starlet poses for the July 4th celebrations in 1946.

This starlet is ready to party in celebration of the Fourth of July at Columbia Studios in 1947

Columbia Starlet poses for the July 4th celebrations in 1946.

America can rejoice in the celebration of it's founding on July 4, 1776.  Columbia Studios highlighted the festivities with a stalwart photograph of Adele Mara.

Mona Freeman & Company

Mona Freeman teams up with Ned Scott to produce promotional photographs for the American Lung Association Christmas Seals campaign, 1946.

Mona Freeman teams up with Ned Scott to produce promotional photographs for the American Lung Association Christmas Seals campaign, 1944.

Mona Freeman teams up with Ned Scott to produce promotional photographs for the American Lung Association Christmas Seals campaign, 1946.

Mona Freeman teams up with Ned Scott to produce promotional photographs for the American Lung Association Christmas Seals campaign, 1944.

tag

A studio lot is the setting for this photograph which highlights the American Lung Association's relationship with Columbia Pictures. The studio helped promote the Christmas Seals Campaign. and the stars lined up behind the effort.  Here are Cornel Wilde, an X-ray Technician, Leslie Brooks, Phil Silvers and Dusty Anderson in the trailer doorway.  At the time in 1945, they were all shooting Director Alfred E. Green's fantasy. A Thousand and One Nights.

 

Anita Louise

Anita Louise, Columbia Studios star, needs no encouragement as she stands ready to celebrate the New Year, 1946. At the time of this photograph, she was starring in 'The Bandit of Sherwood Forest'

Anita Louise, Columbia Studios star, needs no encouragement as she stands ready to celebrate the New Year, 1946. At the time of this photograph, she was starring in The Bandit of Sherwood Forest.

Gloria Henry

Gloria Henry sports a blouse designed by Jean Louis Berthault, Columbia Studios costume designer, with the title of her new film embossed at the neckline, I Love Trouble 1947.

Santa is about to get a special delivery in the flesh from Hollywood. Gloria Henry, who at the time of this photograph was starring in Columbia Studios western action drama Adventures in Silverado, is on her way to the North Pole to heat up the place, via the United States Postal Department.

Evelyn Keyes

Evelyn Keyes lines up a challenging shot on the pool table at her home.  This image was used to support her role in Johnny O'Clock, 1948

Evelyn Keyes lines up a challenging shot on the pool table at her home. This image was used to support her role as Nancy Hobson in Columbia Pictures detective drama Johnny O'Clock, 1947.

William Holden

William Holden and wife Barbara Marshall read a favorite bedtime story to their son, West, in the living room of their home.  This photographed supported his role at the time in The Man From Colorado, 1948.

William Holden and wife Barbara Marshall read a favorite bedtime story to their son, West, in the living room of their home. This photograph supported his role in the Columbia Pictures western romance  from Director Henry Levin, The Man From Colorado, 1948.

Rita Hayworth

Just another day at home for Rita Hayworth.  Ned Scott captures her in a warm moment with her German shepherd as the two exchange high fives at Rita's doorway.  Rita was filming Lady From Shanghai at the time, and this photograph along with others of her around the house supported her role in the film.

Just another day at home for Rita Hayworth. Ned Scott captures her in a warm moment with her German shepherd as the two exchange high fives at Rita's doorway. Rita was filming Lady From Shanghai at the time, and this photograph along with other portraits of her around the house supported her role in the film.

tag

Taken at her home right around the time Rita was filming Gilda, this image with her toddler, Rebecca, shows a relaxed and proud mother doing what everyone else does at home with their children--taking walks in the stroller, spending time outside in the yard or visiting neighbors.  The caption written by Studio staff on the back of this print states: "YOUNG CHARMER....Rita Hayworth, next to be in Columbia's Down to Earth, enjoys the few days off between pictures at home getting better acquainted with her now two-year-old daughter, Rebecca."

Janet Blair

The 1946 studio caption attached to this print reads:  'Wanted: String Puller...Pert, twinkling-eyed Janet Blair awaits a marionette master as she poses.  Janet, who hails from Altoona, PA, will next play the feminine lead in Columbia's 'Tars and Spars', based on the U.S. Coast Guard show of the same title.'  Considerable effort on the part of costume designers and set workers was needed to make this contrived gag shot effective.  Not only was this gag pose eye-catching for its message, but it also grabbed the eye with the fish net stockings.

The 1946 studio caption attached to this print reads: 'Wanted: String Puller...Pert, twinkling-eyed Janet Blair awaits a marionette master as she poses. Janet, who hails from Altoona, PA, will next play the feminine lead in Columbia's 'Tars and Spars', based on the U.S. Coast Guard show of the same title.' Considerable effort on the part of costume designers and set workers was needed to make this contrived gag shot effective. Not only was this gag pose eye-catching for its message, but it also grabbed the eye with the fish net stockings.