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Articles tagged with: walter wanger

Character portrait from "Long Voyage Home" movie exhibited by Academy 1940

on Friday, 07 October 2011. Posted in News

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognized Ned Scott's character photography in a 1940 exhibit curated and mounted in their building in Hollywood, California. The exhibit was called "Stars in Camera Art". I only discovered this mounted 11 x 14 Academy print very recently, and it was offered for sale. I knew that my father worked director John Ford's film "The Long Voyage Home", the origin of this print, but I never knew that one of his character photographs from the film would become the subject of such high level acclaim by the film industry. This item was never discussed around the house when I was growing up, and it should have been. What I learned as a young boy, long after my father left the business, was that his work was outstanding but it yielded little personal reward. No breaks came his way. This fine display print, kept so well over 71 years, shatters that myth. Proof now exists that he had the respect of his peers early in his career. It's about time.

The subject matter of this display photograph is "Cocky", the sometimes irascible but always lovable mess steward aboard the merchant vessel SS Glencairn. Actor Barry Fitzgerald played the part. Ned Scott captured these qualities perfectly in his portrait study of Fitzgerald's character. Ned Scott's dramatic flair lent gravity and purpose to the character portrayal. Lighting was soft and frontal with little background except a dark slate which sets off the white jacketed uniform of the mess steward. The black tie which Cocky is adjusting in a cranky gesture harmonizes with the black background of the photograph, linking the forms together in a eye-pleasing whole. The overall effect of the actor's gestures and facial expression is emphasized by the interaction of white forms and black forms manipulated by Ned Scott. One tends to remember this photograph long after viewing it.

"The Long Voyage Home" photo of renowned artists on the movie set identified

on Sunday, 30 October 2011. Posted in News

It was my good fortune to locate a Ned Scott photograph of the renowned and acclaimed american artists who worked on the set of director John Ford's classic "The Long Voyage Home" at the request of producer Walter Wanger. By 1940, Walter Wanger had already produced 28 films. A number of these were quite successful, and Wanger became known as a courageous and progressive producer. He truly set himself apart, however, in the production of "Long Voyage Home". He commissioned 9 renowned american artists to document and interpret scenes during the film's production because he felt the film offered the fullness of emotional experience, scenic flavor and human interest. Working through Reeves Lowenthal, director of Associated American Artists, Wanger paid more than $50,000 for these professionals to participate. This was a first in the history of American film, and likely the last, on this scale at least. Calculating this commission in 2011 dollars, the staggering sum of $750,000 was paid. The artists insisted on three things during production: freedom of cloice of subject matter, their own studios and access to projection rooms to view each day's rushes, and access to stage sets at any time with the availability of cast members, in costume for sketching. Ned Scott captured formal portraits of five of these artists. The newly acquired informal photograph, picturing all of them with the exception of Grant Wood, was likely taken off set or even in one of the projection rooms. Ned Scott's image documents an important moment in the history of American film, not likely to be repeated ever again.

Artists working on "The Long Voyage Home

Ernest Fiene, Luis Quintanilla, Thomas Benton, George Biddle, Raphael Sawyer, Georges Schreiber, Robert Phillipp, James Chapin, Grant Wood (not pictured) by Ned Scott

John Wayne color photo from "The Long Voyage Home" painting identified

on Wednesday, 11 January 2012. Posted in News

This John Wayne photo from John Ford's classic portrayal of Eugene O'Neill's "The Long Voyage Home" demonstates the lasting brilliance of carbon prints. This film, produced by Walter Wanger, was the first Hollywood film to employ recognized artists to capture scenes from the movie's production. Ned Scott, being the still photographer on the movie, photographed this Ernest Fiene painting of John Wayne in character as Seaman Ole using 8 x 10 kodachrome film. Carbon prints were made from these kodachromes, and Ned Scott saved several for his own personal collection. Walter Wagner organized a 24 museum tour of the country for these paintings chiefly as a promotional effort for the movie. Though the film did not do that well at the box office, it made a very great impression as an "art" film. John Ford was so pleased with the effort that he saved and mounted a select group of Ned Scott's still photographs from the movie and hung them in his house where they stayed for years. Nine artists produced 12 paintings, and each artist was paid $10,000 for his work. Many of these carbon prints are displayed along with some interesting source material and stills photos from the film. Ned Scott made several formal portraits of the painters themselves while they were on the set of the movie. "Long Voyage Home" received seven academy award nominations. Though the Dudley Nichol's storyline from Eugene O'Neill's sea themed plays was rather loose, Eugene O'Neill loved the movie so much that he kept a copy in is home which he viewed frequently. Other John Wayne photographs by Ned Scott include those for the movie "Stagecoach" and they may be viewed here.

John Wayne photo as seaman Ole

John Wayne photo of Ernest Fiene's painting as seaman Ole from "The Long Voyage Home"

Joan Bennett photo from 1937 discovered in magazine

on Tuesday, 20 March 2012. Posted in News

One of the first films which Ned Scott photographed for producer Walter Wanger was "Vogues of 1938" starring Joan Bennett and Warner Baxter. At that time, Ned Scott had been shooting films in Hollywood for two years. One of his new friends, Ralph Steiner of Frontier Films in New York, wrote him about a mutual friend who wrote articles for McCall's magazine. His name was Pare Lorentz. Lorentz specialized in Hollywood material (like the E ! channel of today), and he wrote a monthly article entitled "Movies: What's Happening today". Ned Scott was right in the middle of shooting "Vogues", and at Lorentz request sent him photographs of Joan Bennett for use in his article. In a July 1937 letter to Ralph Steiner, Ned Scott discusses his feelings for Lorentz' misuse of his photos:

"Noticed in this month's McCall's that bastard P. Lorentz published four pictures I sent him. One of them---a Joan Bennett creation---was labeled with both our names but I saw no credits anywhere. Nor have I heard from him except that he returned the stuff he didn't need. Can't understand a guy like that. What the hell does the guy think I send him pictures for? Because I'm fond of him? He can go right plumb to hell and take his McCall's and shove it where it belongs and you can tell him so for me"

That issue of McCall's has finally been located and the Lorentz article and photos are now part of the archive material. Other Joan Bennett images from the same movie are located here.

Another interesting find in this article is that of other images which are from other Ned Scott films. The two images shown, one each of Ronald Coleman and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. are Ned Scott stills from the movie "The Prisoner of Zenda". This photograph of the boxer in the ring is that of Wayne Morris from "Kid Galahad", another film Ned Scott worked.

McCall's magazine

McCall's cover for August, 1937

McCall's magazine

Lorentz' article with Ned Scott images: Ronald Coleman (top) and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. from "The Prisoner of Zenda", and Joan Bennett from "Tradewinds".

Below: Wayne Morris from "Kid Galahad".

McCall's magazine