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John Swope 
Dorothy McGuire, Beverly Hills 
John Swope Collection, © John Swope Trust 
Photo Synthesis
Colin Westerbeck
One thing John Swope and Dorothy McGuire had in common was that both were friends of Henry Fonda. Swope knew Fonda, along with Jimmy Stewart, from their days together at Harvard, and McGuire met Fonda in Omaha when, at age 13, she was cast opposite him in a play. Another thing Swope and McGuire shared was a life together: After being introduced by Fonda, they got married.
Most of Swope's pictures that will be on view at the Hammer Museum of Art were made during a 1945 trip to Japan, but the exhibition also includes his better known American work. Using connections such as Fonda, Swope began taking behind-the-scenes photographs of movie productions in 1936, and within three years his book, "Camera Over Hollywood," was published. His photographs stood out because, instead of being typical publicity shots, they were good-natured parodies of them.
This portrait of McGuire is an example. The hat is too silly and the cloud of cigarette smoke too thick for this to be a standard glamour pose. Besides, glam wasn't McGuire's style. She "moved too quickly into mother roles," Leonard Maltin remarked. Though she never won an Oscar, she did win the Holy Grail of such typecasting when she played the Virgin Mary in 1965's "The Greatest Story Ever Told."
[Originally published in West Magazine : February 26, 2006, p.13] 

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