Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated)


For Monday, we have this mystery chap.
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Today Is Jan. 15 — The Daily Mirror Sabbatical Begins (Updated)

As I wrote in 2014, this year I’m taking a sabbatical from blogging. The mystery photos will continue and Mary Mallory will be writing Hollywood Heights as usual. But the anniversary of Elizabeth Short’s death seemed to be an appropriate date to begin my year off from daily blogging.

As a reminder, I always prune my roses on Jan. 15 in memory of Elizabeth Short.

See you in a year.


April 15: Three months into the sabbatical, I can say that I’m making progress. I’m not terribly superstitious, but I don’t want to jinx myself so I won’t say too much more. I’m pleased with what I have, although it’s much different than what I expected. I’m tempted to post a sample. But not yet.

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Cold Cases, Homicide, LAPD | Tagged , , | 36 Comments

Notes on AT&T’s ISB7500 – And an Important Warning

Behold the ISB7500. Notice the LINK light is lit. That means it’s connected to the gateway. If it isn’t, the DVR won’t play back movies you have recorded. 

We recently said goodbye to our latest VIP2250 DVR, which we burned up in about six months. Apparently AT&T is replacing lots of the VIP2250s because when we took the box to UPS, they had whole table of dead DVRs being sent back. As you may have noticed, AT&T recently pushed out a new version of the operating system which has landscape screen savers, etc.

We weren’t sorry to see the VIP2250 go because it was poorly designed – it has no fan and uses the mounting bracket of the hard drive as a heat sink for the CPU, although at least it had a bigger storage capacity than the previous model.

The ISB7500 comes with Torx screws rather than the VIP2250’s Phillips screws, which discourages tinkering, at least among the amateurs in the crowd. Because it has a larger capacity drive, I said goodbye to about 70 movies rather than perform a hard-drive transplant. And no, you should never do a hard-drive transplant, although it is theoretically possible.

The ISB7500 also lacks a fan (which is why I have it elevated on little piles of Post-Its). But there is one important difference between the ISB750 and the VIP2250.


You should only do a cold boot of this DVR under a worst-case scenario. I did them all the time with the VIP2250 as it slowly died. This is done by pressing the power button and the OK button on the right for 10 seconds, so that you get three dots. If you do this three times, you get a gear and a line across the bottom of the screen as your DVR reboots and reloads your movies. This can take a long time (a long time being all day) if you are at 20% or less free space.

In the cold boot of the the ISB7500, you get the first gear and then another gear. And when it’s done, your DVR is all fat and sassy with all your movies gone.

Fortunately, I only lost one movie this way, but a warning to the hardcore DVR users: Do a cold boot of the ISB7500 at your peril. You will lose everything you have recorded.

And be sure to return your dead VIP2250 or you will be charged $150. And they won’t work unless they are connected to a gateway, so they are pretty much useless.

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Hollywood Athletic Club Trains Filmdom’s Elite

The Hollywood Athletic Club, Photoplay, 1924.

In the 1910s and 1920s, social clubs were all the rage in Los Angeles and surrounding communities. Many people immigrated to Southern California’s sunny shores pursuing new adventures. Most arrived friendless and eager to make new connections. Some joined clubs organized around the cities or states from which they had come, or single sex groups like women’s clubs or men only clubs. Others searched out social organizations, cultural opportunities, or sports leagues with more open policies.

The little farming community of Hollywood, founded around solid virtues and churchgoing, organized groups creating strong minds as well as strong bodies. Many offered educational, cultural, and social opportunities while providing community service. As the city grew and more artistic types arrived, cultural groups grew more diverse, like the Masquers or Lambs’ Clubs.

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

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Finds ‘Husband’ Is Woman, 1909


In light of the Supreme Court ruling, here are some posts from the old Daily Mirror blog.

Clerk Refuses to Marry Chinese Man to White Girl, July 11, 1899.

Finds Husband Is a Woman, Nov. 15, 1909

Christine Jorgensen Tries to Marry, March 31, 1959.

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Black Dahlia: Tamar Hodel in Hospice


The ever-vigilant Eve Golden forwarded an article by Sheila Weller from reporting that Tamar Hodel, who accused Dr. George Hodel of molestation in the 1940s, is in a hospice. Tamar Hodel is the half sister of retired LAPD Detective Steve Hodel and figures prominently in the claims that Dr. Hodel killed Elizabeth Short and committed many other unsolved murders in Los Angeles.

I have already devoted a great deal of space to refuting Steve Hodel’s claims, – and I have posted the complete transcripts of the bugs placed in Dr. Hodel’s house by detectives, so I won’t go through it all again.

The George Hodel files 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 19Part 20 | Part 21 |Part 22 | Part 23 | Part 24 | Part 25 | Part 26 | Part 27 | Part 28 | Part 29 | Part 30 | Part 31 | Part 32 | Part 33 | Part 34 | Part 35 | Part 36 | Part 37

The article recycles the same old scenario from the “Black Dahlia Avenger” franchise. Otherwise, there is nothing new except more information on Tamar Hodel’s troubled life.

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: It’s Time for the Broncho Billy Silent Film Festival

Fannie Ward in “The Cheat.”


For the 18th year in a row, the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum is holding their Broncho Billy Silent Film Festival in Niles’ historic 1913 Edison Theatre this weekend from Friday, June 26 to Sunday, June 28. They will be running silent rarities seldom seen on the big screen, including G. M. “Broncho Billy” Anderson Essanay shorts, a Baby Peggy feature, and Universal silents, all with wonderful live accompaniment by such pianists as Frederick Hodges, Jon Mirsalis, David Drazin, Greg Pane, and Bruce Loeb.

Festivities kick off Friday with an opening reception, followed at 8 pm by the tinted1924 Dorothy Devore romantic comedy, “The Tomboy.” Devore runs a boarding house for her eccentric father when a new handsome boarder, Herbert Rawlinson arrives. Two 1915 Essanay shorts precede the film, “Broncho Billy and The Claim Jumpers,” and the Snakeville Comedy, “When Slippery Slim Went For the Eggs,” featuring the comic antics of Victor Potel, Harry Todd, and Margaret Joslin.

Saturday morning kicks off with an informative walking tour of the little town of Niles, now part of Fremont, strolling down Niles Boulevard past former Essanay Film Company locations, and visiting quaint little bungalows. A $5 donation covers the walking tour, which begins at 11:30 a.m. at the Museum.

At 1 p.m. that afternoon, Cecil B. DeMille’s sensational 1915 feature, “The Cheat,” screens, starring the intense Sessue Hayakawa and the lovely Fannie Ward. Vain, selfish stockbroker wife Ward finds herself in debt to Hayakawa, with desperate results.

The 3pm show features Essanay film shorts shot in and around the little town of Niles, featuring Broncho Billy, Ben Turpin, Harry Todd, Margaret Joslin, and Victor Potel. The comic, cross-eyed Turpin appears in two films: “Broncho Billy Steps In” (1915), and “Snakeville’s Champion” (1915), in which he plays a boxer squaring off against Lloyd Bacon. During the short, the Niles’ Edison Theatre can actually be glimpsed in the distance.

That evening at 7:30, the Ray Hubbard Award will be presented to a special honoree, followed by a salute to Universal Pictures Centennial with the screening of “Skinner’s Dress Suit” (1926) and two shorts, “Behind the Screen” (1915) and “City of Stars” (1925), which present tours of the Universal City lot. “Skinner’s Dress Suit” stars Reginald Denny and Laura La Plante.

Sunday morning, guests are invited to ride the train through historic Niles Canyon before afternoon screenings. Kicking off Sunday afternoon screenings at 1 p.m. is a showing of the Library of Congress’ recently restored Baby Peggy feature, “The Family Secret” (1924). Baby Peggy (Diana Serra Cary) stars as a child of a secretly married couple who are separated by her rich grandfather. Schedule permitting, Cary herself will appear at the screening.

The Festival closes at 4 p.m. with a presentation of Helen Holmes and Helen Gibson action-packed adventures. Holmes, one of the great serial queens, stars in the short, “In Danger’s Path” (1915), directed by her husband, J. P. McGowan, and the feature, “Mistaken Orders” (1925), also directed by McGowan. Gibson appears in the short 1920 short, “The Ghosts of the Canyon.”

Festival passes cost only $65 for nonmembers, with different ticket prices for individual screenings. Passes and tickets can be bought online through the Museum’s website, or at the door.

Come enjoy the little town of Niles, the main western headquarters of the Essanay Film Company, and a pleasing small town atmosphere!

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

This week’s mystery movie has been “After Office Hours,” a 1935 MGM picture starring Constance Bennett (Thursday’s mystery woman), Clark Gable (Friday’s mystery fellow), Stuart Erwin (Friday’s mystery guest), Billie Burke (not shown), Harvey Stephens (Wednesday’s mystery guest) and Katharine Alexander (Tuesday’s mystery guest). The screenplay was by Herman J. Mankiewicz from a story by Laurence Stallings and Dale Van Every, and directed by Robert Z. Leonard.   It is available on DVD from Warner Archive.

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Max Ree Adds Fine Design

Max Ree , in an undated photo.

Mostly forgotten today thanks to his short film career, Danish architect turned costume and set designer Max Ree fashioned elegant artistry in the motion picture field from the mid-1920s through the mid-1930s. He served as a respected consultant, teacher, mentor, and commentator for his erudite comments on design as well as serving the industry on various councils. Neither flashy nor forward, Ree followed the dictum that form followed function, allowing easy access, mobility, and cost.

Born October 7, 1889 in Copenhagen, Denmark, Ree studied law and philosophy before earning his degree in architecture from the Royal Academy of Copenhagen. He worked as an architect for several years, designing fine homes around the country before discovering theatre and the great German theatre producer, Max Reinhardt. The two men began a long collaboration producing such influential stage works as “The Miracle,” “Orpheus,” and “The Midsummer Night’s Dream” in Berlin and Vienna during the late 1910s-early 1920s, with Ree serving as costume and set designer. Ree was renowned around Europe for his elegant lines and subdued but striking design obtained through deep research and study.

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

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Can Wikipedia Survive? Oh, I Hope Not

Jun 21, 2015, Wikipedia

Behind the boosterism of this opinion piece by Andrew Lih in the New York Times (“it is by far the world’s most popular reference site” – notice that he doesn’t call it the world’s most accurate reference site) are some interesting tidbits:

–The rising popularity of smartphones threatens Wikipedia (editing Wikipedia on a cellphone is problematic).

–The “peak years” of Wikipedia were about 2005.

–Promotion from editor to administrator is at best one a month, compared to 60 a month in 2005.

–Wikipedia has a budget of $60 million and fund-raising is no problem.


Me vs. Wikipedia
Wikipedia Hoax Exposed
Wikipedia: Murder and Myth



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TCM Movie Camp: Do Your Homework

Jun 15, 2015, Movie Camp
TCM’s “Movie Camp” hosts William Joyce, left, and Brandon Oldenburg.

I tuned in to TCM’s “Movie Camp” over the weekend, not to watch these two fellows, but to catch “Hoppity Goes to Town” also known as “Mr. Bug Goes to Town,” by the Fleischer studio.

I like some of the TCM hosts, particularly David Edelstein’s presentations of Francois Truffaut and Orson Welles, and Eddie Muller’s “Summer of Darkness,” although I can do without the commercial tie-ins of fedoras and cocktail shaker sets.

But these guys, William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg, not so much.
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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

June 20, 2015, Mystery Photo
This week’s mystery movie has been the 1944 picture “The Woman in the Window,” directed by Fritz Lang, starring Edward G. Robinson (Friday’s mystery chap), Joan Bennett (Thursday’s mystery painting), Raymond Massey (Friday’s mystery chap), Edmond Breon (not shown), Dan Duryea (not shown), Thomas E. Jackson (not shown), Dorothy Peterson (Monday’s mystery guest), Arthur Loft (Tuesday’s mystery guest) and Frank Dawson (not shown).  It was photographed by Milton Krasner, with music by Arthur Lange, and produced and written for the screen by Nunnally Johnson, from a novel by J.H. Wallis.

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition Caught on Film

The Tower of Jewels, in an image from the Los Angeles Public Library.

One hundred years ago, San Francisco hosted the most elaborate and and fantastic World’s Exposition until that time in celebration of the opening of the Panama Canal and the opening of the grand Pacific Coast to the world. The metropolis intended the event to help reinvigorate San Francisco by showing off its beauty, spirit, and cosmopolitan atmosphere, helping to speed up reconstruction by adding new streetcar lines and creating new residential districts. Over 18,000,000 people visited the fair during its long run that year, bringing much needed revenue to the city, still struggling to rebuild after the 1906 great earthquake. As the book, “Empress of San Francisco: The Pacific Rim, the Great West, and California at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition” relates from local news reports, “We are discovered now. With the close of the exposition has come the awakening to the fact that tourist travel means dollars raining down on every line of business.”

Motion pictures played a major part in the 1915 Exposition, employed as both educational tool and entertainment medium for fair guests, as well as providing much needed advertising to people around the world. The use of film at this fair demonstrated how important the medium had become to American society, inaugurating how media would come to dominate the telling and shaping of public events and stories.

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Black Dahlia: When Murder Inspires Art


This amazing “objet d’art” has been listed on EBay for $39. I mean, really?

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)


June 13, 2015, Mystery Photo

This week’s mystery movie is the 1931 RKO picture “Men of Chance,” starring Ricardo Cortez, Mary Astor (Friday’s mystery guests) and John Halliday (Wednesday’s mystery guest). It was directed by George Archainbaud and written by Louis Weitzenkorn and adapted by Louis Stevens with additional dialogue by Eddie Welch.

Dec. 31, 1931, Men of Chance
The movie opened in Los Angeles on New Year’s Eve 1931, against “Frankenstein,” “Ladies of the Big House,” “Hell Divers,” “The Woman From Monte Carlo,” “Delicious” and “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” which was playing for a second week. This pre-code film has apparently never been released on VHS or DVD. I recorded it from TCM in 2012.

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Santa Barbara’s Lobero Theatre David O. Selznick’s Summer Playhouse

The Lobero Theatre.

Santa Barbara’s beautiful Lobero Theatre has long operated as Hollywood’s go-to location for theatrical tryouts and performances since its opening in 1924. California’s oldest continuous operating theatre, the Lobero was founded in 1873 by Jose Lobero, before being completely renovated and remodeled in 1924 following George Washington Smith’s grand design. The elegant showcase has functioned as Hollywood’s theatrical home away from home, close enough for family and friends to attend, celebrities to appear, and for society scions to visit. It offered a safe haven for those trying their wings on the stage or those coming back after a long break.

From its reopening as a Spanish Revival jewel, the theatre has offered high class entertainment in an intimate setting. A few years after opening, management hired actor/producer Irving Pichel away from his own Pichel Playhouse in Oakland to serve as artistic director and star. Under his influence, the theatre hosted such actors as Tallulah Bankhead, Lionel Barrymore, and a young Bela Lugosi on its stage.

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


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‘Primates of Park Avenue’: ‘Holes Big Enough to Drive an Escalade Through’


Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein of the New York Post do some fact-checking on the bestselling book “Primates of Park Avenue,” by Wednesday/Wendy Martin.

Executive summary: “Holes big enough to drive an Escalade through.”

An excellent Sunday read and a tip of the Daily Mirror’s fact-checking hat.

Posted in 2015, Another Good Story Ruined, Books and Authors | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

ALLIES INVADE FRANCE! JUNE 6, 1944; Complete Radio Coverage

June 7, 1944, D-day

June 7, 1944, D-Day Map

The headline and map by Charles Owens from The Times.

Reposting from 2014.

June 6, 1944: Complete radio coverage of the D-Day Invasion. This was pool coverage using correspondents from various news organizations. By 10 a.m., CBS had resumed regular programming with news bulletins, so I’ll only post up to noon. The full day is at

It’s worth noting that German radio was the source for most of the information in the early hours of the invasion. The eyewitness accounts are vivid and it’s worth listening to Quentin Reynolds’ analysis on how the Allies learned from disastrous surprise invasion at Dieppe in 1942.

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Mary Mallory/Hollywood Heights: San Francisco Silent Film Festival Celebrates 20 Years

When the Earth Trembled.WEB

“When the Earth Trembled,” courtesy of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival.

The San Francisco Silent Film Festival offered a little something for everyone during their recently concluded 20th anniversary festival. From presentations by renowned historians and archivists to screenings of recently restored pictures, the Festival highlights the range and breadth of silent film through the power of live cinema. Live musical accompaniment by a diverse group of artists provided a strong emotional undercurrent to each presentation.

I missed Thursday night’s grand opening of the festival, the powerful World War I film, “All Quiet on the Western Front,” Universal’s strong antiwar conclusion to the silent era, which was introduced by Library of Congress curator, Mike Mashon. Universal chairman Ron Meyer announced that Universal and a consortium of archives will restore 15 Universal silent films over the next few years. Mont Alto Picture Orchestra performed actual music cues of the period in giving the moving film voice.

“Figures de Cire” is online here.
Reconstruction of “When the Earth Trembled.”

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

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Zoot Suit Riots, June 1943

Zoot Suit Duck
A hipster duck wears a zoot suit in Disney’s  “The Spirit of ‘43.”

In 2011, I took a look at the official Navy documents on the Zoot Suit Riots. Here they are:

“Zoot Suit” and History, 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


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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)


This week’s mystery movie has been the 1966 Czech film “Closely Watched Trains,” which won the Academy Award for foreign film in 1968. It was directed by Jiri Menzel and written by Menzel and Bohumil Hrabal from a novel by Hrabal. It was released on DVD by the Criterion Collection.

Part 1, via Dailymotion.
Part 2, via Dailymotion.

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Posted in Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , | 27 Comments