Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + +)

Sept. 18, 2017, Mystery Photo

For Monday, we have a mystery gent on the phone.

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Black Dahlia: Leslie Dillon, Paul De River and the LAPD – Part 5

Jan. 27, 1960, Dr. Finch

Dr. J. Paul De River analyzes accused killer R. Bernard Finch based on the left and right sides of his face in the Jan. 27, 1960, Herald-Express.


In case you just tuned in, we’re exploring some of the topics dealt with in Piu Eatwell’s new book “Black Dahlia, Red Rose,” which “solves” the Dahlia case by going back to one of the original suspects, Leslie Dillon, who investigators eliminated in the 1940s after he drew the attention of LAPD “sex crimes expert” Dr. J. Paul De River.

From previous posts, we know that De River reinvented himself, having been born in Louisiana as Joseph Paul Israel.

And we know that he was an ear, nose and throat specialist who reinvented himself as an expert on sex crimes and sex criminals.

Are you skeptical yet? Because there’s more.

The Black Dahlia: Leslie Dillon, Paul De River and the LAPD: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Mack Sennett and Studio City’s Central Motion Picture District

 

 


Studio City CMPDistrict

Note: This is an encore post from 2013.

Eighty-five years ago, the Mack Sennett Studio opened at 4024 N. Radford in Studio City. The studio functioned as a magnet in hopes of drawing other film production companies and studios to the surrounding land owned by Central Motion Picture District.

The Central Motion Picture District land syndicate was conceived by Harry Merrick, formerly president of the Chicago Assn. of Commerce, now a local real estate man. Merrick helped organize Chicago’s Central Manufacturing District and recognized that the wide-open space near the Los Angeles River in North Hollywood could function in a similar fashion for the movie industry.

Note: Mary Mallory will give a free presentation on how a real estate mogul and ambitious Hollywood film executives tried to build a motion picture city, Saturday, Sept. 23, at 3:30 p.m. at the Studio City Library, 12511 Moorpark St., Studio City.

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Black Dahlia: Leslie Dillon, Paul De River and the LAPD – Part 4

Feb. 24, 1949, Leslie Dillon
Feb. 24, 1949, Leslie Dillon
Feb. 24, 1949: Leslie Dillon files a claim against the city of Los Angeles for the LAPD’s massive screw-up in the Dahlia case. And yes, he collected.

 


Dear 67.171.61.65, a Comcast user from Spokane, Wash.

I’ll say it again: Leslie Dillon was in San Francisco when Elizabeth Short was killed, as investigators established beyond question through an exhaustive inquiry — and I mean exhaustive. Everything else is window dressing.

Executive summary on Piu Eatwell’s “Black Dahlia, Red Rose”: Brit writer stumbles into mass of disorganized documents and makes an elementary mistake, deciding that a suspect who was cleared in the 1940s was part of a massive conspiracy and coverup involving the police and “organized crime.”

The Black Dahlia: Leslie Dillon, Paul De River and the LAPD: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

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Black Dahlia: Leslie Dillon, Paul De River and the LAPD – Part 3

The Mirror

The Mirror (that would be the other Mirror) jumps on the Dahlia Murder “Solved!” bandwagon.


Nobody “enjoys a good murder” as much as the Brits, so we are seeing a wave of publicity for Piu Eatwell’s new book, “Black Dahlia, Red Rose,” in which she “solves” the Black Dahlia case.

Executive summary: Brit writer stumbles into mass of disorganized documents and makes an elementary mistake, deciding that a suspect who was cleared in the 1940s was part of a massive conspiracy and coverup involving the police and “organized crime.”

CEO summary: Leslie Dillon was in San Francisco at the time Elizabeth Short was killed. Everything else is merely window dressing.

 

The Black Dahlia: Leslie Dillon, Paul De River and the LAPD: Part 1 | Part 2

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Black Dahlia: Leslie Dillon, Paul De River and the LAPD – Part 2

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“The Sexual Criminal,” by Dr. Joseph Paul De River, in a revised edition with an introduction by Brian King published in 2000. More about this book later. It will be important.



Where does one start in telling the curious story of Dr. Joseph Paul De River?

Certainly not with the Black Dahlia case.

As nearly as we can determine, De River was born Nov. 6, 1893, and died in April 12, 1977.

Beyond that, it’s complicated.

The Black Dahlia: Leslie Dillon, Paul De River and the LAPD: Part 1

 

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Black Dahlia: Leslie Dillon, Paul De River and the LAPD — Part 1

True Detective

The Paul De River/Leslie Dillon/LAPD coverup conspiracy theory in the 1947 Black Dahlia murder is getting some traction with the upcoming release of Piu Eatwell’s “Black Dahlia, Red Rose,” which purports to “solve” the Dahlia case.

Spoiler alert

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Sept. 16, 2017, Mystery Photo
This week’s mystery movie has been the 1952 MGM picture “The Prisoner of Zenda” and, as many people pointed out, it is not as good as the Ronald Colman version (1937).

This version of “Zenda” stars Stewart Granger and Deborah Kerr, with Louis Calhern, Jane Greer, Lewis Stone, Robert Douglas, James Mason, with a screenplay by John L. Balderston and Noel Langley, adapted by Wells Root from the novel by Anthony Hope and the dramatization by Edward Rose. Music by Alfred Newman, adapted by Conrad Salinger, photography by Joseph Ruttenberg, art direction by Cedric Gibbons and Hans Peters, set decoration by Edwin B. Willis and Richard Pefferle, costumes by Walter Plunkett, hair styles by Sydney Guilaroff and makeup by William Tuttle. It was produced by Pandro S. Berman and directed by Richard Thorpe.

“The Prisoner of Zenda” is available on DVD from Amazon.

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: 2017 Cinecon Salutes Entertainment

 

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The entertaining 2017 Cinecon Film Festival offered a little something for everyone this year, showcasing over 50 silent films, talkies, television kinescopes, musical shorts, and even documentaries with lovely vintage prints and live accompaniment adding some extra pizzazz. Several of the films offered timely messages about issues that still plague us today, while others continued to entertain with their goofy or physical humor. The festival highlights materials mostly unseen since their original release and unlikely to air on TCM or even be released as DVDs or through streaming, from top rate releases of the day through general programmers screened in small town houses. Fifty-three years young, Cinecon remains the ultimate destination for those seeking out rare, obscure, and typical American film releases starring superstars to mid-level talent to virtually unknown character actors.

While perhaps not an outstanding program, this year’s festival featured some moving and knockout pictures, as well as many engaging ones, in which truth, justice, and the American way always succeeded in the end, unlike that in real life. A smorgasbord of unplanned themes and topics highlighted the films, including cross-dressing, false identities, gambling, underhanded double dealing, working women, potential philandering, financial struggle, judgmental busybodies, and prescient politics. Each day built on the other, with Monday, September 4 featuring the strongest and most memorable pictures.

 

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

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Black Dahlia – Piu Eatwell’s ‘Black Dahlia, Red Rose’ Exhumes Leslie Dillon

Black Dahlia, Red Rose, cover

Since I learned a few months ago that British writer Piu Eatwell was going to “solve” the Black Dahlia case in the forthcoming book “Black Dahlia, Red Rose,” I have been waiting to see if she would open

— Door No. 1 (George Knowlton in Janice Knowlton’s “Daddy Was the Black Dahlia Killer”).

— Door No. 2 (Jack Anderson Wilson in John Gilmore’s “Severed”).

— Door No. 3 (Dr. George Hodel in Steve Hodel’s “Black Dahlia Avenger” franchise).

— Door No. 4 (Leslie Dillon in Jacque Daniel’s “The Curse of the Black Dahlia”).

This is, of course, assuming that nobody in their right mind would open Door No. 5 (Norman Chandler/Bugsy Siegel in Donald Wolfe’s “The Black Dahlia Files”).   See “Blogging the Wolfe Book” for more information.

Or perhaps she had a completely new suspect.

Now, according to a new review in The Sunday Times, we have Door No. 4: Leslie Dillon.

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‘Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood’ at the Toronto Film Festival – Oh Dear

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Scotty Bowers, author of the b.s.-laden book “Full Service,” is the subject of a “documentary” (cough, cough) by Matt Tyrnauer. Image courtesy of the Vanity Fair, which really ought to know better.


This is Scotty Bowers, who wrote a heaping pile of garbage called “Full Service,” which makes “Hollywood Babylon” look distinguished film scholarship. Back in 2012, I took a deep dive into fact-checking the book, which you can find here in 26 parts:

Fact-Checking “Full Service”: 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 
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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Sept. 9, 2017, Mystery Photo
This week’s silent mystery movie has been the 1925 MGM film “Lady of the Night,” with Norma Shearer, Malcolm MacGregor (McGregor), Dale Fuller, George K. Arthur, Fred Esmelton, Lew Harvey, Gwen Lee and Betty Morrisey (Morrissey). It was directed by Monta Bell. Story by Adela Rogers St. Johns, scenario by Alice D.G. Miller, settings by Cedric Gibbons and photography by Andre Barletier.

The DVD is available from Warner Archive for $17.99.

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Mary Mallory: Hollywood Heights – Keye Luke

Keye Luke Music

Image: “Just a Little Longer,” illustrated by Keye Luke for Harold Weeks Melody Shop. Credit: Mary Mallory.


 

Keye Luke Drawing Dec. 16, 1928 Note: This is an encore post from 2011.

Keye Luke, the talented and respected Chinese American actor, is probably best known to moviegoers and television viewers as the Number One son Lee Chan in 1930s Charlie Chan movies, as well as the role of Po in the 1970s TV show “Kung Fu.” Little do most people realize that he was also a talented artist whose job as an illustrator led to his career in acting.

As Charles Caldwell Dobie wrote in “The San Franciscan” in 1928, “Some twenty-five years ago, a young Chinese merchant who was born in San Francisco, upheld his native tradition by returning to China for a bride. He chose, or possibly his parents chose for him, a maiden with the charming name of Golden Chrysanthemum who lived in a village just outside of Canton bearing the equally charming name of Joyous People… As a result of this union, during the Festival of Rice Cakes, the little village of Joyous People found its population increased by the arrival of a prospective male citizen who was given the name of Keye Luke.”Hollywood at Play, by Donovan Brandt, Mary Mallory and Stephen X. Sylvester is now on sale.

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Sept. 2, 2017, Mystery Photo
This week’s mystery movie has been the 1949 Walter Wanger film “Reign of Terror” later retitled “The Black Book,” with Robert Cummings, Richard Basehart, Richard Hart, Arlene Dahl, Arnold Moss, Norman Lloyd, Charles McGraw, Beulah Bondi and Jess Barker. The story and screenplay were by Philip Yordan and Aeneas MacKenzie, music by Sol Kaplan, photography by John Alton, art direction by Edward Ilou, orchestrations by George Parrish, conducted by Charles Previn. The film was produced by William Cameron Menzies, who did storyboards for the film, and directed by Anthony Mann. It was shot using the sets from the 1948 Walter Wanger film “Joan of Arc” as a way to recoup some of the financial losses from that movie.

The movie, which lapsed into public domain, is available on DVD from many sources, including TCM.

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: 53rd Cinecon Festival Offers Diverse Lineup

 

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The 53rd Annual Cinecon Film Festival starts Thursday, August 31 at Hollywood’s glorious Egyptian Theatre, offering a welcoming diversity of programs and films from silly to sublime, topical to timeless, filmed everywhere from Wilshire Boulevard to Saugus to Truckee to Catalina. Live accompaniment by outstanding musicians gives voice to the silents, a true treat. Silents, sound films, musical and comedy shorts, documentaries, kinescopes and television programs, cartoons, celebrities, memorabilia sales, and even a play round out the wide-ranging schedule for this year’s event, offering something to delight everyone, the vast majority of which will neve be seen on DVD, TCM, YouTube, or streaming.

Special honorees this year include the erudite 101-year-young Norman Lloyd, receiving the Legacy Award during opening night festivities, the elegant 102 year-old Patricia Morison, appearing at the screening of her film “Untamed,” and the stylish and articulate Marsha Hunt, a 99-year-old youngster appearing for her film “The Accusing Finger.” These formidable legends bring a wealth of knowledge and history to movie lovers of all ages.

PDF of the Cinecon 53 program.

Brown Paper Tickets Here.

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + )

two_men_title_shot
This week’s mystery film has been the 1959 French picture Deux hommes dans Manhattan or Two Men in Manhattan and I chose it to feature the Los Angeles Public Library’s new service of streaming films from the Criterion Collection. It’s provided by Kanopy and it’s free.

The plot of Two Men in Manhattan unravels about two-thirds of the way into the movie but the shots of New York (lots of hand-held camera filming on location) are interesting and it’s got a jazzy score.

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Movieland Mystery Photo – Special Edition

Mystery Photo

Alan K. Rode sends along this undated mystery photo taken at the Warner Bros. commissary, showing Michael Curtiz, right, Howard Hawks, center, and a mystery fellow on the left. Any help in identifying our mystery chap would be much appreciated.

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: ‘Don’t Be a Sucker’ Promotes American Values

 

Aug. 21, 2017, Don't Be a Sucker
“Don’t Be a Sucker” is on YouTube.

 


Still as relevant today as when it was first produced over 70 years ago, the United States Army Signal Corps’ short “Don’t Be a Sucker” describes the founding principles of the United States’ Declaration of Independence and Constitution, that all people are created equal and should share in the bounties and freedom that they and all parts of our melting pot have created. From its beginnings, our country has welcomed people from around the world, blending voices and lives to create a wonderful smorgasbord of culture. Without all those beautiful grace notes, America would not be the country it is.

The Signal Corps created all types of films for the Army during World War II: training and instructional films, propaganda, rallying, and patriotic pieces, all aimed to get soldiers to devote their all in fighting our enemies to preserve our way of life. Most were never intended to be viewed by the general public, aimed strictly at the boys going overseas, both during the fight and then to prepare them for returning home and demonstrating these honorable values to others.

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

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Hollywood Reservoir – Hollywood’s Forgotten Lake

 

Mulholland Dam
Feb. 2, 1924: Hollywood Dam under construction.


A virtually forgotten oasis located in what was originally known as Weid Canyon in the Hollywood Hills, the Hollywood Reservoir served as much as bucolic paradise as water supply when first constructed in 1924. The decorative concrete structure has survived storms of protests for more than 90 years to serve the many needs of Hollywood and Los Angeles residents.

As early as 1897, newspapers described Weid’s Canyon as a quiet, peaceful place for strolls and picnicking. Named after its original owner Ivar A. Weid, who owned a quarry nearby and died in 1903, the gentle bowl was first surveyed as a possible site for a dam in 1912. The little town of Hollywood found itself desperate for water to feed its many crops, asking the city of Los Angeles for annexation in 1910 in order to obtain its needed supply. The 1913 construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct provided an even greater source of water. By 1920, Los Angeles itself began looking for suitable locations throughout the metropolitan area on which to construct dams to service local communities, especially as it weathered a series of droughts.

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

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

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This week’s mystery movie was the 1952 RKO film “At Sword’s Point,” with Cornel Wilde, Maureen O’Hara, Robert Douglas, Gladys Cooper, June Clayworth, Dan O’Herlihy, Alan Hale Jr., Blanche Yurka, Nancy Gates, Edmond Breon, Peter Miles, George Petrie and Moroni Olsen. The screenplay was by Walter Ferris and Joseph Hoffman from a story by Aubrey Wisberg and Jack Pollexfen, with photography by Ray Brennahan, art direction by Albert S. D’Agostino and Jack Okey, music by Roy Webb, set decorations by Darrell Silvers and William Stevens and gowns by Edward Stevenson. The producer was Jerrold T. Brandt and the director was Lewis Allen.

The movie is available on DVD from Warner Archive for $19.99.

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