Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated)

Sept. 21, 2020, Mystery Photo

For Monday, we have a mystery gentleman. His companion has been cropped out due to insufficient mysteriousness and will appear Friday.

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Posted in Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

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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Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, Crime and Courts, Homicide, LAPD, Television | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mary Mallory: Hollywood Heights, Ernest Torrence

Ernest Torrence "The Wanderer"
Photo: Ernest Torrence and Greta Nissen in “The Wanderer,” listed on EBay at $34.95.


Note: This is an encore post from 2011.

Long remembered for playing both villainous and comic supporting roles in silent films, Ernest Torrence achieved big success on the New York theatrical stage before becoming involved with movies.  Torrence was ambitious from the time he was a child in Scotland, and employed his talent as a calling card for America.

The actor grew up in Scotland only a mile from Edinburgh, later studying at the Edinburgh Academy.  He studied piano and singing several years at the Royal Academy of Music in London, winning medals and appearances in concerts, before spending three years taking singing lessons in Stuttgart, Germany.  Torrence first appeared on the stage in London “in a romantic role at the Savoy Theatre, but soon afterward I jumped into musical comedy work and sang at the Gaiety Theatre.”  His deep baritone was appropriate for appearing in Gilbert and Sullivan.  He also wrote some compositions, including music for a Greek play which was produced in Edinburgh when he was 19.

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Posted in 1933, Film, Found on EBay, Hollywood, Hollywood Heights, Mary Mallory, Obituaries | Leave a comment

Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Cineconline Brings Entertainment in Troubling Times

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After isolating through the pandemic, sweltering summer, and blazing fires, Cineconline brought a respite of lighthearted , breezy entertainment. While Cinecon 55 occurred only online, it succeeded beyond its wildest dreams in providing rare films to thousands of film fans. Thanks to collectors and archives, rare, unseen silent and sound films and television kinescopes brought hours of happiness to grateful audiences.

The online Festival kicked off September 3 with a program featuring trailers that survive from lost silent features, providing a hint of the stories and entertainment they might have shared. Included among the lot was the trailer for the recently rediscovered “Lorraine of the Lions,” hooking audiences for its September 5 screening.

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Posted in 2020, Film, Hollywood, Hollywood Heights, Mary Mallory, Preservation | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Sept. 19, 2020, Mystery Photo

This week’s mystery movie was the 1959 Allied Artists film “The Atomic Submarine,” with Arthur Franz, Dick Foran, Brett Halsey, Paul Dubov, Bob Steele, Victor Varconi, Joi Lansing, Selmer Jackson, Jack Mulhall, Jean Moorhead, Richard Tyler, Sid Melton, Ken Becker, Frank Watkins and Tom Conway.

Written by Orville H. Hampton. Photography by Gilbert Warrenton, art direction by Don Ament and Dan Haller, assistant to the producer Ruth Alexander.

Edited by William Austin, production manager Edward Morey, assistant director Clark Paylow, set decoration by Harry Reif, properties by Max Frankel, chief set electrician George Satterfield, sound by Ralph Butler, narration by Pat Michaels, alien cyclops creature’s voice by John Hilliard.

Production associate and dialogue supervisor Jack Cash, wardrobe by Roger J. Weinberg and Norah Sharpe, makeup by Emile Lavigne, script supervisor Judith Hart, sound editor Marty Greco, music editor Neil Brunnekant.

Associate Producer Orville H. Hampton. Electro-sonic music composed and conducted by Alexander Laszlo. Produced by Alex Gordon, in association by Jack Rabin and Irving Block.

Directed by Spender G. Bennet.

“The Atomic Submarine” is available for streaming from Amazon.

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Posted in 1959, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , , , , , , | 57 Comments

Black Dahlia: My 24 Years With L.A.’s Coldest Cold Case

Delacorte Review

UC Irvine professor Miles Corwin, an old friend from the L.A. Times, spent months interviewing me about the Black Dahlia case. Here is Miles’ deep dive, published in the Delacorte Review, into my decades-long journey exploring the life and death of Elizabeth Short. It’s also been published on Crime Reads.

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Cold Cases, Homicide, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Labor Day in Los Angeles, 1886

Sept. 7, 1886, Labor Day

Note: This is an encore post from 2011.

Sept. 7, 1886: The Times publishes a roundup of events marking  Labor Day, but there are no reports of any celebrations in Los Angeles. On the jump, Labor Day, 1891, is celebrated on the West Coast, but there’s nothing about Los Angeles.

For Labor Day, 1895, The Times reported on a parade that began at the old junction of Temple, Main and Spring, which was  changed when Spring Street was straightened to make room for City Hall.

The parade went down Spring to 5th Street, east on 5th to Main, north on Main to 1st and from there to La Grande Station [the Santa Fe depot  at 1st and Santa Fe Avenue (d. 1946)], where many participants took the cars to Redondo Beach.

The parade consisted of four police officers on bicycles, a marching band, the council of labor  and 14 members of the Turnverein Germania. There were 48 members of the Plumbers Union, No. 78; 36 members of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners; 34 members of the Typographical Union, No. 174; 25 members of the Retail Clerks Protective Assn.

After another marching band, there were 50 members of the Pastry Cooks Union; 30 members of the Tin, Sheet and Cornice Workers Union; and 45 members of the Painters and Decorators Union.

The parade ended with 31 men in black shirts and red neckties with “a blood-red flag bearing the words “Socialistic Labor Union,” The Times said.

“The Socialistic Labor Union refused to go to Redondo, claiming that the principles of the organization forbade the needless enriching of a railway corporation’s coffers, and there was small opportunity to capture a train,” The Times said.

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Posted in 1886, 1891, 1895, Labor, Transportation | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Ethel Barrymore Dons Blackface for ‘Scarlet Sister Mary’

Ethel Barrymore in Scarlet Sister Mary Drawing Ethel Barrymore in “Sister Scarlet Mary”


Stage legend Ethel Barrymore continually sought challenges to advance her craft through her many decades in the theater. In the late 1920s, she took on perhaps her biggest challenge, portraying the lead character in “Scarlet Sister Mary,” adapted from Julia Peterkin’s 1928 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. What she then considered appropriate and rewarding for her career would today be considered a major faux pas, since the lead character was actually a 16-year-old Black woman.

The third book of novelist Peterkin, “Scarlet Sister Mary” followed in her tradition of strong Black characters speaking in the Gullah dialect, with independent, self-assured women making their own rules for life and love. While she wrote about the Black experience, Peterkin was actually the white plantation mistress, but one who felt a strong affinity for her characters and their real life models.

Mary Mallory’s “Living With Grace” is now on sale.

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Sept. 12, 2020, Vicki

This week’s mystery movie was the 1953 Twentieth Century-Fox film “Vicki,” with Jeanne Crain, Jean Peters, Elliot Reid, Richard Boone, Casey Adams, Alex D’Arcy, Carl Betz and Aaron Spelling.

Screenplay by Dwight Taylor from a novel by Steve Fisher. Music by Leigh Harline, photography by Milton Krasner.

Art direction by Lyle Wheeler and Richard Irvine, set decorations by Claude Carpenter, photographic effects by Ray Kellogg, edited by Dorothy Spencer, wardrobe direction by Charles Le Maire, costumes by Renie, musical direction by Lionel Newman, “Vicki” by Ken Darby and Max Showalter (who also appeared in the film!), orchestration by Edward B. Powell, makeup by Ben Nye, sound by E. Clayton Ward and Roger Heman, assistant director William Eckhardt.

Produced by Leonard Goldstein. Directed by Harry Horner.

“Vicki” is available on DVD from Amazon.

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Posted in 1953, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 63 Comments

Black Dahlia: Annual Halloween Reminder

Black Dahlia Halloween

Note: This encore post from 2018 is still timely. Alas.

Somewhere, somebody is already thinking about a Black Dahlia costume for Halloween, so here is my annual reminder: Dressing up like the victim of a grotesque murder is not the look you want. Please rethink your choices. Thanks.

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Sept. 5, 2020, Mystery Photo
This week’s mystery movie was the 1953 Twentieth Century-Fox film “Treasure of the Golden Condor,” with Cornel Wilde, Constance Smith, Finlay Currie, Walter Hampden, Anne Bancroft, George Macready, Fay Wray, Leo G. Carroll and Konstantin Shayne.

Screenplay by Delmer Daves based on a novel by Edison Marshall. Color by Technicolor, consultant Leonard Doss.

Musical direction by Alfred Newman, music by Sol Kaplan, photography by Edward Cronjager.

Art direction by Lyle Wheeler and Albert Hogsett, set decorations by Thomas Little and Paul S. Fox, edited by Robert Simpson, wardrobe direction by Charles Le Maire, costumes designed by Dorothy Jeakins, orchestration by Edward Powell, makeup by Ben Nye, special photographic effects by Ray Kellogg, sound by Alfred Bruzlin and Harry M. Leonard.

Produced by Jules Buck. Directed by Delmer Daves.

“Treasure of the Golden Condor” is available on DVD from TCM.

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Posted in 1953, books, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 45 Comments

Mary Mallory: Hollywood Heights – Hugh Herbert

March 13, 1952, Hugh Herbert dies
March 13, 1952, Hugh Herbert
March 13, 1952: Hugh Herbert dies at the age of 66.


Note: This is an encore post from 2011.

Per an ad in the July 27, 1937, Daily Variety, “Public Screwball No. 1 to the film audiences of the world is a rubber-faced flibber-jibbett who began his career in talking pictures 30 years ago, wrote the first all-talking picture nine years ago, won fame as Broadway’s only Scotch-Irish Jewish comedian, and is named Hugh Herbert.”

Born 1888 in Binghamton, N.Y., Herbert worked as a newsboy, messenger and tailor’s boy to help make ends meet for his family, before becoming usher and assistant prop master at Proctor’s 125th St. Theatre in Harlem.  He made his stage debut as a boy in the melodrama “Blue Jeans,” working in a saw mill.  He told the Los Angeles Times in a Sept. 18, 1938, story that “…I had to take bows as I picked up boards.  That taste of applause made me an actor.  You never get over applause, never get over it.  Gets in your blood, your ears, or something.”

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Posted in 1952, Film, Hollywood, Hollywood Heights, Mary Mallory, Obituaries, San Fernando Valley | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Black Dahlia: Jacob Edward Fisk, Victim of Long-Running Wikipedia Prank

Jacob Edward Fisk, Wikipedia, Aug. 25, 2020

I decided to randomly surf Wikipedia this morning and I’m never disappointed with how bad it is. Example: Some bozo has restored Jacob Edward Fisk as a “suspect” in the Black Dahlia case. Fisk’s name was added as a prank in 2009 and has become hopelessly embedded in the case.

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Cold Cases, Homicide, Wikipedia | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + + +)

2020_0829_credits_03

This week’s mystery movie was the 1956 film “The Long Arm” (also known as “The Third Key,”) with Jack Hawkins, John Stratton, Dorothy Alison, Geoffrey Keen, Ursula Howells, Newton Blick, Sydney Tafler, Ralph Truman, Maureen Delany, Richard Leech, Meredith Edwards, George Rose, Jameson Clark, Ian Bannen, Maureen Davis and Peter Burton.

Screenplay by Janet Green and Robert Barr, additional dialogue by Dorothy and Campbell Christie.

Photography by Gordon Dines, art direction by Edward Carrick. Music conducted by Gerbrand Schurmann, played by the Sinfonia of London conducted by Dock Mathieson.

Associate producer Tom Morahan. Directed by Charles Frend. A Michael Balcon Production.

“The Long Arm” is available on streaming from Archive.org, but the audio ranges from tolerable to atrocious. The DVD is available from Amazon UK in Region 2 format, which is incompatible U.S. players unless you have an all-region player.

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Posted in 1956, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , , , , , , | 55 Comments

Mary Mallory: Hollywood Heights – Mary Pickford and Miniature Golf

Aug. 3, 1930, Miniature Golf

Note: This is an encore post from 2012.

The 1920s saw a series of fads sweep the nation as the American populace searched out the new and exciting after experiencing hardship and deprivation during World War I and a great recession in the early 1920s.  Mah Jongg, Ouija Boards, Crossword Puzzles, and the Charleston were a few of the newest things introduced to the American public in the middle of the decade, soon followed by miniature golf.  This peewee golf boom exploded in the late 1920s, with celebrities joining the bandwagon.

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Motion Pictures Promote Suffrage

The Woman Citizen Suffrage Cover 1920 Color
Women began campaigning for universal suffrage in the United States at the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention. Over the next seven decades, they would patiently and persistently push the message of enfranchisement through ridicule, patronization, and insults from their opponents. Moving from genteel lectures, magazines, and pageants to marches and mass marketing, women took their message to Americans. With the advent of motion pictures, more people could be reached at one time.

Traditional moving picture companies discovered the power of movies to inflame emotions and influence action early on. Renowned director D.W. Griffith focused on social issues in many of his early shorts, particularly “A Corner in Wheat”, revealing the degradation, manipulation, and enslavement of the poor by unscrupulous merchants and investors. Reformers influenced by these films worked to improve living and working conditions of struggling Americans and punish those inflicting pain.

Mary Mallory is giving a virtual presentation on “Your Girl and Mine” on Aug. 19 at 7:30 p.m. PDT. Tickets are $7.50 for Hollywood Heritage members and $15 for nonmembers.

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Posted in 1920, Film, Hollywood, Hollywood Heights, Mary Mallory, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

2020_0822_credits_05
This week’s mystery movie was the 1952 Stanley Kramer/Columbia picture “The Sniper,” with Adolphe Menjou, Arthur Franz, Gerald Mohr, Marie Windsor, Frank Faylen, Richard Kiley, Mabel Paige, Marlo Dwyer and Geraldine Carr.

Screenplay by Harry Brown, story by Edna and Edward Anhalt. Musical score by George Antheil, musical director Morris Stoloff. Photography by Burnett Guffey, art direction by Walter Holscher, edited by Aaron Stell, set decoration by James Crowe, assistant director Milton Feldman, sound by Frank Goodwin.

Associate producers Edna and Edward Anhalt. Directed by Edward Dmytryk.

“The Sniper” is available on Columbia Pictures Film Noir Classics, Vol. 1.

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Posted in Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , | 57 Comments

How to Fix Archive.Org Thumbnails

archive_xml_repair_01

One of the annoyances of Archive.org is that thumbnails seem to be assigned randomly instead of properly displaying the cover. If you Google for instructions, you will find them needlessly complex. Here’s the nearly painless way to fix them. After you fix one or two, it will be easy. Almost so easy that a computer could do it.

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Posted in 1976, Libraries | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

St. Francis Dam Under Construction

This is a clip from “The Temptress” (1926) showing the St. Francis dam under construction. The dam failed in 1928, and the flood left hundreds of people dead or missing. The incident is referred to in “Chinatown” (1974) as the “Van der Lip dam disaster.”

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

The Temptress
This week’s mystery movie was the 1926 MGM film of Vicente Blasco Ibanez’s “The Temptress,” with Greta Garbo, Antonio Moreno, Marc MacDermott/McDermott, Lionel Barrymore, Armand Kaliz, Roy D’Arcy, Robert Andersen, Francis McDonald, Hector V. Sarno and Virginia Brown Faire.

Scenario by Dorothy Farnum.

Titles by Marian Ainslee, settings by Cedric Gibbons and James Basevi, wardrobe by Andre-Ani, photographed by Gaetano Gaudio and William Daniels. Edited by Lloyd Nosler. Assistant director H. Bruce Humberstone.

Personally directed by Fred Niblo.

A Cosmopolitan Production.

“The Temptress” is available on DVD from Warner Archive.

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Posted in 1926, 1928, Books and Authors, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 45 Comments

Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: ‘Your Girl and Mine’ Promotes Women’s Suffrage

movingpicturewor22newy_0800
“Your Girl and Mine,” Moving Picture World.


Note: This is an encore post from 2015.

From the 1840s on, many women in the United States fought to vote. Considered merely chattel, like slaves, women were forced to endure horrible marriages, see their children taken away, and forbidden to work in most professions, the property either of their fathers or their husbands.

Women like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton began fighting for woman’s suffrage, believing if women had the right to vote, not only would their rights and conditions improve, but so would that of those less fortunate: the factory worker, the slave, the foreign laborer. The states and country would be forced to look at conditions like economics, schooling, and social issues, rather than focusing on military and industrial issues. As Anthony stated, “Women, we might as well be great Newfoundland dogs baying to the moon as to be petitioning for the passage of bills without the right to vote.”

Mary Mallory is giving a virtual presentation on “Your Girl and Mine” on Aug. 19 at 7:30 p.m. PDT. Tickets are $7.50 for Hollywood Heritage members and $15 for nonmembers.

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