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Charles Vidor photo from "Cover Girl" identified

on Tuesday, 03 January 2012. Posted in News

This Charles Vidor photo emphasizes a key fact of life in the studios--and indeed everywhere--and that was smoking. It was a cultural statement for the times. Ned Scott was a steady smoker, but not a "chain" user. He appreciated the social aspects of smoking, and that's what's on display here in this Charles Vidor photo. This is Ned Scott's way of saying that smoking brings people together, it oils the gears of concentration, and it improves output in an environment like a studio. Charles Vidor is discussing the "Cover Girl" shooting script with Susann Shaw, Eve Arden and Jinx Falkenberg. It's rare to witness smoking in any work environment these days, but in 1943 when this film was shot in the studio, it was not unusual to see people smoking on breaks. I am sure Ned Scott had an ashtray nearby when he was stationed in a static spot with his 8 x 10 view camera, Ries tripod with legs spread, waiting for a star to break from the set for a photograph. Even rarer today is the cigarette holder which Charles Vidor is using in this photograph. It lent a little extra authority and class to the standing of director at a major film studio like Columbia Pictures. And not many could pull it off without looking ridiculous. These three actresses were among a very popular group working at Columbia in the mid-'40's. They were multi-talented performers. Besides acting, they danced and/or sang in a variety of extravagant productions. I call them the Columbia Girls, and they included the above three along with Rita Hayworth, Janet Blair, Leslie Brooks, Ann Miller, Janis Carter, Evelyn Keyes, and Jeff Donnell. This Charles Vidor photograph also exemplifies the unique relationship of a director with the cast members.

Charles Vidor and Columbia Girls

Director Charles Vidor with Susann Shaw, Eve Arden and Jinx Falkenberg

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