Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Case of the Velvet Claws
This is “The Case of the Velvet Claws,” a 1936 Warner Bros. film starring Warren William as Perry Mason and Claire Dodd as Della Street, adapted by Tom Reed from Erle Stanley Gardner’s novel and directed by William Clemens. It was remade in the sixth season of the Perry Mason TV show. I’ll have to rummage through my Perry Mason discs to see if I have that episode, but I don’t recall ever seeing William Hopper in drag as Eddie Acuff was in the role of Spudsy Drake.

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Allies 310 Miles From Berlin! Sept. 19, 1944

 

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Sept. 19, 1944

 

At a Town Hall luncheon at the Biltmore, RAF Wing Cmdr. Christopher Currant tells the audience that what we now know as the V-2 rocket is the greatest argument against isolationism.

“It can be dropped on New York without any difficulty. It is merely a matter of fuel,” he says.

Currant also says that the morale of German fliers is extremely low and added: “Both American and British fliers were disappointed when during the invasion of France they found no air resistance. We had expected the greatest air battle of all times.”

Times reporter and columnist Gene Sherman files a first-person report from Palau and describes fierce fighting against the Japanese.

“The waves lap at a naked Marine whose body was burned yesterday in a shell explosion. He lies with his arms upraised. Another Marine kneels with bowed head in prayer at an ammunition box.”

Opening today: “Kismet” at the Egyptian, Fox Ritz and Los Angeles theaters.

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1944 in Print — Hollywood News and Gossip by Louella Parsons, Sept. 19, 1944

Sept. 19, 1944, Comics

Sept. 19, 1944

Walter Winchell says: FDR’s desk has four new miniatures of his sons in uniform. The Copacabana’s new revue starring Joe E. Lewis is the talk of the town. Before Pearl Harbor there were 3,000 Jap organizations in the U.S. The G-men have whittled them down to two.

Danton Walker says: The Pentagon Building personnel is in a dither over Gen. Lear’s determination to move out all officers and swivel chair strategists under the age of 45 who can be used in more active service…. Washington is hopped up over the persistent rumor that the Russians will join us in the war on Japan as soon as the Nazis are pushed off Russian territory.

Louella Parsons says: The much-sought after Academy Award winner, Jennifer Jones, who has had all the studios bidding for her, makes her next movie for Hal Wallis. Yes, indeed, over the weekend David Selznick read the script by Ayn Rand, liked it, and told Hal that Jennifer was free to start any time. So apparently the trouble with 20th is all settled…. I was interested to hear that Ayn Rand, author of “Fountainhead,” had prepared the script. Wonder what happened to “Fountainhead” if it is to be filmed?

From the Philadelphia Inquirer via Fultonhistory.com.
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‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 32

laura_cover

 

In case you just tuned in, I’m using Louella Parsons’ May 15, 1944, item on Rouben Mamoulian being replaced as the director of “Laura” to take a meandering look at the making of the film, which was released in Los Angeles in November 1944.

The first 30 posts were devoted to the writing career of “Laura” novelist Vera Caspary, the state of the detective story in 1941, when she was writing the novel, the locations Caspary used in the book and an examination of the major and minor characters.

The next series of posts will break down the novel to study the challenges of adapting it for the screen.

The Making of “Laura” Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 | Part 17 | Part 18 | Part 19 | Part 20 | Part 21 | Part 22 | Part 23 | Part 24 | Part 25 | Part 26 | Part 27 | Part 28 | Part 29 | Part 30 | Part 31

James Ellroy to script remake of ‘Laura’

Spoilers ahead

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1944 in Print — Life Magazine, Sept. 18, 1944

Sept. 18, 1944, Thomas E. Dewey

Sept. 18, 1944

After spending Labor Day in Pawling, Republican nominee Thomas E. Dewey drove to New York for conferences with John Foster Dulles, his adviser on foreign affairs, and Herbert Brownell, Republican National Committee chairman. The next day, on an 11-car special train, accompanied by 65 reporters, he started on his 6,700-mile campaign trip to the Pacific coast. In Philadelphia, he delivered his opening campaign speech.

Ever wonder what would happen of Salvador Dali was a commercial artist?

Life features Ed Wynn’s whimsical “inventions.”

And after the war, get ready for television.

Scanned by Google Books.
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1944 in Print — Hollywood News and Gossip by Louella Parsons, Sept. 18, 1944

Sept. 18, 1944, Comics
Sept. 18, 1944

Walter Winchell and Danton Walker refer to the Aug. 5 fight between Jon Hall and Tommy Dorsey in the so-called Battle of the Balcony at Dorsey’s apartment on the Sunset Strip.

Walter Winchell says: Norma Shearer is trying to mend the L.B. Mayers’ split. Jack Marshall suggests a new theme song for slugger Tommy Dorsey: “Would You Like to Swing on a Star?”

Danton Walker says: The Xavier Cugat divorce papers were filed a month ago and the story leaked out only accidentally.

The Crown Prince of Nigeria has arranged with Barney Josephson, owner of the two Cafe Society nightclubs (Uptown and Downtown), to have prominent Negro talent visit his country after the war.

This week, Universal Pictures sent out beautiful invitations for the premiere of “San Diego, I Love You,” the covers of which bore pictures of Jon Hall fighting over a beautiful gal.

Louella Parsons says: I felt sure it would be only a question of time before the story of Mother Cabrini, who devoted her life to underprivileged children, would reach the screen.

VIRGO: Profits, returns from investments, collections no prominent but tasks will done will bring just reward in due time. Be guided by importance and urgency of duties.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer via Fultonhistory.com.

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‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 31

"Laura"

In case you just tuned in, I’m using Louella Parsons’ May 15, 1944, item on Rouben Mamoulian being replaced as the director of “Laura” to take a meandering look at the making of the film, which was released in Los Angeles in November 1944.

The previous 30 posts have been devoted to the writing career of “Laura” novelist Vera Caspary, the state of the detective story in 1941, when she was writing the novel, the locations Caspary used in the book and examinations of the major and minor characters.

The all too obvious question in this exercise is “Why study ‘Laura?’ ” or more precisely “Why not ‘Double Indemnity?’ ” Both movies were released in 1944 and of the two, “Double Indemnity” is a better book – though still somewhat problematic – and the film is much darker and has more of a claim to film noir. James M. Cain, the author of “Double Indemnity,” was a far more skilled novelist than Caspary and the screenplay was adapted by Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler, in contrast to the teams of writers brought in to beat the “Laura” script into shape.

The Making of “Laura” Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 | Part 17 | Part 18 | Part 19 | Part 20 | Part 21 | Part 22 | Part 23 | Part 24 | Part 25 | Part 26 | Part 27 | Part 28 | Part 29 | Part 30 | Part 31

James Ellroy to script remake of ‘Laura’

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1944 in Print — Hollywood News and Gossip by Louella Parsons, Sept. 17, 1944

Sept. 17, 1944, Bloomer Girl

Sept. 17, 1944

Bestsellers: “Green Dolphin Street,” “Leave Her to Heaven,” “History of Rome Hanks,” “Strange Fruit,” “I Never Left Home,” “The Time for Decision,” “Yankee From Olympus,” “Anna and the King of Siam” and “Invasion!”

Louella Parsons says: All her life Vivian Blaine will be grateful to Victoria Elizabeth James and Phyllis Faye Harris for starring parts, for if these young ladies hadn’t elected to be born Vivian would still be just one of the bevy of pretty girls on the 20th lot.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer via Fultonhistory.com.
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‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 30

alexander_woollcott_Advertisement_Pullman_crop

New York critic, columnist and radio pundit Alexander Woollcott makes an endorsement for Pullman in 1940. Courtesy of the Illinois Digital Archives. In Vera Caspary’s novel “Laura,” New York columnist Waldo Lydecker endorses the Byron pen, renamed the “Wallace Flow-Rite pen” for the film.


In case you just tuned in, I’m using Louella Parsons’ May 15, 1944, item on Rouben Mamoulian being replaced as the director of “Laura” to take a meandering look at the making of the film, which was released in Los Angeles in November 1944. Previous posts have examined the writing career of “Laura” novelist Vera Caspary and the state of the detective story in 1941, when she was writing the novel. We also explored some of the locations Caspary used in the book.

At long last, after examining each of the characters in the novel, we’re going to look at Caspary’s portrayal of Waldo Lydecker (played by Clifton Webb in the film), the most important person in the novel and in the film, even though both are titled “Laura.”

The Making of “Laura” Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 | Part 17 | Part 18 | Part 19 | Part 20 | Part 21 | Part 22 | Part 23 | Part 24 | Part 25 | Part 26 | Part 27 | Part 28 | Part 29 

James Ellroy to script remake of ‘Laura’

Spoilers ahead

 

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1944 in Print — Hollywood News and Gossip by Louella Parsons, Sept. 16, 1944

Sept. 16, 1944, Comics

Sept. 16, 1944

Danton Walker says: Frank Sinatra’s father has just been made chief of the Fire Department of Hoboken, N.J., in case you care.

Louella Parsons says: A scout in New York telegraphed that Sidney Kingsley, the playwright, has just signed a $100,000 deal with MGM to write an original. Kingsley is just out of the Army on a medical discharge and the Hollywood deal will be the first thing he has done since he donned uniform. With such plays as “Dead End,” “Men in White” and “The Patriots,” which were hits on Broadway, naturally he was in immediate demand.

Lucille Ball has gone to Las Vegas, but not for a hurried divorce as reported. She’ll get her freedom right here … The love scene Charlie Chaplin and Oona O’Neill put on at the Vine Street Derby had many fascinated onlookers … Greta Garbo, lunching at a Sunset Boulevard restaurant with Haylord Hauser, was absolutely unrecognized. She wore last year’s straw hat and a raincoat … Cheryl Crane paid her mother, Lana Turner, a visit on the set and for the first time Lana had to take a back seat. Her daughter stole the thunder.

VIRGO: Keen intuition and ingeniousness — both inborn in Virgo — can lead you successfully. In familiar matters, work, other activities for which you are trained you can especially advance.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer via Fultonhistory.com.
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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: ‘What Happened to Mary’ Introduces Cross-Promotions

 

What Happened to Mary sheet music

“What Happened to Mary” courtesy of Mary Mallory.



D
istinct and beautiful advertising often sells products better than the actual item, its story or its usefulness. Early film, music and book publishing companies quickly realized the value of beautiful hand-drawn illustrations to attract consumer interest and purchase. Colorful lithographic posters, handbills, trade paper and sheet music enticed the public to attend mass entertainment, patronize restaurants or buy music. Finding ways to combine two or more industries in one medium would exponentially grow business as well.

In publicizing their new 1912 serialized film series, “What Happened to Mary,” the Edison Film Company introduced the idea of combining forces with other media or business companies to more efficiently and cheaply grow audiences for their products. This radical idea led the way to what is now an everyday practice for selling tent-pole films, major television series, blockbuster books, mega music albums or popular Broadway shows to American consumers.

Growing out of Thomas Edison’s early film experiments in the 1890s, the Edison Manufacturing Company ranked as one of the major moviemaking concerns in the late 1900s-early 1910s. Such stars as Charles Ogle, Marc McDermott, Viola Dana and Mary Fuller regularly appeared in their moving pictures.

Mary Mallory’s “Hollywoodland: Tales Lost and Found” is available for the Kindle.

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: San Francisco Silent Film Festival Jazzes Up Fall

Laurel and Hardy

The San Francisco Silent Film Festival spices up the fall with a presentation of silent films Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014, at the glorious Art Deco Castro Theatre for its Autumn Film Festival. The one-day event highlights the glories of what film historian Kevin Brownlow calls “live cinema,” by screening new restorations and highlighting film anniversaries, accompanied by live music performed by top practitioners in the field. The eclectic lineup includes gentle slapstick humor, romantic adventure, historic intrigue, dark shadows and a day at the cinema.

The day opens at 11 a.m., with the screening of three Laurel and Hardy shorts to tickle any funny bone. Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, Hal Roach’s superb comedy duo who became film superstars and icons, continue to influence screen funny teams today with their superb sense of timing and reaction shots. They demonstrate their unique blend of character study and slapstick with two all-time great two-reelers, “Two Tars,” presenting an over-the-top example of road rage, and “ Big Business,” demonstrating how not to sell a Christmas tree. New Yorker Donald Sosin will provide the musical voice for the films.

Mary Mallory’s “Hollywoodland: Tales Lost and Found” is available for the Kindle.

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Wife Stabs Venice Man to Death, Sept. 12, 1944

Sept. 12, 1944, comics

Sept. 12, 1944, Killing

Sept. 12, 1944

Charles Holdren, 45, lived at 1515 Trolleyway, Venice, with his wife, Ellen, and daughters from a previous marriage: Virginia, 20, Peggy, 18, and Lois, 13. He worked as a fish cutter and after Charles and Ellen had spent Sunday drinking heavily, he decided to go to bed.

Where he found his wife, Ellen, 44.

The Times said he “objected to her presence in bed when he started to retire.”

At the Wilshire-Ebell Theatre: Rainbow Rhapsody with ‘Spectratone.’

 

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1944 in Print — Hollywood Gossip by Louella Parsons, Sept. 12, 1944

Sept. 12, 1944, Comics

Sept. 12, 1944

Danton Walker says: Huge orders for railroad cars, motors, trucks, etc., have already arrived here from France, first indication of U.S. industry’s bite of postwar business.

Louella Parsons says: Hunt Stromberg’s plan to make “Blood and Guts” is a natural. Of course, it’s the life story of Lt. Gen. George S. Patton Jr., and the way he took the American Army right through the German lines. Hunt has contacted Mrs. Patton and he hopes to be able to get some data from the general, if the war is over as soon as we all hope. Bob Considine has been contacted to write the script. Charles Bickford, rough and ready, will have the role of the great soldier. Gen. Patton, to whom war comes first, won the respect of his men, and their unanimous support, even after the much publicized “slap” episode.

Through the grapevine, ’tis whispered Capt. Ronald Reagan, who has been in the service since the beginning of the war, may be out the first of the year. He has a wife and child. If this is true, Ronnie will probably resume his movie career in “The Voice of the Turtle,” which is a natural for him.

VIRGO: No vestpocket effort or half-hearted try will accomplish a thing. Big business needs big action, anticipation and above average comprehension. All these and more you can deliver.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer via Fultonhistory.com.

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1944 in Print — Hollywood News and Gossip by Louella Parsons, Sept. 11, 1944

Sept. 11, 1944, Comics

Sept. 11, 1944

You needn’t be surprised if you find Mervyn LeRoy producing pictures in Bulgaria, setting up shop in Italy or moving into France. Mervyn has formed an independent producing company to be known as the Arrowhead Productions.

When Fred Allen faces the cameras come Monday, he’ll have Binnie Barnes, gifted actress, as his screen vis a vis.

VIRGO: The more you extend yourself and the less worry and doubt you engage, the fuller the response you receive. Industry, professions favored.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer via Fultonhistory.com

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9/11/2001

The Daily Mirror is dark for 9/11.

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TCM Viewer Poll: What Is Your Favorite Tribute?

So after bashing Melanie Griffith’s annoying tribute to Jean Harlow, I thought I would ask the Brain Trust: What’s your favorite?

As far as I can tell, there is no complete list of TCM tributes (not even on Wikipedia!), so here’s my catalog, which I’m sure is incomplete. I’m not talking about the “What a Character” features (sorry, Edna May Oliver and William Frawley) or Film Fanatics (sorry, noir fans) or brief comments (sorry, Jane Wyman or Gloria De Haven about getting your hair washed by Marlene Dietrich).

This is strictly one actor or actress talking at length about another actor or actress.

Here goes:

Ernest Borgnine on Robert Ryan.

Michael Caine on Cary Grant.

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‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 29

'Laura'

The famous portrait of Laura Hunt in “Laura” by the fictional artist Stuart Jacoby. For the film, a large photo of Gene Tierney was heavily retouched to appear to be a painting.


In case you just tuned in, I’m using Louella Parsons’ May 15, 1944, item on Rouben Mamoulian being replaced as the director of “Laura” to take a meandering look at the making of the film, which was released in Los Angeles in November 1944. Previous posts have examined the writing career of “Laura” novelist Vera Caspary and the state of the detective story in 1941, when she was writing the novel. We also explored some of the locations Caspary used in the book.

This time, we’re going to look the novel’s portrayal of Laura Hunt, who is the title character of Vera Caspary’s novel  and the film, but not the most important one – that would be the acid-tongued columnist Waldo Lydecker (played by Clifton Webb in the film).

The Making of “Laura” Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 | Part 17 | Part 18 | Part 19 | Part 20 | Part 21 | Part 22 | Part 23 | Part 24 | Part 25 | Part 26 | Part 27 | Part 28

James Ellroy to script remake of ‘Laura’

Spoilers ahead

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1944 in Print — Hollywood News and Gossip by Louella Parsons, Sept. 10, 1944

Sept. 10, 1944, Martha Scott

Sept. 10, 1944

The influence of Andre de Toth, the director, has been very important in the life of Veronica Lake. She is no longer the girl who doesn’t care. She cares very much now what people think of her, and she is eager to win the respect of fellow workers and to explain why she has done some of the things in the past that have brought criticism on her — not really serious things, but impulsive, foolish little exhibitions of her temperament.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer via Fultonhistory.com.

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$400 to Hear the Beatles in Mono? You Must Be Kidding!

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“The Beatles in Glorious, Non-Lifelike Monaural,” listed on Amazon at $374.98.


Dear Millennials and aging Baby Boomers with too much money: Just say no.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a big fan of vinyl and have several thousand discs that I bought years ago (yes, including those Beatles LPs and even some of the lo-fi bootlegs). This isn’t about achieving some sort of audio “purity.” It’s merely an attempt to squeeze some more money out of the Beatles catalog.

Perhaps you would like to read Robert Hilburn’s 1987 piece on why “Sgt. Pepper” is full of mediocre songs.  (I don’t happen to agree, but you would never see an article like this today).

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