Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Our mystery movie is indeed “City Streets,” directed by Rouben Mamoulian, with cinematography by Lee Garmes, which is quite a remarkable film. As far as I can tell, it’s not in commercial release (except in a Region 2 version in Spanish), which is most unfortunate.  If you only think of Guy Kibbee as the foxy grandpa in “42nd Street” and “Gold Diggers of 1933,”  you will find that he’s very different here.

This is apparently part of the Paramount library controlled by Universal, and perhaps that has some reason as to why it hasn’t been released. If anyone knows more, drop me a line.

Dec. 23, 2013, Mystery Photo

And for Monday, a mystery woman. (Yes, this is Sylvia Sidney, who was a newcomer at the time “City Streets” was made.)

"City Streets"
Here’s how we meet Gary Cooper, who is operating a shooting gallery. In an extreme close-up, after first seeing the back of his head.

"City Streets"
He shows off for Nan Cooley (Sylvia Sydney)

When she gets home, Pop Cooley (Guy Kibbee) wants to know where she’s been. Even in 1931, “City Streets” ran into trouble.


April 26, 1931:
“An uneven picture acted unevenly.” It has “strained camera angles and symbolic close-ups of statuary, stuffed eagles and surf beating against rocks,” says Norbert Lusk in a story from New York.


April 25, 1931: Edwin Schallert of The Times, however, calls it “splendidly done.”

Dec. 24, 2013, Mystery Photo

And for Tuesday, a couple of tough mystery gents. (Robert Homans, Willard Robertson )

And here’s what makes the mystery photos so rewarding. Not only did many people recognize Monday’s mystery woman. Not only did two people (Mike Hawks and Bob Hansen) identify the movie on the basis of one picture. But Eve Golden says: “Oh, I interviewed her and have a funny story.” (Which it is, but you’ll have to check back Saturday to read it).

All of this even though our mystery movie is (apparently) only commercially available in Spanish on a Region 2 DVD. It may have been out on VHS, but if so, even that is hard to find.

Please congratulate Eve Golden (mystery woman), Chrisbo (mystery woman), Tim Doherty (mystery woman), Dewey Webb (mystery woman), Cat M (mystery woman), Christina Rice (mystery woman), Julie Merholz (mystery woman, Patrick (mystery woman), Jenny M (mystery woman), Bob Levinson (mystery woman), Mike Hawks (mystery movie and cast), June (mystery woman), Don Danard (mystery woman), Roget-L.A. (mystery woman), Jo Anne (mystery woman), LC (mystery woman), Mandymarie (mystery woman), Gary Martin (mystery woman), Megan (mystery woman), Bob Hansen (mystery movie and cast), Gretchen Young (mystery woman) and La Peregrina (mystery woman). And Mary Mallory (mystery woman) via email. Congrats all!

Dec. 25, 2013, Mystery Photo

And for Christmas Day, a mystery woman. (Wynne Gibson)

Smoking a cigar.

Please congratulate Roget-L.A. (mystery movie and cast), Mike Hawks (Tuesday’s mystery gents), Don Danard (mystery gents) and Julie Merholz (mystery movie and cast). And Mary Mallory (mystery movie and cast) via email.

Dec. 26, 2013, Mystery Photo

And here we have two gents who certainly qualify for “Throwback Thursday.” (Stanley Fields with Paul Lukas).

Please congratulate Dewey Webb and Mary Mallory for identifying our Christmas Day mystery gal.

Dec. 27, 2013, Mystery Photo

And for Friday, our mystery woman has a companion.

Please congratulate Mary Mallory (Thursday’s mystery fellows), Mike Hawks (Thursday’s mystery fellows) and Dewey Webb (mystery film).

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About lmharnisch

I work at the Los Angeles Times
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43 Responses to Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

  1. Eve says:

    Sylvia Sidney? If so, I interviewed her once and have a funny story about her.

  2. Chrisbo says:

    Sylvia Sidney?

  3. Tim Doherty says:

    Sylvia Sidney?

  4. DeweyWebb says:

    A Sylvia Sidney lookalike contest winner

  5. Cat M says:

    Sylvia Sidney.

  6. Eve says:

    OK, so, my Sylvia Sidney story: I interviewed her for Movieline in ’92 when “Used People” came out. Everyone warned me, “be careful! She is SUCH a bitch!” Well, she was delightful: funny and charming and gave me great stories about von Sternberg (“He was a cameraman, honey, not a director!”) and the infamous Sylvia Sidney condoms.

    Then I ran into her at Lillian Gish’s memorial service the next year (oh, I get around). I introduced myself and reminded her I had interviewed her last year. “Oh, was I a bitch?” she asked. “No,” I assured her, “you were perfectly charming!” “That’s funny,” she replied, “You must have caught me on a good day, I’m usually a real BITCH.”

  7. Gary Martin says:

    Simone Simon.

  8. Patrick says:

    Looks like a very young Sylvia Sidney.

  9. Jenny M says:

    Sylvia Sidney

  10. Mike Hawks says:

    Sylvia Sidney most likely from CITY STREETS 1931.

  11. June says:

    Sylvia Sidney?

  12. Maybe a young Gene Tierney??

  13. Don Danard says:

    An early shot of Sylvia Sidney.

  14. Rogét-L.A. says:

    Sylvia Sidney in her youth?

  15. Jo Anne says:

    Sylvia Sidney

  16. LC says:

    Looks like a very early Sylvia Sydney, but then that would be too easy, wouldn’t it?

  17. mandymarie20 says:

    I think it looks like Sylvia Sydney.

  18. Gary Martin says:

    I mean Sylvia Sidney.

  19. Megan says:

    Sylvia Sidney

  20. Bob Hansen says:

    Sylvia Sidney, possibly in the film City Streets.

  21. Gretchen Young says:

    Sylvia Sidney definitely!

  22. Ed says:

    11/23 looks like Harriet Hillard

  23. Rogét-L.A. says:

    Gent #1 is definitely Robert Homans. Could gents #2 and #3 be Willard Robertson and Allan Cavan? Regardless, I’m pretty sure the mystery movie is “City Streets” (1931).

  24. Mike Hawks says:

    from left to right we have Robert Homans, Willard Robertson and ?.

  25. Don Danard says:

    The first Mystery Man today is Robert Homans. Behind him is Willard Robertson.
    Don’t know the guy in the b.g.

  26. juliemerholz says:

    City Streets 1931, with Gary Cooper, Paul Lukas, William Boyd, Wynne Gibson, Guy Kibbee, Stanley Fields, Betty Sinclair, Robert Homans,Barbara Leonard, Allan Cavan,

  27. DeweyWebb says:

    Wynn Gibson

  28. Mike Hawks says:

    Wynne Gibson for wednesday and Stanley Fields with Paul Lukas for today.

  29. DeweyWebb says:

    City Streets

  30. Gary Martin says:

    That “looks like” Paul Muni but I can’t find a SS/PM coupling anywhere. The other woman “looks like” Karen Morley.

  31. Mike Hawks says:

    Sylvia Sidney looks on while Mr. Gary Cooper gets tough.

  32. Chrisbo says:

    Aha! I should have gotten this! (I saw it awhile back). City Streets. Sylvia Sydney, Guy Kibbee, Wynne Gibson, Paul Lukas, Gary Cooper.

  33. Mary Mallory says:

    Gary finally makes an appearance.

  34. Floyd Thursby says:

    I’m thinking it is “City Streets” but surely you would have included the close up of Preston Sturges playing a threatening thug if it was.

  35. Mary Mallory says:

    I’ve heard stories from people who attended Cinecon 20 or so years ago, when Sidney was a guest, where she really was a bitch. at a screening at UCLA, she belittled some people who asked questions of her and made some rude statements. There was a banquet at the Roosevelt Hotel. Johnny Crawford and his band were playing, as she sat on the balcony. After only five minutes, she was saying, “Shut up!” The leaders had to go down and tell the band to quit playing. Hawks would probably have even more details about this.

  36. eve says:

    Excellent movie, too–Wynne Gibson was always good, and Guy Kibbee played an unusual dark, heavy part very well.

  37. mandymarie20 says:

    I can’t believe I finally guessed one correctly! I’ve been trying for years. The only reason I guessed Sydney is because I collect items about Madame Sylvia of Hollywood, basically THE personal trainer of the 1930′s. Invariably when I search, I get a multitude of results about Sylvia Sydney instead of my desired result.

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