Movieland Mystery Photo – Red Car Edition (Updated)

Oct. 18, 2021, Mystery Photo

I was going to take the mystery photos dark this week as I’ve been traveling and unable to preview a mystery movie. But I decided to run this historic photo for the week.

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory has identified our mysterious motorman.

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + +)

Oct. 11, 2021, Mystery Photo

For Monday, we have a dapper mystery gent.

Note: Many responses went into the spam folder this week, my apologies.

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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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Movieland Mystery Crossword Puzzle

Movie_crossword_puzzle

If you’re missing the mystery movie, here’s something to occupy your time. It’s a movie crossword puzzle. From 1933! If the clues are too small, here’s a link to the original. Good solving to you!

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights — Henry Armetta, Excitable Support

Henry Armetta, courtesy of Mary Mallor

Henry Armetta, courtesy of Mary Mallory.


Note: This is an encore post from 2013.


I
n many films of the 1930s and 1940s, what audiences remember most are the one-of-a-kind supporting players, with vibrant personalities, colorful ways of talking, recognizable tics and dramatic looks. Many of these people came to be called “picture stealers,” because their antics stood out in entertaining ways.

As an April 7, 1935, Los Angeles Times story put it, “Many of these men are middle-aged and so true to a “type,” according to movie standards, that they will continue to enact typical roles until they pass from the scene. They command good salaries, may only work a week on a picture, but are considered indispensable by casting directors.” One of these popular actors was the frantic and excitable Henry Armetta.

Mary Mallory’s “Hollywoodland: Tales Lost and Found” for the Kindle is available from Amazon.

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Hollywood Pioneer Eugene Plummer and His Park

Los Angeles Times, Sept. 5, 1938
Eugene Plummer holds what he claimed was Joaquin Murrieta’s 12-shot pistol, Los Angeles Times, Sept. 5, 1938.


Virtually forgotten today, Hollywood pioneer Eugene R. Plummer preserved many romantic traditions of old Los Angeles throughout his 91 years. Generous to a fault, he arranged the sale of the last few acres he owned to Los Angeles County to establish a park honoring the area’s rural and Spanish past. As much raconteur as historian, Plummer propagated stories and events honoring the area’s vaquero and Spanish land grant days, sometimes embellishing the facts.

Plummer helped keep alive the memory of the Spanish land grant Rancho La Brea, 4,444 acres given by Mexican governor Jose Maria de Echeandia in 1828 to Antonio Jose Rocha and Nemesio Dominguez. Henry Hancock served as the Rochas’ surveyor, helping them defend and prove their claims after years of legal fighting. Broke after all these expenses, Jose Jorge Rocha deeded the rancho land to Hancock in 1860, with his family later subdividing and selling the property.

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Movieland Mystery Photo – Jury Duty Edition No. 5 (Updated)

Oct. 8, 2021, Mystery Judge

And no, not all the judges on Perry Mason were men, so I’m closing out a week of jury duty with a mystery woman judge.

Update: This is Lillian Bronson from The Case of the Shattered Dream. She was the model for Kent Twitchell’s Old Woman of the Freeway.

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Movieland Mystery Photo – Jury Duty Edition No. 4 (Updated)

Oct. 7, 2021, Mystery Judge

I’m on jury duty this week, so in that theme I’m posting mystery judges from Perry Mason.

Update: This is Frank Wilcox from The Case of the Treacherous Toupee, as seen in the Mystery Movie ’Til We Meet Again.

Brain Trust roll call: Michael Ryerson, Sarah, David Inman, Howard Mandelbaum, Mary Mallory, Beach Gal, Tucson Barbara, Sylvia E., Jenny M., Mike Hawks, Anne Papineau, L.C., Patrick and Bobby Sulecki.

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Movieland Mystery Photo — Jury Duty Edition No. 3 (Updated)

Oct. 6, 2021, Mystery Judge

I’m on jury duty this week, so in that theme I’m posting mystery judges from Perry Mason.

Update: This is Jason Johnson from The Case of the Half-Wakened Wife.

Brain Trust roll call: Beach Gal (Wednesday’s mysterious jurist), Michael Ryerson (Wednesday’s mysterious judge), Sarah (Wednesday’s enigmatic justice) and Tucson Barbara (Wednesday’s mystery judge).

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Movieland Mystery Photo – Jury Duty Edition No. 2 (Updated)

Oct. 5, 2021, Mystery Judge
I’m on jury duty this week, so in that theme I’m posting mystery judges from Perry Mason.

Update: This is Grandon Rhodes from The Case of the Restless Redhead.

Brain Trust roll call: Michael Ryerson (Tuesday’s mystery judge), Howard Mandelbaum (Monday’s and Tuesday’s mystery judges), Beach Gal (Tuesday’s mysterious judge), Mary Mallory (Tuesday’s mystery judge), Tucson Barbara (Tuesday’s mystery judge), Patrick (Tuesday’s mystery judge), Sheila (Tuesday’s mystery judge), Sylvia E. (Tuesday’s mysterious judge), Jenny M. (Tuesday’s mystery judge), Sarah (Tuesday’s mystery judge), L.C. (Tuesday’s mystery judge) and Thom (Monday’s and Tuesday’s mysterious judges). Adding Mike Hawks (Tuesday’s mystery judge).

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Movieland Mystery Photo — Jury Duty Edition No. 1 (Updated)

Oct. 4, 2021, Mystery Photo

I’m on jury duty this week, so in that theme I’m posting mystery judges from Perry Mason (yes, another TV show).

Update: This is S. John Launer from The Case of the Golden Fraud, starring Mystery Movie veteran Arthur Franz of The Atomic Submarine, The Sniper and The Wild Party.  

Brain Trust roll call: Michael Ryerson, Alexa, Beach Gal, Robert Morrissey, Tucson Barbara, Mike Hawks, Sarah, Rain on the Roof, Patrick, Jenny M. and Funky PhD and Mary Mallory. Adding L.C. and Johnny Yuma in The Case of the Spurious Spam Folder.

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Olvera Street, Salute to Los Angeles’ Spanish Past

Avila Adobe
A postcard of the Avila Adobe, listed on EBay for $1.89.



“A people that has lost touch with its historical past, forgotten its traditions and wasted its heritage is as unfortunate as a man who has lost his memory. Without knowledge of the past, both the present and the future are meaningless.”

Harry Chandler, Olvera Street News, December 1933

Note: This is an encore post from 2019.

Christine Sterling Long before Los Angeles or Hollywood possessed any historic preservation organizations fighting to save architectural, cultural or historically significant buildings, Los Angeles Times Editor and Publisher Harry S. Chandler astutely summed up what preservation is all about: saving structures that help define a sense of identity and place, showing where we as a society and people come from.

Throughout its history, the city has often turned a blind eye to its past, demolishing buildings reflecting the daily lives of both ordinary and powerful citizens trying to make an impact on their own time and place. These sites and buildings often reveal the history of less powerful citizens of the time, those of other races, cultures, and orientations that are often written out of historical texts.

Mary Mallory’s latest book, Living With Grace: Life Lessons from America’s Princess,”  is now on sale.

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Mary Mallory/ Hollywood Heights: First Permanent Film Studio Was an Abandoned Roadhouse

Nestor Century Studio Burns LAT 8-16-1926

When early moving picture companies set down roots in the farming community of Hollywood, they employed simple structures like barns, warehouses, and even an abandoned roadhouse as studios. These early production entities ventured west in 1909 and 1910 to escape frigid, icy winter conditions looking for sunny, warm weather in order to shoot scenes, while some later companies arrived to escape the wrath of the Motion Picture Patents Company.

In 1911, David Horsley rented a former rest stop and tavern at the northwest corner of what is now Gower and Sunset from Marie Blondeau to establish Hollywood’s first permanent film studio. In existence for less than 20 years, this simple one-story building possessed a colorful story ready made for the daring, adventurous young medium.

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Black Dahlia: Halloween and Why Murder Victim Cosplay Is Wrong

image
Halloween is coming up, so I’ll issue my annual warning: Don’t dress up like “The Black Dahlia.” It’s not honoring the memory of Elizabeth Short. It’s not “Justice for Beth,” however you might define it. Just don’t do it.

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Hollywood’s Long Struggle for a Movie Museum

Motion Picture Museum Hall of Fame Sunset Blvd
The Motion Picture Museum and Hall of Fame, about 1932. Photo courtesy of Marc Wanamaker, Bison Archives.


On September 30, 2021, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures finally opens to the public. Long a dream of many in the Hollywood entertainment industry, film museums in Los Angeles over the last century have failed due to a variety of reasons: lack of attendance, little faith in the concept, money problems, and even indifference and stinginess by the motion picture studios.

The academy has flirted with movie museums before. In 1928, it established a small museum at the University of Southern California in conjunction with its university film classes, which was called the Museum of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, housing cameras and projectors from the primitive days of cinema. In late October 1940, the academy considered creating a film museum in what was then the Cafe Trocadero, to include a variety of exhibits on the production and creation of films as well as a history of the medium from its beginnings. It would cooperate with various local Chambers of Commerce and the Museum of Modern Art’s Film Library to produce exhibits, showcase films, and outfit the museum. Instead, the Board of Governors announced at its November meeting that it was dropping its option on the club and any concept of a film museum would be postponed due to needing a much larger space for exhibits, theaters, and thousands of guests.

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Oct. 2, 2021, Title
This week’s mystery entry was The Last Letter, Season 5, Episode 7 of Death Valley Days from 1956, with William Pullen, Clint Eastwood, Forrest Stanley, George Pembroke, Russ Todd, John Sargent, Gregg Barton and Robert Sherman.

Directed by Stuart E. McGowan. Executive Producer Dorrell McGowan. Production Supervisor Dorothy B. McCann.

Screenplay by Ruth C. Woodman.

Photographed by Brydon Baker. Supervising editor Arthur H. Nadel.

Music editor Eve Newman. Assistant director Clark Paylow. Sound effects editor Verna Fields. Set decorator George Sawley.

Production designer Alfeo Bocchicchio. Wardrobe by Bob Richards and Muriel Poole.

Death Valley Days is available on streaming on many platforms.

Note: Perry Mason buffs, prepare for next week and very niche mystery photos. Non-TV fans can sit this one out.

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Found on EBay: A. Victor Segno, L.A.’s Greatest Charlatan

Sept. 26, 2021, Victor Segno Covers
A. Victor Segno is my favorite Los Angeles charlatan and I’ve written about him several times. His scam was to have people send money to him at his HQ in Echo Park and in return he would send out a “success wave.” Postal authorities who investigated Segno said he received more mail than any other single individual in California.

A. Victor Segno

Here is Segno with a “success wave” (artist’s concept). Also notice the beautiful hair, the subject of one of Segno’s many treatises, which also included mentalism and living to be 100. He wrote about being happy “tho’ married,” although his decamping with his secretary would suggest that his knowledge of the subject was mainly theoretical.

My 2007 post from the 1947project.

My 2012 story from the Los Angeles Times.

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Sept. 25, 2021, The Girl Most Likely. Showing a marina and many sailboats

This week’s mystery movie was the 1957 RKO film The Girl Most Likely, with Jane Powell, Cliff Robertson, Keith Andes, Kaye Ballard, Tommy Noonan, Una Merkel, Kelly Brown, Judy Nugent and Frank Cady.

Screenplay by Devery Freeman.

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Mary Mallory: Hollywood Heights – Slavko Vorkapich

Slavko Vorkapich, Aug. 19, 1923 Note: This is an encore post from 2012.

Many people come from all over the world to try and make a new start in Hollywood, particularly in the film industry. Among these over the years have been many artists from Eastern Europe looking for new opportunities to create art and live freely. One such early trekker seeking fame and fortune was Slavko Vorkapich, recognized as one of the top practitioners of montage editing and shooting in the 1930s and 1940s.

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Myrtle Gonzalez – Early Latina Movie Star

Myrtle Gonzalez

An autographed photo of Myrtle Gonzalez by the Martel-Carruthers studio, inscribed to Jean Herscholt, listed on EBay at $250


Mostly forgotten today because of her untimely death in the 1918 influenza epidemic, Los Angeles native Myrtle Gonzalez began singing and reciting as a child before becoming one of cinema’s first Latina stars. Proud of her Hispanic heritage, Gonzalez never stooped to portraying negative stereotypes of Latinos, but instead focused on dramatic and action roles, gaining the moniker “nature girl.”

Born September 28, 1891, in Los Angeles, Gonzalez grew up in the Catholic Church, a refuge for her Los Angeles-born father, Manuel, and her Irish American mother, Lillian. The Gonzalez family supposedly lived for several decades in Los Angeles, with her great-grandfather one of the first people married in the Old Plaza Church. Lillian practiced her music talents, performing in church and organizing programs of recitations, songs, dance and drama for a variety of venues, often as benefits for organizations like the Plaza Church. She directed choirs for adults and children, taught music lessons and managed her students as well. In 1901, she even produced and directed a children’s opera version of “Cinderella” featuring more than 100 voices.

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

2021_0918_title

This week’s mystery movie was the 1947 Twentieth Century-Fox film The Brasher Doubloon, with George Montgomery, Nancy Guild, Conrad Janis, Roy Roberts, Fritz Kortner, Florence Bates and Marvin Miller.

Screenplay by Dorothy Hannah. Adaptation by Lenoard Praskins. Based on a novel by Raymond Chandler.

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