Movieland Mystery Photo [Updated]

  Los Angeles Times file photo  

[Update: STRAIGHT FROM THE GOVERNOR — Making motion picture history, Governor James V. Allred of Texas started cameras turning on the first scene of Paramount's "The Texas Rangers" via long-distance telephone from the Texas Centennial headquarters, Dallas, Texas, to director King Vidor's location site 1,000 miles away on the plains of New Mexico, near Gallup. Here Vidor, seated, is receiving the opening-scene direction tips as members of the cast, left to right, Jack Oakie, Fred MacMurray and Lloyd Nolan, wait for the word "action." The opening marks the first time that a governor has participated in the actual filming of a motion picture scene.

[Filming “The Texas Rangers” in New Mexico?]

This photo is just a bit strange … See if you can figure out what’s going on. More details on the jump.



Here’s our mystery talent …


… the mystery camera guy …


… and what exactly is going on here? An early teleconference?


Look at those ears…. Whatever is happening, the mystery horse think it’s a bad idea.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in Animals, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo, Photography. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Movieland Mystery Photo [Updated]

  1. Mark Heimback-Nielsen says:

    The director is King Vidor, the cinematographer is Edward Cronjager and the actors are Jackie Oakie, Fred MacMurray and Lloyd Nolan. The movie is Texas Rangers (1936 Paramount)


  2. hockeykevin says:

    I have no clue, but I can’t wait to read the answer!


  3. Dewey Webb says:

    Fred MacMurray, Lloyd Nolan & Jack Oakie in Texas Rangers


  4. Mary mallory says:

    This is THE TEXAS RANGERS directed by King Vidor, and starring from left to right, Jack Oakie, Fred MacMurray, and Lloyd Nolan. The cinematographer is listed as Edward Cronajer, but I think that’s the focus puller at the camera. What a publicity shot! I’m not back at work until Monday, and I can check if we have any photos from the mystery photo of yesterday.


  5. Mary mallory says:

    That should be a Technicolor camera.


  6. Pamela Porter says:

    “The Texas Rangers” from 1936. I think that’s Jack Oakie on the left; Lloyd Nolan on the right.
    Unsure of the horse’s problem; perhaps it’s similar to that of the doll on the Island of Misfit Toys? 😀
    Happy New Year!


  7. Steven Moshlak says:

    One of the cowboys, on the far right, looks like Lloyd Nolan.


  8. Mike Hawks says:

    The film is THE TEXAS RANGERS 1936 with King Vidor, Jack Oakie, Fred MacMurray and Lloyd Nolan shown.


  9. Gerald McCann says:

    From left to right,Jack Oakie, Fred McMurray and Dick Powell?


  10. Richard Wegescheide says:

    Jack Oakie, Fred MacMurray and Lloyd Nolan, which would make this movie ‘Texas Rangers’. I would guess then that is King Vidor on the phone.


  11. herb nichols says:

    texas rangers with fred macmurry,jack oakie,and lloyd nolan director is king vidor


  12. rick says:

    tall guy in the middle looks like Fred MacMurray, possibly Texas Ranger


  13. Rogét-L.A. says:

    They seem to be shooting a scene from The Texas Rangers (1936). The actors are Jack Oakie, Fred MacMurray and Lloyd Nolan. What or where is “the jump” where we can get more details?


  14. Julie Merholz says:

    Texas Rangers…1936..starring Fred McMurray, Jack Oakie and Lloyd Nolan.
    Directed by King Vidor


  15. Grammy Flo says:

    I am guessing Jack Oakie, Fred MacMurray and Lloyd Nolan with director King Vidor.


  16. fibber mcgee says:

    Looks like “The Texas Rangers” with (from left) Jack Oakie, Fred MacMurray and Lloyd Nolan. Methinks its director King Vidor with the megaphone. I don’t know the horse’s name.


  17. CandyC says:

    The 3 mystery talents are Jack Oakie, Fred MacMurray & Lloyd Nolan from The Texas Rangers.
    Could one of the other gentlement be King Vidor?


  18. benito says:

    Jack Oakie on the left, Fred MacMurray in the middle. Looks like they’re filming a reaction shot to men approaching on horseback. The movie is The Texas Rangers, details at


  19. Native Angeleno says:

    Those little-boy cowboy hats on the well-shaven mystery talent betray the decade, at least, of the ’50s, i betcha.


  20. Jim says:

    On the first two (2) photos, the person in the middle of the threesome looks like a fairly young Fred McMurray.


  21. Gerald McCann says:

    Jack Oakie, Fred McMurray, Lloyd Nolan?


  22. Arye Michael Bender says:

    Talent: Jack Oakie, Fred Macmurray, & Lloyd Nolan. Don’t know the name of the horse. By deduction, the film must be ‘The Texas Rangers’, directed by the King of Vidor. Because Vidor emigrated from silents, he must have liked megaphones. Edward Cronjager at the camera crank. While the camera does look like Technicolor, I suspect it is not. Probably a heavily blimped Mitchell rigged for location work in New Mexico.


  23. MichaelRyerson says:

    Well the ‘talent’s no mystery, big guy’s Fred McMurray, chum is Lloyd Nolan and the sidekick is Jack Oakie which makes this 1936’s The Texas Rangers. The galoot in the ten gallon hat is the director King Vidor and if that’s the really cameraman then it makes him Ed Cronjager. The pinto’s name was Patches, a member of the Paramount string in the mid-thirties, famous for once visiting the studio commissary and unceremoniously sharing a table with Charles Middleton. Actually I made that last part up.


  24. Cold in PHX says:

    I’m late to the party probably, but the mystery actors appear to be Jack Oakie, Fred McMurray and Lloyd Nolan. A little Googling and it appears to be Paramount’s 1936 release The Texas Rangers. And that would make the steampunk teleconference operator King Vidor.


  25. Angus says:

    The human acting talent includes Fred MacMurray and Lloyd Nolan. According to imdb they appeared together in Paramount’s 1936 picture ‘Texas Rangers’, with exteriors done at Diablo Canyon, New Mexico. The director (and producer) was King Vidor; cinematographer was Eddie Cronjager (noted for his youthful ‘preppy’ look.)
    Maybe Vidor is relaying phone instructions from Ernst Lubitsch, Paramount’s head of production.


  26. Sarah says:

    This is the from the movie “Texas Rangers” (1936). The member of the mystery talent are Jack Oakie, Fred MacMurray, and Lloyd Nolan.


  27. Lorenzo says:

    Could this be from The Texas Rangers? LLoyd Nolan on the right and Fred MacMurray in the center.


  28. fibber mcgee says:

    I hope the movie was better than the flackery (publicity).


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