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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

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