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Henwar Rodakiewicz assists Ralph Steiner on "The City"

on Sunday, 05 August 2012. Posted in News

Henwar Rodakiewicz left Los Angeles in mid-1938 to assist his friend Ralph Steiner in the production work on The City. He was not sure what he was getting himself into. He knew he was not going to be making much money, but he felt it would take only a few months to compete and that he would be back home by Christmas. It turned out that he stayed 9 months in New York getting the job finished. During that time he involved himself in writing , editing, shooting and "goosing" the production along. As ever Henwar was the go-to man, the professional in the middle of a gaggle of amateurs, and he kept the project on track. This transcribed letter is the first of eight letters he wrote to Ned Scott discussing his efforts to move the project along. He had high regard for Steiner, but nothing but contempt for Lewis Mumford and Willard Van Dyke in the end. It's not a stretch to say that Henwar rescued the film from oblivion, just the way he did for Redes in 1934.

The reference to Stryker and the government funded documentary projects points out how well Henwar was connected. In his hands was the ability to grab a great job for Ned shooting Stryker type subject matter around the United States. Ned tossed the idea around, but by mid 1938, Ned was well established in Hollywood on the cusp of his breakout assignment--the stills for Stagecoach.

Henwar Rodakiewicz 1938 letter to Ned Scott

Ned Scott photographs found in Ernie Pyle's book "Here Is Your War" 1945

on Saturday, 11 August 2012. Posted in News

A collage of Ned Scott photographs in Ernie Pyle's famous book "This is Your War" have been discovered in this book's first "motion picture" edition. This edition commemorates Ernie's participation during the filming of "The Story of G.I. Joe", producer Lester Cowan's cinematic adaptation of Ernie's book, in the Fall of 1944.

The book chronicles Ernie's activity as a war corespondent which began with Operation Torch, the invasion of French colonial holdings in North Africa, in November 1942. The Tunisian campaign was the focus of Ernie's activities as a correspondent. In the book Ernie details the panorama of allied war efforts to oust the Germans from North Africa. Later in the war, Ernie was killed by a sniper on Ie Shima, a small island off the northwest coast of Okinawa in April, 1945. The fatal irony is that Ernie's book was first published in the same month he lost his life.

Perhaps feeling the shudder his own coming fate, Ernie touched on it in one passage which evoked the specter of sudden death in the war zone. Talking about future plans after the war, two of his M.P. buddies discussed their ideas. Ernie's reflected on this aspect: "I noticed that both boys almost always prefaced their after-war plans with "If I live through it..." Nobody talked a great deal about that, but it was at the back of everybody's mind. It was even in mine sometimes, despite the nice safety of my noncombatancy."

Movie photos of Ernie Pyle

John Wayne, "biggest star ever" says John Ford

on Saturday, 13 October 2012. Posted in News

Long before John Wayne entered the public consciousness of the movie going public as a cultural institution, director John Ford dubbed him the "biggest star ever". Wayne earned this high praise from the famous director due to his performance in the movie Stagecoach, shot in 1938 and released in 1939. The exactness of this quote comes from another cast member in the film, Louise Platt who played the Virginia born wife of a cavalry officer. Louise reflected in a 2002 letter to the Ned Scott Archive on the Stagecoach experience. It is in this letter that she points out Ford's feelings about the film and some of its cast members, Wayne included. Ford offered the reason for his laudatory judgement of Wayne as "the biggest star ever" by saying that "he is the perfect everyman". More of John Ford's reflections and Loise Platt's personal recollections of the movie production can be found here.

Director photo from "Slightly French" discovered

on Wednesday, 28 November 2012. Posted in News

Here is a recently discovered film director photograph which shows Columbia Studios director Douglas Sirk interacting with actors Don Ameche and Dorothy Lamour. The film is a 1949 release called "Slightly French", and it also featured Janis Carter and Willard Parker. As with the previously discussed director images on this blog, one from January, 2012 (Cover Girl) and another from November, 2011 (Song to Remember), it's the interplay between director and actor(s) which Ned Scott sought to capture. For him, this was an important part of the story of making a film. There needs to be a current between the director and the actors for the film to work and stand up over time at the box office. In this image, it's easy to see that both of the actors are in sympathy intellectually and emotionally with their director. To see other interesting photographs of this genre, go to Stagecoach (John Ford with actor Tim Holt) and Hangmen Also Die (director Fritz Lang and cinematographer James Wong Howe).

Director Douglas Sirk and actors

Director Douglas Sirk with Dorothy Lamour and Don Ameche for "Slightly French", 1949, by Ned Scott

Ned Scott films discovered for which photographer's credit denied

on Saturday, 12 January 2013. Posted in News

I constantly plow through web records to discover films which Ned Scott worked during his career from 1935-48. The effort has been rewarding since I began this research process in 2006. Most of these films have been revealed during eBay searches, auction searches, and film industry announcements in periodicals from the time period. What I appreciate the most is locating, and often purchasing, photographs which were made by production studios during the filming process. These are often labeled with the current film being produced as well as the studio and photographer credit. There could be no better record of a photographer's involvement in the making of a particular film than these studio photos.

Once one of these is located for a particular film, I apply to IMDb (The Internet Movie Database) for the appropriate credit for Ned Scott as still photographer. IMDB has been very professional and has accepted most of my applications. When I began this process, Ned Scott was credited as working three films (2006). Now in 2013, Ned Scott is credited for 75 films. IMDb has not accepted some applications, despite the fact that I have located firm photographic evidence that he worked a particular film. IMDb does this because they have determined that the film crew for that movie is compete (hence no more crew names can be added).

For the record, therefore, I want to list these films so that Ned Scott can get proper credit as still photographer. They are:

Golden Boy, 1939, with William Holden

Blondie's Anniversary, 1947, with Adele Jergens

The Notorious Long Wolf, 1946, with Janis Carter

The Swordsman, 1948, with Larry Parks

I Love A Mystery, 1945, with Nina Foch

My Name Is Julia Ross, 1945, with Nina Foch

The Story of G.I. Joe, 1945, with Robert Mitchum

The Little Foxes, 1941, with Betty Davis

Blood and Sand, 1941, with Rita Hayworth

Slightly French, 1949, with Dorothy Lamour

The Fighting Guardsmen, 1946, with Janis Carter

The Walking Hills, 1949, with Randolph Scott

My Kingdom for a Cook, 1943, with Marguerite Chapman

I know that this list will grow as time goes by and my research reveals more films. But for now, this is sufficient. To demonstrate the kind of photographic evidence which I use to authenticate Ned Scott credit, I have added a photograph with its attendant credit stated on the back. Janis Carter stars in "The Fighting Guardsmen" as shown below.

Janis Carter

Here is a scan of the back (verso) of this print. It shows the studio stamp, the photographer credit and the short blurb about the actress and the film.

verso information with credit

1932 New York Camera Club letter discusses Ned Scott's photographic art

on Sunday, 13 January 2013. Posted in News

The essence of Ned Scott's photographic art was discussed early in his career by New York Camera Club member Henwar Rodakiewicz in a letter he wrote to Ned Scott from Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts after a Camera Club meeting in November, 1932. It was important to Henwar that Ned Scott's images were fresh, honest and straightforward. Looking at them gave Henwar a feeling and courage and well being. But beyond freshness and honesty--true attributes which he admired--conciseness was the most important thing about Ned's prints. That conciseness goes to the heart of what is good in photographic art: an unswerving and relentless thing which strikes deep within and "pierces the shrouds of confusion" and that that thing is said "in one steady flow". In a letter to Ned Scott written from Santa Fe in February, Paul Strand stated that clarity and singleness of purpose were essences of a good photograph, and he called Ned Scott "The most promising young photographer I know". Paul Strand was a Camera Club member in those days, and in 1933, he wrote to Ned Scott from Mexico discussing technical aspects of the Graflex 5 x 7 camera.

ranchos church taos

Ranchos Iglesia de Taos, 1931, photo by Ned Scott. It was prints like these which were discussed at New York Camera Club meetings in the early 1930's.

Gunther von Fritsch letter about "Redes" film discovered

on Tuesday, 02 April 2013. Posted in News

Long after the film Redes was released in 1937 in the United States, Gunther von Fritsch, the editor of the film, wrote a letter to William Alexander in 1976 recounting the film production experience. This letter was compiled from eight letters which Gunther wrote to his wife while he was in Mexico working on the film in Alvarado and Mexico City. It's a long letter, as it had to be, full of detail about the conditions in Alvarado, the circumstances surrounding the filming process, the moods of his fellow mates on the film crew and his observations on Robert Flaherty (Nanook of the North) and the great early Russian films (Potemkin) which influenced the Redes story. His chief cinematic point in the letter was that Redes was a film destined to survive the decades of wear and oblivion because it was a film which had something to say, it had a point of view and it was about something important. Gunther was Fred Zinnemann's friend from high school days in Austria, and both he and Fred went on to make their careers in Hollywood following the production of Redes.

Ned Scott photograph of Rita Hayworth in deleted scene from "Down to Earth" located

on Friday, 14 June 2013. Posted in News


This recently discovered photograph of Rita Hayworth in a deleted dance scene from Down To Earth shows the purest adherence to form and structure by photographer Ned Scott.  For Ned Scott, capturing this elite sense of form was the apex of his art.  Here a series of triangles arrest the attention of the viewer, and despite the fact that this is just one more still from a movie, one can get rapped in the forest of arms and the juxtapositon of groups from left to right.  Triangles, both closed and open are thrust at you by arm positions (closed fist): but this is offset by other triangles formed by the position of the three main groups of dancers.  Rita is in the center of this juxtaposition, making the firmest statement of all the dancers.  Finally, there are the shadows on the floor which contribute to the trainlgular theme.  This is a consistent whole of disparate parts all linked by one structural idea.  The overall effect from the play on forms is one of cleanliness and purity, two goals Ned Scott always pushed himself to accomplish with his cameras. 

 DTE deleted scene

New Photos from "The Story of G.I. Joe" discovered

on Saturday, 22 February 2014. Posted in News

The nursing shortage during WWII was acute.  The United States was fighing a war on two fronts in far flung areas of the globe.  Millions of men were engaged in combat.  By 1943, it was apparent to everyone that more nurses were immediately needed to care for wounded G.I.'s.  The Bolton Act of Juy 1, 1943 helped solve that problem by creating the Cadet Nurse Corps.  The act allowed accredited nursing schools in the U.S. to accellerate their training programs so that graduating nurses would be immediately available for transfer to combat areas.  Incoming candidates in their schools would receive free tuition and paid expenes, and in return these students would be required to serve in their communities as nurse substitutes until the war ended.  These students were called Cadet Nurses. 

This program was highlighted on the set of The Story of G.I. Joe during filming in the Fall of 1944.  Cadet Nurse Beulah Tyler was assigned to the production to represent the importance of the program to the U.S. Army.  Ned Scott had the opportunity to photograph her in her official Cadet Nurse uniform in a number of poses and situations.  She was a favorite of the combat veterans from the 34th Infantry Division who roamed the set in various film roles. 

Beulah Tyler is surrounded by admiring combat vets Corporal Pappy Nowlen, Pvt. Charles Rozell and Pvt. Fred Ross on the set of Story of G.I. Joe.


Cadet Nurse Beulah Tyler The Story of G.I. Joe

Nancy Saunders photographs discovered

on Saturday, 28 January 2017. Posted in News

Until now, no 1940's photographs of Nancy Saunders by Ned Scott have ever been found.  She is one of the few celebrities active at Columbis Studios during the time when Ned Scott was a contract photogrpaher who never appeared in portrait form from any of the films in the 1940's.  These portraits survives from the film It Had To Be You, a romantic comedy directed by Don Hartman and Rudy Mate and released in 1947. Nancy plays a model opposite the female lead, Ginger Rogers, who functions as a scatterbrained scuptress. Nancy also played in The Millerson Case, the eigth "Crime Doctor" film staring Warner Baxter as Dr. Ordway.  These films from Columbia Studios were immensely popular with the movie going public. Later in her film career, Nancy became a regular in Western themed films, and it is for these roles that she is widely known.

Portraits of Nancy Saunders by Ned Scott, 1947

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