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William Wellman photo from "The Story of G. I. Joe" located

on Sunday, 25 December 2011. Posted in News

William Wellman photo for "The Story of G.I. Joe"

This William Wellman photo taken by Ned Scott for "The Story of G. I. Joe" captures the creative energy on display for the making of this epic WWII film. The film depicts the life of renowned War Correspondent Ernie Pyle during his assignments in Europe to cover the progress of the war from the soldier's point of view. The film is based largely on Ernie's recently published book "Here is Your War", a book which is shown in this photo lying open on the desk, and which is clearly the point being discussed by Burgess Meredith, Lester Cowan, William Wellman and Ernie Pyle as Ned Scott shuttered his lens. Ernie Pyle was sent to cover the Battle of Britain and then later as official War Correspondent to cover America's involvement in the war in North Africa, Italy and France. Following his return, his book was published and Lester Cowan convinced him to participate in creating a movie about the book in the latter half of 1944. Ernie was later killed by sniper fire while covering the Battle for Okinawa on April 18, 1945. Mustachioed Director William Wellman, shown standing second from right in the photo, is leafing through the pages of the book. Wellman's autobiography "A Short Time for Insanity" printed three of the Ned Scott photos from the film. Here Wellman has a chance to declare his feelings for Ernie Pyle: describing a scene during which he addresses the hundreds of active service-members playing in the film, he says "I know you all have heard how I got into this, because of one man, Ernie Pyle. I think as much of him as you do, and it was through him that I got the great desire to make G.I. Joe." And further, "...I want to make this the goddamnedest most honest picture that has ever been made about the doughfoot." It's not often that the film's producer and director are featured in one photo, but Ned Scott grabbed one that tells a promising tale about the making of a movie. For this photograph type from the film industry, this one ranks highly for its content. Ned Scott created some fine ones of the genre like this William Wellman photo, and I am always on the hunt for more.

Ernie Pyle and Burgess Meredith on set

Burgess Meredith and Ernie Pyle reading Ernie's new book "Here is Your War" off the set of "The Story of G.I. Joe"

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