Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

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This week’s mystery movie was the 1932 Universal picture “The Old Dark House,” with Boris Karloff, Melvyn Douglas, Charles Laughton, Lillian Bond, Ernest Thesiger, Eva Moore, Raymond Massey, Gloria Stuart, John Dudgeon and Brember Wills.

From the novel by J.B. Priestly. Screenplay by Benn W. Levy (additional dialogue R.C. Sherriff).

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Black Dahlia: 6 Reasons Dr. George Hodel Didn’t Kill Elizabeth Short — No. 6 No Connection

Elizabeth Short contrasted with the unidentified woman found in George Hodel’s photo album. Not at all the same.


Here are six reasons Dr. George Hodel did not kill Elizabeth Short that you will need to know before watching the TNT mini-series “I Am the Night” or listening to the eight-part podcast accompanying the production.

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Mary Mallory: Hollywood Heights – Studio City Nightlife

Feb. 10, 1940, Ching Howe

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Feb. 10, 1940: Ching Howe is opening in the Valley.

Photo: The 11380 block of Ventura Boulevard. Credit: Google street view.


Note: This is an encore post from 2011.

Studio City seemed to blossom into an entertainment-related town after the opening of the Mack Sennett Studios in 1928.  Many of the businesses along Ventura Boulevard catered to performers or were owned by celebrities, especially restaurants and nightclubs.

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Sallah Title

This week’s movie was the 1964 Israeli film “Sallah” or “Sallah Shabati,” with Topol, Geula Nuni, Gila Almagor, Albert Cohen, Shraga Friedman, Zaharira Harifai, Shaike Levi, Nathan Meisler, Esther Greenberg and Mordecai Arnon.

“Salah” is available on DVD from TCM.

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Mary Mallory: Hollywood Heights – Fred Hartsook

Child in Sailor Outfit, Hartsook Studio
Photo: Child in sailor suit by Hartsook studios, for sale on EBay. Bidding starts at $74.95.


Note: This is an encore post from 2011.

Patience is a prerequisite for being a stills photographer, and it is also important for those who dairy farm. Both require long waiting periods and preparation for that all important moment when the right image is shot or a dairy cow gives milk. Fred Hartsook practiced fortitude and patience as both one of the most important California photographers in the late 1910s and early 1920s and as one of the top Los Angeles area dairy cow farmers of the 1920s.

Hartsook descended from a long line of photographers. His grandfather supposedly created the first photograph mounted on a card in the United States, and his father also successfully practiced the art in the late 1800s. Hartsook entered the business in 1904, with a studio in downtown Los Angeles at 542 S. Broadway.  By 1916, he owned and operated 11 photography studios across the United States.

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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.


Note: This is an encore post from 2014. Reposting to fix some broken links.

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 archive.org.

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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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

June 5, 2021, Main Title Card of The Fighting Sullivans

This week’s mystery movie was the 1944 film “The Sullivans” or “The Fighting Sullivans,” with Anne Baxter, Thomas Mitchell, Selena Royle, Edward Ryan, Trudy Marshall, John Campbell, James Cardwell, John Alvin, George Offerman Jr., Roy Roberts and Ward Bond.

Screenplay by Mary C. McCall Jr. Story by Edward Doherty and Jules Schermer.

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Carmel Myers Pioneers TV Talk Shows

Carmel Myers
Carmel Myers in a show from 1951 that featured Jeanette MacDonald.


Long before Barbara Walters, Oprah Winfrey, or Ellen DeGeneres came on the scene, former silent film star Carmel Myers premiered the celebrity talk show with her self-titled “The Carmel Myers Show” in the early 1950s. Following in the footsteps of the “Unsinkable Molly Brown,” Myers allowed nothing to diminish or destroy her, surviving tragedy as well as failure. Reinventing herself several times, Myers pioneered in television as well as consumerism…

Born April 9, 1899, in San Francisco to rabbi and lecturer Isadore Myers, Carmel and her older brother Zion, later a screenwriter, were raised in Los Angeles after the family moved south in the early 1900s. Father Isadore ardently preached Zionism, returning the Jewish disaspora to their original home in the Holy Land, as well as acknowledging that the Talmud gave women equal rights.

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May 31, 1947: Los Angeles Marks First Memorial Day Without a Civil War Veteran at Ceremony

1947_0531_memorial_dayNote: This is an encore post from 2005 and originally appeared on the 1947project.

Memorial Day, 1947, was a spectacle marked with a parade from Westwood to the veterans cemetery, services for Spanish-American veterans in Pershing Square and even a tribute at Hollywood Memorial Park to 21 Times employees killed in the 1910 bombing, as well as those who died in World War II (Tommy Treanor, RIP).

The largest gathering was at the Coliseum, where the multitudes sang “The Star-Spangled Banner,” recited the Pledge of Allegiance and listened to Ronald Reagan read the Gettysburg Address.

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

The Falcon in Hollywood

This week’s mystery movie was the 1944 RKO film “The Falcon in Hollywood,” with Tom Conway, Barbara Hale, Veda Ann Borg, John Abbott, Sheldon Leonard, Konstantin Shayne, Emory Parnell, Frank Jenks, Jean Brooks, Rita Corday, Walter Soderling, Useff Ali and Robert Clarke.

Screenplay by Gerald Geraghty, based on the character created by Michael Arlen…

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Grauman’s Chinese Theatre Turns 90

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The opening of “King of Kings at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Photo courtesy of Bruce Torrence.


Note: This is an encore post from 2017.

Still ready for its close-up, the TCL Chinese Theatre, originally Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, turns 90 on May 18, looking as glamorous and exotic as when it premiered on Hollywood Boulevard in 1927. Under construction for almost 16 months, the Chinese Theatre stands as perhaps legendary theatre impresario Sid Grauman’s ultimate masterpiece, a fabulous moving picture palace that outshines virtually anything produced by the Hollywood studio system.

While not the first film theatre devised and built by visionary Grauman, the Chinese Theatre represents the pinnacle of motion picture theatre construction, an atmospheric pleasure dome for the senses which still overwhelms with its unique beauty. Opening just two years before the start of the Great Depression, the theatre stands as a fascinating concoction of hallucinatory dream and kitsch, the ultimate symbol of success for those hoping to make it in motion picture business. Like the Hollywood Sign, the theatre acts as an iconic symbol for the city in which it was created, drawing people from around the globe hoping to soak up just a tiny bit of its special stardust.

Hollywood at Play, by Donovan Brandt, Mary Mallory and Stephen X. Sylvester is now on sale.

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Nov. 15, 1981: Still Unsolved — Aspiring Screenwriter Killed in Hit-Run Staged to Look Like Rape

L.A. Times, 1981

Sue Latham Note: This post has been getting a lot of traffic recently and I couldn’t figure out why. The answer:  A biking blog linked to the post a few days ago because Pat Hines, one of the victim’s friends, has been in the news. I originally wrote the blog post about the Nov. 15, 1981, incident in 2005 for the 1947project.

Sue was 29, tall, blond and athletic with dimples every time she smiled—her big, clunky glasses the only thing that might betray a degree in quantum mechanics—when she left her husband in Austin, Texas, and a job writing for scientific journals, found an apartment right below the Hollywood sign and began turning out screenplays. She had just finished “Death in New Venice,” about a female detective.

Early one morning shortly before Thanksgiving, while it was still dark, she parked her Mercedes at Gladstone’s, 17300 Pacific Coast Highway, the usual gathering spot for the Santa Monica Swim Club, which was planning a bike ride up the coast to Point Mugu.

Some swim club members avoided this newcomer, who had arrived in Los Angeles two months before, because she seemed unsophisticated and took risks that weren’t appropriate for life in a huge city. “Her eyesight wasn’t that great, she’d never lived by the water and here she was swimming before sunrise in the cold ocean,” said Richard Marks, one of her friends.

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Hollywood’s Deep Roots of Anti-Japanese Bias

1924-Daily_news
As many immigrant groups before them, Japanese began coming to America in the 1860s looking for opportunities to learn new skills and to make money to help support their families back home. When intolerant, isolationist Americans began turning against the Chinese, Japanese began taking their place as menial workers, with most settling on the West Coast. Many discovered they liked the country and set down roots. As time went by, however, white Americans turned their frustrations on them as well, blaming others for their own problems. A group of Japanese Americans in 1923 Hollywood fought prejudice in attempting to construct a church, finding their “otherness” breeding bitterness and resentment in certain Hollywood residents.

Japanese battled hardships for decades after arriving in the United States and the West. In 1869, a small group of Japanese settled in El Dorado County to establish the first agricultural settlement, becoming the Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Farm Company per scholar Donna Graves in “Japanese American Heritage and the Quest for Civil Rights in Riverside, California.” Two men ended up in Los Angeles as well, working as servants.

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Main Title the Death Kiss

This week’s mystery movie was the 1933 film “The Death Kiss,” with David Manners, Adrienne Ames, Bela Lugosi, John Wray, Vince Barnett, Alexander Carr,  Edward Van Sloan, Harold Minjir, Barbara Bedford, Al Hill, Harold Waldrige, Wade Boteler and Lee Moran.

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: TCM Classic Film Festival 2021

West Side Story TCMCFF

Although the TCM Classic Film Festival once again occurred strictly online this year, it offered an even more diverse and pleasing slate, providing even more programming online thanks to a collaboration with HBO Max. Both edifying and entertaining, the films, extras, and bonus programming demonstrated the reach and power of cinema.

The festival opened Thursday with a 60th anniversary screening of “West Side Story,” preceded by an interview with co-stars George Chakiris, Rita Moreno, and Russ Tamblyn in conversation about working on the legendary film and the soon-to-be released remake. Director Martin Scorsese introduced his 1973 movie “Mean Streets,” followed by the TCM premiere of UCLA’s recently restored 1932 horror film “Doctor X,” with beautifully restored two-strip Technicolor.

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

2021_0515_credits_02

This week’s mystery movie was the 1959 Columbia film “Middle of the Night,” with Kim Novak, Fredric March, Glenda Farrell, Albert Dekker, Martin Balsam, Lee Grant, Lee Philips, Edith Meiser, Joan Copeland, Lou Gilbert, Rudy Bond, Effie Afton and Jan Norris.

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Mary Mallory: Hollywood Heights – Greg Bautzer

Greg Bautzer, Joan Crawford

A photo of Greg Bautzer and Joan Crawford, listed on EBay for $9.99.


Note: This is an encore post from 2012.

Handsome, charming, well spoken, Gregson “Greg” Bautzer was as dashing and popular as any successful Hollywood movie star.  Bautzer wasn’t an actor, however, but one of Hollywood’s most influential and powerful attorneys.  The lawyer represented billionaires, movie magnates, and attractive starlets, and helped set up independent production companies.  Bautzer knew how to talk his way into Tinsel Town boardrooms, as well as into his beautiful female clients’ beds.

Even as a young man, Bautzer possessed enormous drive and ambition.  He spoke well, entering and winning many oratorical contests.  Bautzer won contests representing Long Beach and San Pedro as early as 1925.  He was a group champion in the Southwest section of the National Oratorical Contest of the Constitution in 1926, with the April 28, 1926, Los Angeles Times noting that he was also a crack debater, actor, athlete, and winner of San Pedro’s annual Shakespearean contest.  His ambition was to study law.  Bautzer finished second place in the 1926 sectional competition.

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

2021_0508_credits_02

This week’s mystery movie was the 1949 film “Cover Up,” with William Bendix, Dennis O’Keefe, Barbara Britton, Art Baker, Ann E. Todd, Doro Merande, Virginia Christine, Helen Spring, Ruth Lee and Henry Hall.

Original screenplay by Jerome Odlum and Jonathan Rix. Additional dialogue by Francis Swann and Lawrence Kimble.

Music by Hans J. Salter. Photography by Ernest Laszlo, art direction by Jerome Pycha Jr.

Production manager Lewis J. Rachmil, edited by Fred W. Berger. Assistant director Harold Godsoe. Set decoration by Robert Priestley, makeup by Mel Berns, sound by William Lynch, wardrobe by Earl Moser, orchestrations by Harold Byrns.

Produced by Ted Nasser. Directed by Alfred E. Green.

“Cover Up” is available on DVD from TCM.

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Edison’s Vitascope Ushers in the Modern Age

Thomas Edison, inventor of the telephone and phonograph
125 years ago April 23, 1896, Thomas Edison’s newest invention and update to the Kinetoscope, the Vitascope, premiered to a paying audience in Koster and Bial’s Music Hall in New York City. For the first time in the United States, mass audiences could view moving pictures on a giant screen.

Built as much to compete with France’s Lumiere Brothers, who premiered their own projecting system in Paris December 28 1895, as to advance his own Kinetoscope and dominate the American film market, Edison’s Vitascope made moving pictures a spectacle, an event, allowing pictures and emotions to wash over and move a mass audience rather than just a series of small pictures entertaining one person at a time.

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Opening Title Secrets of An Actress, in which an invisible hand opens a diary

This week’s mystery movie was the 1938 Warner Bros. film “Secrets of an Actress,” with Kay Francis, George Brent, Ian Hunter, Gloria Dickson, Isabel Jeans, Penny Singleton, Dennie Moore, Selmer Jackson, Herbert Rawlinson, Emmet Vogan and James B. Carson.

Directed by William Keighley.

Original screenplay by Milton Krims, Rowland Leigh and Julius J. Epstein.

Photographed by Sid Hickox, edited by Owen Marks, art direction by Anton Grot, sound by Charles Lang, gowns by Orry-Kelly and musical direction by Leo F. Forbstein.

“Secrets of an Actress” has apparently never been commercially released. A low-resolution copy is at Archive.org. TCM has shown it 14 times in the last 20 years, most recently in 2019.

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Ravished Armenia and the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide

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A still from “Auction of Souls,” in the Washington Times.


Note: This is an encore post from 2015.

For more than 120 years, Armenians have seen slaughter and death at the hands of the Ottoman Empire and the Turks. In 1894, Sultan Abdul-Hamid II ordered the first massacre and harassment of the Armenian population, with more than 300,000 people killed over three years. 30,000 Armenians were killed in 1909 when Turks in Cilicila revolted against Armenian democratization efforts. In 1915, the wholesale slaughter of Armenians began as a result of World War I, when Armenia became separated from the Allied Forces which supported it when Turkey sided with Germany. As Tony Slide reveals in his book, “Ravished Armenia and the Story of Aurora Mardiganian,” Russia invaded Turkey and British and French forces attacked Constantinople, precipitating disaster. On April 23-24, 1915, Turkish police began rounding up 800 leading Armenians in Constantinople, exiling them, and began widespread extermination of the Armenian population on April 24. This year marks the Centennial of the Twentieth Century’s first massive genocide, in which more than one million Armenians were slaughtered, half of the population at the time.

One young Christian girl, Arshalouys Mardigian “Aurora Mardiganian,” suffered horrific experiences during the genocide but survived and escaped to America. Her story of a young girl suffering abuses and ravages came to stand for that of Armenia itself when her book, “Ravished Armenia,” was released in 1918. Mardiganian herself starred later that year in a movie adaptation called “Ravished Armenia,” later changed to “Auction of Souls.” In many ways, Mardiganian represents her ravished homeland, as she was exploited and abused by the very individuals who were supposed to provide help, becoming a bit player in her own story. Her story helped publicize the widespread genocide and diaspora of her people, vividly personified in what little remains of the powerful film.

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

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