Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Oct. 22, 2017, Mystery Photo
This mystery movie has been the 1930 RKO film “Conspiracy,” by Robert Baker and John Emerson (note that IMDB says they are uncredited. Oops). With Bessie Love, Ned Sparks, Hugh Trevor, Ivan Lebedeff, Rita LaRoy, Gertrude Howard, Otto Matiesen (sic), Walter Long, Donald MacKenzie and Jane Keckley. Directed by Christy Cabanne, produced by William LeBaron. Scenery and costumes by Max Ree, screenplay by Beulah-Marie Dix, photography by Nick Musuraca.

Oct. 22, 2017, Biltmore
I was interested in “Conspiracy” primarily because of this establishing shot of the Biltmore. What’s especially interesting is that this seems to be an early example of a zoom shot. And I have no idea how they pulled it off.

Oct. 22, 2017, Biltmore Hotel
Here it is in mid-zoom.

image
And dissolve to…..

There are much better shots of the Biltmore in “For the Defense,” a Paramount picture, also from 1930.

The DVD is available from Warner Archive for $17.99.

Continue reading

Advertisements
Posted in Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , | 21 Comments

Black Dahlia: ‘Horror at the Cecil Hotel’

horror_cecil

Just a quick reminder, since Investigation Discovery aired the first episode of “Horror at the Cecil Hotel” last night.

There is nothing to show that Elizabeth Short (“the Black Dahlia”) ever set foot in the Cecil Hotel. She was last seen at the Biltmore. The Cecil Hotel claim is a relatively recent urban legend.

See also:

Black Dahlia and the Hotel Cecil: L.A.’s Noir Folklore

Black Dahlia and the Cecil Hotel: Another Good Story Ruined

Black Dahlia: The Cecil Hotel and Halloween: Another Good Story Ruined

 

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Cold Cases, Downtown, LAPD, Main Street, Television | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: T.L. Tally – L.A.’s Pioneer Film Exhibitor, Part 1 (Updated)

tally_1915_movingpicturewor25newy_0283

T.L. Tally, Moving Picture World, 1915.


Los Angeles has stood at the forefront of not only motion picture production, but the fields of exhibition and distribution as well. Former Texan T. L. (Thomas Lincoln) Tally pioneered in these fields, seeming to anticipate changes in the marketplace during the early decades of the Twentieth Century. Shrewd and risk-taking, Tally earned a fortune entertaining the citizens of Los Angeles, introducing several firsts to the city, including the first theatre built exclusively to show motion pictures and the first to cause a nitrate fire. As early as the 1920s, articles and books proclaim him as the pioneer exhibitor in Los Angeles, but “printing the legend” instead of the facts as to when he entered the moving picture business.

Little is known of his early life, save that Tally was born July 6, 1862, in Rockport, Texas (per ship passenger logs). By 1890 he resided in San Antonio per the March 26, 1890, San Antonio Daily Express and first visited Los Angeles in April, when the April 6, 1890, Los Angeles Herald lists him as a guest at the permanent exhibit of California on Wheels.

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

Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Broadway, Downtown, Film, Hollywood, Hollywood Heights, Main Street, Mary Mallory, Theaters | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Black Dahlia: Piu Eatwell’s ‘Black Dahlia, Red Rose’ – A Name to Remember

image

Donald Freed in Piu Eatwell’s “Black Dahlia, Red Rose.”


There are many names and many claims in Piu Eatwell’s new book, “Black Dahlia, Red Rose,” but the most important for our purposes is that of Donald Freed, a very pleasant fellow who has written books on O.J. Simpson, the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy and the assassination of John F. Kennedy (with Mark Lane). I think you get the idea.

There’s more about Freed, Dr. Joseph Paul De River and the Black Dahlia case in Brian King’s introduction to his reissue of De River’s “The Sexual Criminal,” which King has posted to the Web.

To quote King’s interview with Freed:

The Black Dahlia: Leslie Dillon, Paul De River and the LAPD: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Black Dahlia: Piu Eatwell’s Black Dahlia, Red Rose’ – A Bad Beginning

 

Continue reading

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

Mary Mallory: Hollywood Heights – ‘Napoleon’

"Napoleon"

Photo: The trailer for the restored version of Abel Gance’s “Napoleon.”
Credit: San Francisco Silent Film Festival.


Note: This is an encore post from 2012.

In the mid-1920s, the world was looking for inspiration on how to live passionately, doggedly pursue dreams, and fulfill destinies. The apogee of these paths came together in the historic figure of Napoleon Bonaparte. Dead for over 100 years, the great leader inspired patriotic fervor in his countrymen and elicited wonder and awe in others. In certain quarters, he became the first cultural icon and his name part of the general lexicon.

Continue reading

Posted in 1927, Film, Hollywood, Hollywood Heights, Mary Mallory | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

 

Oct. 14,, 2017, Mystery Photo
This week’s mystery movie has been the obscure 1939 Paramount film “The Great Victor Herbert,” with Allan Jones, Mary Martin, Walter Connolly, Lee Bowman, Susanna Foster, Judith Barrett, Jerome Cowan and John Garrick. The screenplay was by Russel Crouse and Robert Lively, from a story by Robert Lively and Andrew L. Stone. Photography was by Victor Milner, with art direction by Hans Dreier and Ernst Fegte, costumes by Edith Head and interior decorations by A.E. Freudeman. All music was by Victor Herbert, music supervisor was Phil Boutelje, music scorer was Arthur Lange, vocal arrangements by Max Terr, orchestra directed by Arthur Kay, musical numbers staged by LeRoy Prinz. The film was produced and directed by Andrew L. Stone.

“The Great Victor Herbert” has never been released commercially. It’s available from Zeus for $9.99. It was Walter Connolly’s last film and Mary Martin’s first film.

 

Continue reading

Posted in Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , | 34 Comments

Black Dahlia: Piu Eatwell’s ‘Black Dahlia, Red Rose’ – A Bad Beginning

black_dahlia_red_rose_cover

Given the brevity of human life, I don’t plan to do a line-by-line debunking of Piu Eatwell’s upcoming book “Black Dahlia, Red Rose.” Longtime readers may recall my labors over Donald Wolfe’s “The Black Dahlia Files,” which lasted for months.

If not, you can read them here: Blogging the Wolfe Book – Seven Years Later

The Black Dahlia: Leslie Dillon, Paul De River and the LAPD: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Eatwell’s “Black Dahlia, Red Rose” doesn’t go on sale until Oct. 10, but a preview has been posted at Google Books, so I will make a few observations:

Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

image

This week’s mystery movie has been the 1947 Universal picture “Ride the Pink Horse,” with Robert Montgomery, Wanda Hendrix, Andrea King, Thomas Gomez, Fred Clark, Art Smith, Richard Gaines, Rita Conde, Iris Flores and Tito Renaldo. The screenplay is by Ben Hecht and Charles Lederer from the novel by Dorothy B. Hughes, art direction by Bernard Herzbrun and Robert Boyle, and set decorations by Russell A. Gausman and Oliver Emert. Photography is by Russell Metty and music by Frank Skinner. The producer was Joan Harrison and the director was Robert Montgomery.

Keenly sought by film noir fans, the movie was generally unavailable until the Criterion Collection released it on DVD and Blu-ray in 2015.

Continue reading

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

Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Brand Library

Brand Library

“Aerodrome Replacing Country-House Garage,” Illustrated London News, Oct. 29, 1921, Courtesy of Mary Mallory


 

Note: This is an encore post from 2012

Unique thematic architectural homes stand out all around the Los Angeles area, like Yamashiro and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Barnsdall, Freeman, and Storer residences, just to name a few. Glendale possesses another exotic specimen, Leslie C. Brand’s mystical El Miradero, which is now known as the Brand Library. Built as the family residence in 1904, Brand deeded the estate to the city to become a park and library, a jewel in local area recreation spots.

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

Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Film, Hollywood Heights, Libraries, Location Sleuth, Mary Mallory | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

L.A. Philharmonic Opens Season — Glitter and Be Gay, but With Mozart

20170927_091638[1]

The Los Angeles Philharmonic’s opening night program with a souvenir bit of golden film, one of thousands of pieces showered on the audience at the end of the performance.


Tuesday’s opening night of the Los Angeles Philharmonic 2017-18 season concluded by showering the audience with pieces of golden glitter – actually discs of thin, gold film — and yes, we have a metaphor going.

It was a night of bright, shiny objects — entertaining but not terribly substantial – certainly a description of pianist Yuja Wang’s skimpy, sparkly outfit. I attended courtesy of senior rush and at $20, the concert was a bargain. But if I had paid full price, I would be disinclined to go again.

(In case you are wondering, I was a music critic in a previous life and decided to jot a few lines about my impressions).
Continue reading

Posted in 2017, Music | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Black Dahlia: Asshats on South Norton Avenue — No. 3

Black Dahlia Crime Scene

And in our continuing coverage of people being asshats at the Black Dahlia crime scene, we have today’s entry. Really, folks, does this seem like a good idea?

Also: Black Dahlia: Asshats on South Norton Avenue

Black Dahlia: Asshats on South Norton Avenue – No. 2

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

Black Dahlia: Asshats on South Norton Avenue — No. 2

Black Dahlia Crime Scene

Sprawling on the ground at the Black Dahlia crime scene has apparently become a thing. Here’s another asshat.

People like this are one reason I quit giving Black Dahlia tours.

Also: Black Dahlia: Asshats on South Norton Avenue.

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Hollywood, LAPD | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Black Dahlia: Asshats on South North Avenue

Sept. 25, 2017

Asshats like this are one reason I quit giving tours of the Black Dahlia crime scene. I don’t know which operator was responsible for this tour, but whoever it was, you need to do a better job riding herd on your guests.

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Cold Cases, LAPD | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Studio City Goes to the Dogs

 

Shuttleworth_matchbook
Matchbook courtesy of Mary Mallory.


Pets bring happiness to people’s lives, giving unconditional love and support, truly man’s best friend. From the beginning of time, pets have served an integral part of people’s lives, shown off and treated as members of the family.

From 1928 to 1950, Studio City served as home to one of Southern California’s top dog breeders and groomers, Chris Shuttleworth, a bow-wow lover since childhood. The area would turn out gorgeous puppies just as it did motion pictures.

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

Continue reading

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

Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

image
This week’s mystery movie has been the 1962 film “Advise and Consent,” starring Henry Fonda, Charles Laughton, Don Murray, Walter Pidgeon, Peter Lawford, Gene Tierney, Franchot Tone, Lew Ayres, Burgess Meredith, Eddie Hodges, Paul Ford, George Grizzard, Inga Swenson “and the voice of Frank Sinatra.” Also with Edward Andrews, Paul McGrath, Will Geer, Betty White, Tom Helmore, Rene Paul, Paul Stevens, Russ Brown, Malcolm Atterbury, Janet Jane Carty, Hilary Eaves, Michele Montau, J. Edward McKinley, William Quinn, Tiki Santos, Raoul De Leon, Chet Stratton, Larry Tucker, Bettie Johnson, John Granger, Sid Gould, Meyer Davis and his orchestra, White House Correspondents Assn., White House Press Photographers Assn., Irv Kupcinet, Robert C. Wilson, Alan Emory, Jessie Stearns Buscher, Milton Berliner, Allen W. Cromley, William Knighton, the Hon. Guy M. Gillette and the Hon. Henry Fountain Ashurst.   Truly a massive cast.

Music was by Jerry Fielding, production design by Lyle Wheeler, photography (in Panavision) by Sam Leavitt, set decoration by Eli Benneche, furs by Sol Schulman and diamond jewelry by Harry Winston. Miss Tierney’s clothes designed by Bill Blass, titles by Saul Bass, lyrics for “The Song From Advise and Consent” by Ned Washington, distributed by Columbia Pictures. Based on the novel by Allen Drury, screenplay by Wendell Mayes, produced and directed by Otto Preminger.

“Advise and Consent” is available on DVD from Amazon.

Continue reading

Posted in Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , | 49 Comments

Another Good Story Ruined: Gen. Otis’ ‘Death Car’ Rides Again

Harrison Gray Otis

Photo: Times President Gen. Harrison Gray Otis. Credit: Press Reference Library, 1912


image
Evidently the folks at Esotouric (nee “The Crime Bus”) have neglected their homework when it comes to the bombing of The Times, judging by a recent story. Which once again shows historians’ aversion to original research.

So here we go again on Gen. Harrison Gray Otis’ supposed death-mobile. Also known as the “horseless carriage of doom” and many other nicknames.

Spoiler: The “cannon” was a horn. Honk! Honk!

Also: Another Good Story Ruined: Gen. Otis’ Armored Car.

From a 2011 post:

Continue reading

Posted in Another Good Story Ruined, Books and Authors, Downtown, History, Libraries | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

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

Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Sept. 23, 2017, Mystery Photo
This week’s mystery movie has been the 1931 Fox film “Don’t Bet on Women,” with Edmund Lowe, Jeanette MacDonald, Roland Young, J.M. Kerrigan, Una Merkel and Helene Millard. It was directed by William K. Howard, screenplay and dialogue by Lynn Starling and Leon Gordon, from the story “All Women Are Bad” by William Anthony McGuire, staged by Henry Kolker, photographed by Lucien Andriot, with settings by Duncan Cramer and costumes by Sophie Wachner.

It was restored by the Museum of Modern Art with support from TCM and the Celeste Bartos Fund for Film Preservation.

“Don’t Bet on Women” is not commercially available on DVD or VHS.

Continue reading

Posted in Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , | 31 Comments

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.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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 [redacted], 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

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment