Movieland Mystery Photo ( Updated + + + +)

'Untamed Youth'
This is the 1957 Warner Bros. film, directed by Howard W. Koch and starring Mamie Van Doren. It’s a rare exception to imdb’s practice of giving six or seven stars to every movie ever made.

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James Ellroy and ‘Perfidia’: A First Look

 

Hollywood Reporter, "Perfidia"

Following on its exclusive that James Ellroy was scripting a remake of “Laura,” The Hollywood Reporter posted an excerpt of Chapter 2 from Ellroy’s upcoming novel “Perfidia.” It’s a brief selection, and it may not reflect the entire book, but I suspect it’s enough to show once again that that Ellroy long ago crossed over from writer into self-parody.

I can’t claim to be intimately familiar with all of Ellroy’s works. I thought “My Dark Places” was probably the best of what I have read because his notorious excesses were mostly restrained. My friend Miles Corwin is a big fan of “The Hilliker Curse,” but having been friends with Ellroy during some of that period in his life, I have no desire to read about it.

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1944 in Print — Hollywood News and Gossip by Louella Parsons, Aug. 29, 1944

Aug. 29, 1944, Comics

Aug. 29, 1944

You can never tell what our unpredictable movie heads are going to do when they decide they want a play. Jack Warner, for instance, has purchased the film rights to “The Visitor” before it even opened on Broadway or had a rehearsal. But he had a reason and, I think, a good one.

There’s really no news in Jean Arthur’s announcement she is not making any more pictures.

The beautiful home of Maurice Chevalier at Cannes has been destroyed by bombs.

Marlene Dietrich has informed her agent she won’t be able to fulfill picture commitments until 1945.

I wonder if you remember Robert Morley … while London was being bombed by robots [Robert] was undergoing an operation in a hospital when the building was hit. The operation was completed under great difficulties and he was taken to a safe place in the country to recuperate.

VIRGO: Excellent planetary influences for matters pertaining to investments, determining profits and carrying out responsible tasks, orders. Be optimistic in romance, home affairs.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer via Fultonhistory.com.

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1944 in Print — Life Magazine, Aug. 28, 1944

Aug. 28, 1944, Pedal Pushers

At a fashion show of fall college styles held about a fortnight ago at B. Altman & Co., New York, most startling among the novelties shown were the “pedal pushers,” in which Anne Scott appears on Life’s cover. These are made of red wool plaid, come to just below the knee and are one of many versions of the new long shorts which are being promoted to replace rolled-up slacks and dungarees for college wear. (Note to millennials: “dungarees” are the old name for blue jeans).


Aug. 28, 1944

Life’s cover story is about the new fashion craze: pedal pushers.

Life says: Preston Sturges is a man of vast and varied talents. He is the author of a Broadway stage hit, the inventor of a kissproof lipstick, a superlative cook, a multilinguist, the owner of a war production plant and probably the most exciting movie director to emerge in the past decade. (The Daily Mirror’s library recently acquired a copy of James Curtis’ “Between Flops: A Biography of Preston Sturges,” which we highly recommend. You can hunt down an old copy or get the Kindle version).

The Big Four powers begin peace talks. Meeting at Dumbarton Oaks are U.S. Undersecretary of State Edward R. Stettinius, Britain’s Sir Alexander Cadogan, China’s Wei Tao-ming and “an able but inexperienced young diplomat” from the Soviet Union named Andrei Gromyko.

From Google Books.

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‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 25

'Laura'

Ann Treadwell (played by Judith Anderson) is questioned by Detective Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews) in “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. 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.

In the next few posts I’m going to look at the characters as portrayed in the novel, starting with the smaller roles and working up to Waldo Lydecker (played by Clifton Webb in the film). Although the book and film are titled “Laura,” Waldo is the most important character and the one who required the most work, as Caspary noted in her autobiography, “The Secrets of Grown-Ups.”

In this post we will look at the role of Susan Treadwell (renamed Ann Treadwell and played by Judith Anderson in the film), who is the aunt of Laura Hunt (played by Gene Tierney).

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

James Ellroy to script remake of ‘Laura’

Spoilers ahead.

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1944 in Print — Hollywood News and Gossip by Louella Parsons, Aug. 28, 1944

Aug. 28, 1944, Comics

Aug. 28, 1944

I had just put down “The History of Rome Hanks and Kindred Matters” when — flash! — came the word that MGM had bought the Lt. Joseph Stanley Pennell novel for $60,000. Here, my friends, is a powerful story of the Civil War, so powerful, in fact, it takes a good strong stomach to get past some of the passages. But not since Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe has an American written a first book with the beauty and force of Pennell, and the reading public is responding at the rate of 13,000 a week.

Two nights running, David Wark Griffith ran “Intolerance” and Birth of a Nation” for Preston Sturges, which inclines me to believe his deal with Sturges will be closed any day.

Director Mike Curtiz starts his 18th year at Warners … Certainly Dalton Trumbo won’t have to worry where his next meal comes from for the next few years … I remember so well Carole Lombard’s interest in Helen Deutsch’s story “But Is It Love,” the comedy she thought was so right for her. She took an option on it before she died and expected to interest one of the studios in making it. After Carole’s death, Helen Deutsch lost interest in the picture because she had set her heart on having Carole play in it. Now the story is being rewritten and will again be offered for sale.

VIRGO: You are in same planetary boat with Leoites today, therefore benefit by advice to them. Enjoy wholesome pleasures in free time. Avoid extremes.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer via Fultonhistory.com

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James Ellroy and the Remake of ‘Laura’: Doomed From the Start

 

Hollywood Reporter

Imagine my surprise yesterday when the Hollywood Reporter announced that my onetime friend James Ellroy would be doing a remake of “Laura,” the subject of a meandering series of posts over the last few weeks. Perhaps my little project has taken on a bit of relevance.

Let me say first of all: I don’t harbor any ill will against James. He’s a nice fellow (though rather egotistical and eccentric to say the least) who eventually tires of all his friends and silently moves on without an explanation. And to anyone who currently considers themselves one of James’ friends I can only say “prepare yourself for him to vanish someday without a word. That’s how he is with everybody.”

As for the remake of “Laura,” in all honesty I can’t imagine how James can pull it off, for several reasons:

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

Spoilers ahead.

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‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 24

 

'Laura"

Dorothy Adams as Bessie Clary, Laura Hunt’s maid, in “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. 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.

In the next few posts I’m going to look at the characters as portrayed in the novel, starting with the smaller roles and working up to Waldo Lydecker (played by Clifton Webb in the film). Although the book and film are titled “Laura,” Waldo is the most important character and the one who required the most work, as Caspary noted in her autobiography, “The Secrets of Grown-Ups.”

In this post we will look at the role of Bessie Clary (played by Dorothy Adams in the film), who has worked as a maid for Laura Hunt (played by Gene Tierney) for several years.

Spoilers ahead

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1944 in Print — Hollywood News and Gossip by Louella Parsons, Aug. 27, 1944

Aug. 27, 1944, Joan McCracken

Aug. 27, 1944

Hollywood’s divorces and nightclub battles always manage to get on the front pages. It’s just too bad the public doesn’t get an equal chance to learn about the topic of conversation that really interests the stars. Go to any Hollywood party and you will hear very little discussion about the newest marital rift or the latest cafe battle. But on every side you hear stories about babies, babies babies — by proud parents.

On the bestseller list, fiction “History of Rome Hanks,” “Razor’s Edge,” “Leave Her to Heaven,” “Strange Fruit” and “Ride With Me.”

Nonfiction: “The Time for Decision,” “I Never Left Home,” “Anna and the King of Siam,” “Yankee From Olympus” and “Basic History of the United States.”

From the Philadelphia Inquirer via Fultonhistory.com.

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‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 23

 

'Laura'

Lee Tung Foo, left, and Clifton Webb as Waldo Lydecker in a scene from “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. 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.

In the next few posts I’m going to look at the characters as portrayed in the novel, starting with the smaller roles and working up to Waldo Lydecker (played by Clifton Webb in the film). Although the book and film are titled “Laura,” Waldo is the most important character and the one who required the most work, as Caspary noted in her autobiography, “The Secrets of Grown-Ups.”

Although Waldo’s butler (played by Lee Tung Foo) is never identified in the movie and has a non-speaking role, the novel describes him as a “Filipino manservant” named Roberto, whom we meet on the first page as he announces the arrival of Detective Mark McPherson (played by Dana Andrews 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

Spoilers ahead

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1944 in Print — Hollywood News and Gossip by Louella Parsons, Aug. 26, 1944

Aug. 26, 1944, Comics

Aug. 26, 1944

When William Bendix was broke and didn’t have a nickel to his name, his father-in-law, Henry Stafanotty, loaned him money to support his wife and child. Bill isn’t the kind who forgets and now he has opened a hardware shop for his wife’s father in Newark and is calling it “The Wake.” That’s in honor of “Wake Island,” which put Bill in the movie limelight.

VIRGO: Put today in your happy medium column. Approach agreeably and without fuss the good and the bad tasks. No volcanic promotion ideas, just down-to-earth dependability.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer via Fultonhistory.com.

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: The Masquers Laugh to Win, Part II: Giving Support To Others

“The Bride’
“The Bride’s Bereavement or the Snake in the Grass” and “Stolen by Gypsies,” two Masquers presentations.



O
rganized in 1925, the Masquers Club was a social/fraternal organization founded by actors but open to others in the entertainment industry. As the original bylaws state: “The object of this club shall be the promotion of social intercourse among persons engaged professionally in drama, cinema, music, authorship, and the fine arts… .” They met for social times in their original clubhouse on Yucca Street before moving to their longtime headquarters at 1765 Sycamore Ave. in Hollywood, just below the Rollin B. Lane mansion. The group entertained itself with small productions of skits, plays and small holiday productions on their own stage and major shows at other theatrical venues around town.

While they did gather for social gatherings in their club, where they conversed, played cards, drank and put on shows, they also supported each other and society during times of hardship. The group embraced members in need, often providing a temporary home, offering a small financial pick-me-up, or providing help in times of distress and ill health. They made sure no member was forgotten and rallied around families at the time of members’ deaths.

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

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1944 in Music — Oscar Levant and Leonard Bernstein at the Hollywood Bowl, Aug. 22, 1944

Aug. 22, 1944, Comics

Aug. 22, 1944, Paper Drive

Aug. 22, 1944

The Times encourages readers to save copies of the paper for reuse in the war effort. Let’s hear it for recycling!

Keith Hallock gets a kiss from Warner Bros.’ Joyce Reynolds for being the first to volunteer for a job  making tires at one of the plants in Los Angeles.

Discussions are underway to avoid a streetcar strike over higher wages.

And no. It would be unconstitutional to keep Japanese Americans from returning to the West Coast after the war is over, says Atty. Gen. Francis Biddle.

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1944 in Print — Hollywood News and Gossip by Louella Parsons, Aug. 22, 1944

Aug. 22, 1944, Comics

Aug. 22, 1944

Danton Walker writes: High on a hilltop in Beverly Hills at the end of the Tower Road, a tortuous lane overlooking Benedict Canyon, is a hobgoblin castle straight out of a Walt Disney film; an edifice of scrambled architecture, so rambling and complex that it would take a full day to explore it, if one had the heart to do so. It is the home of the late John Barrymore, on which the Great Profile spent close onto a million dollars; unoccupied since his death and unoccupiable except by someone who does not object to living with a frozen nightmare.

Louella Parsons says: “Citizen Tom Paine” was bought by Frank Tuttle a long time ago, but he left his option lapse and it goes to Walter Wanger. Walter has bought it from the author, Howard Fast, and plans to make a story of the Revolution with all the famous characters.

But he will not go into Paine’s religious beliefs nor his tendency toward atheism. Rather, will he make a real saga of the Revolutionary period with four principal characters, Washington, Jefferson, Franklin and Paine. Well-known actors will be chosen to play these four men. We haven’t had a good story of the American Revolution in a long time and Walter plans to spend a considerable amount in making an authentic story.

LEO: The sort of day on which your talents should shine. Clean up odd little tasks, pay bills, make plans for future events. Study standard problems. Aim at completion.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer via Fultonhistory.org.

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Black Dahlia: Dalia Negra Comix

Dalia Negra

I thought I had seen just about all the Black Dahlia-related items that existed, including the Living Dead Dolls, the Black Dahlia snow globe, etc. But this is a new one on me. Dalia Negra was a series of comic books – for adults – published in Mexico in the 1950s and several issues have been posted on EBay. The artwork is the Mexican take on E.C. Comics. Bidding on this issue starts at $24.99.

Dalia Negra

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‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 22

antique_shop_new_york

“Antique Shop,” Third Avenue near 57th Street, New York, Oct. 8, 1936, by Berenice Abbott, part of the Federal Art Project, via the New York Public Library.

”From where I stood, the shop looked like a dark cavern. The antique furniture, the old clocks, vases, dishes, drinking glasses, China dogs and tarnished candlesticks were like a scavenger’s storehouse.”  — ”Laura,” Page 139


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 visited some of the locations Caspary used in the book.

In going through the novel, it’s interesting to see what the screenwriters (there was a series of them) kept, what they invented and what they threw out. In the next few posts I’m going to look at the characters as portrayed in the novel, starting with the smaller roles and working up to the most important character, Waldo Lydecker (played by Clifton Webb in the film). Although the book and film are titled “Laura,” Waldo is the most remarkable character in the story and the one who required the most work, as Caspary noted in her autobiography, “The Secrets of Grown-Ups.”

Spoilers ahead

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

 

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1944 in Print — Life Magazine, Aug. 21, 1944

image

The churning craft on the cover are amphibious tractors, sometimes called “alligators.” The alligator, armed with machine guns, is designed to carry small loads of troops through the water to an enemy beach and, if possible, to carry them through the beach defenses. Together with approximately 1,100 warships, 37,000 naval aircraft and 48,000 landing boats, the alligator has made possible the U.S. formula of amphibious attack.


Aug. 21, 1944

This week’s photo essay is by Alfred Eisenstaedt of European refugees arriving in America.

The featured movie is “Janie,” featuring Joyce Reynolds, who you may remember was supposedly up for a part in “Mildred Pierce.”

Other articles include a profile of vice presidential candidate Harry Truman; John Foster Dulles, likely to be secretary of State under the Republican administration of Thomas E. Dewey (oops); the ruins of St. Lo, destroyed in heavy fighting; preparations for the liberation of Paris; and George Ray Tweed, a U.S. Navy radioman who eluded the Japanese on Guam for 31 months.

From Google Books.

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1944 in Print — Hollywood News and Gossip by Louella Parsons, Aug. 21, 1944

image

Aug. 21, 1944

Today, we stumbled across a columnist named Danton Walker (d. 1960). We don’t know his name, but his prose is so familiar that we can recite by heart the stale, snide New Yorker’s boilerplate on Los Angeles. It’s the sort of thing still being circulated, scarcely unchanged, by some of today’s smartest East Coast writers whose sum of experience consists of a stay in West Hollywood or Beverly Hills and a jaunt to Farmers Market.

Walker writes:

Hollywood, like Broadway, is largely a state of mind. Originally an exclusive residential section of that vast, sprawling, unwieldy community called Los Angeles (“six suburbs in search of a city”), it has become the capital of filmdom and a symbol for all that goes with it. But Hollywood has now moved from Hollywood, and though four major producers — Sam Goldwyn, RKO, Paramount and Columbia — still maintain their centers in Hollywood proper, the rest of the industry has spread and is still spreading, mushroom fashion, over the hills and canyons of Beverly Hills, Holmby Hills, West Wood, Belair, San Fernando Valley and Ensino   Valley, and the homes of movie stars cling precariously, like the nests of birds, to the slopes of the Sierra foothills, miles and miles away from the famed corner of Hollywood and Vine. Miami Beach is positively cozy by comparison; Hollywood lives on wheels, and deprived of motor transportation, it would vanish from this earth as surely as Tyre and Sidon, the biblical cities of the plain.

Etc.

Louella Parsons says: A deal is hot on the griddle for 20th Century-Fox to borrow Kathryn Grayson from MGM to star in “State Fair,” one of their important musicals. If “State Fair” slips your mind, let me remind you it was made years ago with Janet Gaynor and Will Rogers in the top roles. Now it’s being converted into a musical by Dick Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. There’s a great chance here for 20th to capitalize on the same hay-foot, straw-foot appeal that has made “Oklahoma!” such a smash.

LEO: Make an effort to “Hi Neighbor” associates. It’ll put your mind in cheery attitude, your daily good deed donation and you’ll function better. Cheery news.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer via Fultonhistory.com.

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‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 21

828 Fifth Avenue, New York, via Google Street View.

Susan Treadwell (renamed Ann Treadwell and played by Judith Anderson in the film) lives in a mansion on upper Fifth Avenue (Page 22).


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.

In this series of posts, we’re looking at some of the sites used in the novel. Recall that in “Murder for Pleasure, Howard Haycraft’s 1941 book on the history and art the detective story, Haycraft urged mystery writers to use actual locations.

Note: In researching this post, I discovered an entertaining blog Daytonian in Manhattan, which focuses on “buildings, statues and other points of interest that make Manhattan fascinating.”

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

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1944 in Print — Hollywood News and Gossip by Louella Parsons, Aug. 20, 1944

Aug. 20, 1944, Linda Darnell

Aug. 20, 1944

To tell a woman she is beautiful is the most acceptable compliment any daughter of Eve can receive. It’s the most exciting praise every girl, whether she resides in Hollywood or lives on an isolated farm, enjoys hearing, and it’s the one thing she waits to hear from the lips of her lover or her husband.

Yet Hedy Lamarr, conceded to be Hollywood’s greatest beauty and mentioned as the most glamorous motion picture star, hates the very word “beautiful.”

Bestsellers this week: “History of Rome Hanks” and “I Never Left Home.”

From the Philadelphia Inquirer via Fultonhistory.com

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