Movieland Mystery Photo ( Updated + + + + )

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This is “City for Conquest,” produced by James Cagney’s brother William.  Directed by Anatole Litvak, with cinematography by Sol Polito and James Wong Howe.

 

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Screenplay by John Wexley, who wrote “Angels With Dirty Faces” and was a victim of the blacklist. He died in Doyleston, Pa., in 1985 at the age of 77. Novelist and screenwriter Aben Kandel wrote such diverse works as “I Was a Teenage Werewolf” and “Dinner at Eight” and died in 1993 at the Motion Picture and Television Hospital in Woodland Hills.

June 23, 2014, Mystery Photo

For Monday, our mystery chap is in the dark trunks. Note: Many people guessed Bob Steel, but he is Joe Gray.

And for Tuesday, we have…

Forsyth and Delancey,

No, that’s not it.

For Tuesday, we have…

Forsyth and Delancey

No, no, no. That’s not it.

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That’s better.

Wise guy.

Many people recognized this movie, even if they misidentified our mystery gent in the dark trunks. Cheers to Michael Ryerson, who identified the movie and gave a plot summary.

Please congratulate Julie Merholz (mystery movie/wrong boxer), David Inman (mystery movie/wrong boxer), Michael Ryerson (mystery movie and cast), Dan Nather (mystery movie/wrong boxer),  Mike Hawks (mystery movie/wrong boxer) and Chrisbo (mystery movie and boxer).

Michael says: an army of solid supporting players from every corner of the XXXXXX lot…. It seems they swept out the commissary for this one. Not a weak player in the bunch. Bring a hanky.

June 25, 2014, Mystery Photo

And for Wednesday, we have the friendly, chatty narrator of the film. Our poet in rags is going to tell us all about the wonders of New York in segments that are bookends for the movie …

June 25, 2014, Mystery Photo

… even if a certain police officer doesn’t approve.

Please congratulate Dan Nather (mystery boxer), Julie Merholz (film location) and Michael Ryerson. Note to Chrisbo: ha ha. Here he is today.

Michael says: For Tuesday we have two street signs painted in the XXXXX paint shop to suggest the Bowery on New York City’s lower east side and in the background we can see an outside set (‘generic city street’ in XXXXX California) made to look like the Bowery, jam-packed with pushcarts which had, in fact, recently motivated Mayor La Guardia to establish several off-street city markets to clear the congestion. This is the establishing shot to put in motion the up-by-his-bootstraps narrative of XXXXXX. Truth be told, I think I can see a eucalyptus tree just poking up in the background.

June 26, 2014, Mystery Photo

First we had a mystery boxer. Then a mystery New York location. Then a mystery hobo and a mystery cop. Now we have mystery dancers.

It will all become clear tomorrow if it hasn’t already.

A historical note: Our mystery hobo from yesterday was in the original 1940 release of the film, but almost all his scenes were deleted in a re-release. A certain studio restored the scenes for a somewhat recent DVD. My first exposure to the film was when it aired on TV a year ago, so I wasn’t aware of any of this. But several intrepid fans of this mystery film checked their VHS copies (those are old-school videocassettes to you millennials) just to confirm that their memories weren’t faulty.

Please congratulate Chrisbo (mystery hobo and cop), Ed (mystery cop), Don Danard (mystery location, mystery hobo and cop), Mary Mallory (mystery movie and cast), Steve (mystery cop), Sarah (mystery movie and cast), Julie Merholz (mystery hobo and cop), Keith Thursby (mystery cop), Mike Hawks (mystery hobo and cop), Floyd Thursby (mystery movie and cast), Bob Hansen (mystery hobo and cop), Patricia Ann (mystery movie and cast), Rick (mystery movie and cast), Dan Nather (mystery movie and cast),  Benito (mystery cop) and Rick Scott (mystery movie and cast).

Michael says: If I have a criticism of XXXX it would be that it is frequently and unabashedly derivative (Golden Boy, Rhapsody in Blue, even a whiff of Stella Dallas), and, in that vein, here we have XXXX as XXXX narrating and walking us through the action, who had recently scored on Broadway as the XXXX in Thornton Wilder’s XXXX and then reprised the role in the film version which was released a scant four months before XXX. The stage play and the film were widely popular and affecting works and XXX is enlisted here to provide essentially the same service. In fact, one might reach a bit and make the connection that the XXX introduces and advances the narrative in Grover’s Corners and here we open at the corner of Delancey and Forsyth Streets. There is little really original in XXX but it is a very effective film nonetheless. Even Ward Bond would agree.

June 26, 2014, Mystery Photo

And I can’t resist a mystery gent in a newsboy cap.

June 27, 2014, Mystery Photo

Tragedy for one character….

June 27, 2014 , Mystery Photo
Triumph for another.

June 27, 2014 , Mystery Photo

Didn’t I tell you there was a heart beating in the city? Take it from me, brother, there’s love in New York.

Please congratulate Mary Mallory (mystery dancers), Julie Merholz (mystery dancers, mystery boxer), Chrisbo (mystery dancers, mystery newsboy cap guy), Don Danard (mystery dancers), Dennis Gilliam (mystery movie and cast), William (mystery movie and cast), Gary Martin (mystery movie and cast), Pat van Hartesveldt (mystery movie and cast), Mike Hawks (mystery dancers, mystery newsboy cap guy), Pat in Michigan (mystery movie), Dewey Webb (mystery movie), Karen (mystery movie and cast) and Barbara Klein (mystery movie and cast).

Michael Ryerson says: Well for Thursday, providing the plot with some romantic conflict we have an unusually oily XXX bending dance partner XXX over backwards. We all know he’s up to no good and besides he’s not good enough for her and we’re nearly shouting at the screen to warn her. Like I said, not a weak player in the bunch. And XXXX, one of the most familiar faces from the background of literally hundreds of movies in a nearly forty year career.

About lmharnisch

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

71 Responses to Movieland Mystery Photo ( Updated + + + + )

  1. Paul says:

    LLoyd Bridges ???????

    Like

  2. Gary Martin says:

    In Old Chicago starring Alice Faye seen seated at the right next to the good humor man.

    Like

  3. juliemerholz says:

    Bob Steele in City for Conquest 1940

    Like

  4. David Inman says:

    Elia Kazan? Maybe from “City for Conquest”?

    Like

  5. Mary Mallory says:

    Looks like Mitchell Lewis standing on the left.

    Like

  6. Well, that’s the ubiquitous Ben Welden on the right (looking over his shoulder) so the easy guess would be Kid Galahad but except for my Uncle Bob, sitting back there with the blonde, I don’t know any of these others mugs.

    Like

  7. Dan Nather says:

    I’m not sure about the fighter, but I’m willing to bet the movie is CITY FOR CONQUEST.

    Like

  8. Rick Scott says:

    Guy in dark trunks looks like Ted DeCorsia. Shifty looking manager is Ben Weldon.

    Like

  9. Don Danard says:

    Never followed boxing and don’t like boxing movies but is this Billy Conn?

    Like

  10. Okay, now I think we’re looking at Joe Gray (in the dark trunks) as Cannonball Wales being ministered to by his crooked manager Cobb (Ben Welden) who’s about to rub his gloves with rosin setting in motion the denouement in City for Conquest (1940) with Jimmy Cagney, Ann Sheridan, Arthur Kennedy and an army of solid supporting players from every corner of the Warner Bros lot. Frank McHugh, George Tobias, Frank Craven, Jerome Cowan, Donald Crisp and the aforementioned Ben Welden, it seems they swept out the commissary for this one. Not a weak player in the bunch. Bring a hanky.

    Like

  11. beachgal says:

    It’s Spencer Tracy

    Like

  12. Mike Hawks says:

    i believe we have Bob Steele in trunks with John Indrisano at left and at right Ben Welden all in CITY FOR CONQUEST 1940.

    Like

  13. Charles Kjelland says:

    John Garfield in “Body and Soul”?

    Like

  14. Chrisbo says:

    Is that Joe Grey in City for Conquest?

    Like

  15. beachgal says:

    Greg McClure in The Great John L.

    Like

  16. beachgal says:

    James Whitmore

    Like

  17. steve says:

    how about bob steel

    Like

  18. juliemerholz says:

    Warner’s back lot made to look like the Bowery. So now you want the plot of the movie? We have seen City for Conquest so I could have put down the star cast and all of the plot.

    Like

  19. DeweyWebb says:

    Golden Boy

    Like

  20. For Tuesday we have two street signs painted in the Warner Bros paint shop to suggest the Bowery on New York City’s lower east side and in the background we can see an outside set (‘generic city street’ in Burbank, California) made to look like the Bowery, jam-packed with pushcarts which had, in fact, recently motivated Mayor La Guardia to establish several off-street city markets to clear the congestion. This is the establishing shot to put in motion the up-by-his-bootstraps narrative of City for Conquest. Truth be told, I think I can see a eucalyptus tree just poking up in the background.

    Like

  21. Chrisbo says:

    Tuesday: I think I see Frank Craven in there, way in the back.

    Like

  22. Chrisbo says:

    Frank Craven and Ward Bond. Oddly, most of Craven’s appearences throughout the film (as well as the final bookend) were cut from the version that ran on TV for years. I have also heard it suggested that these cuts go all the way back to the original release, and were finally restored for the DVD.

    Like

  23. Ed says:

    The cop is Ward Bond

    Like

  24. Gary Martin says:

    Note to Michael: Delancey and Forsyth and Orchard Streets are known as either The Lower East Side or Delancey Street…”let’s go down to Delancey Street”…the Bowery is two blocks to the west of that and it something quite other.

    Like

    • Hi Gary, thanks for your note. Delancey Street dead-ends into the Bowery (the street), two blocks west of Forsyth. Many (most?) sources have the eastern edge of the Bowery (neighborhood) as being Allen Street placing Delancey and Forsyth well within its boundaries. ‘Yeah, well I’m from Delancey Street,’ pugnaciously signals a distinction from other parts of the Bowery rather than from the Bowery itself and yes, it is also known as The Lower East Side or simply Delancey Street. For what it’s worth, my family ran a bar on Pearl Street just west of White Castle and helped establish the Bowery (the neighborhood).

      Like

    • Duh. Now I realize Larry has included some of my remarks as part of the daily update. Hence you’re seeing them out there. Life is an adventure.

      Like

  25. Don Danard says:

    The studio street was on the old Warner Brothers backlot …. if it’s still there, I don’t know.
    Ward Bond, of course, is the Police Office and Frank Craven is the seedy looking older type.

    Like

  26. If I have a criticism of City for Conquest it would be that it is frequently and unabashedly derivative (Golden Boy, Rhapsody in Blue, even a whiff of Stella Dallas), and, in that vein, here we have Frank Craven as ‘Old Timer’ narrating and walking us through the action, who had recently scored on Broadway as the Stage Manager in Thornton Wilder’s Our Town and then reprised the role in the film version which was released a scant four months before ‘City’. The stage play and the film were widely popular and affecting works and Craven is enlisted here to provide essentially the same service. In fact, one might reach a bit and make the connection that the Stage Manager (in ‘Town’) introduces and advances the narrative in Grover’s Corners and here we open at the corner of Delancey and Forsyth Streets. There is little really original in ‘City’ but it is a very effective film nonetheless. Even Ward Bond would agree.

    Like

  27. Mary Mallory says:

    CITY FOR CONQUEST and today Ward Bond as policeman. That looks like Fred Allen as narrator, but he’s not listed in cast.

    Like

  28. steve says:

    ward bond ?

    Like

  29. Sarah says:

    Thanks for posting Ward Bond today. For the past two days I’ve been looking through all the boxing films I could find, and finally I have it. City for Conquest, 1940! And I think it’s Bob Steele on Monday.

    Like

  30. juliemerholz says:

    Wed. we have Frank Craven and Ward Bond

    Like

  31. kthursby says:

    only person i think i recognize is Ward Bond as the cop.

    Like

  32. Mike Hawks says:

    Frank Craven and Ward Bond appear.

    Like

  33. Floyd Thursby says:

    This is “City for Conquest” from 1940. Monday we have Ben Welden and Wednesday Ward Bond.

    Like

  34. Bob Hansen says:

    Wednesday’s guys are Frank Craven and the ubiquitous Ward Bond.

    Like

  35. Patricia Ann says:

    Ward Bond in city for conquest

    Like

  36. Rick says:

    Ward Bond today – movie is City For Conquest – Cagney, Ann Sheridan

    Like

  37. Dan Nather says:

    For Wednesday, Frank Craven and Ward Bond, who were cut out of the film almost entirely (only one of Craven’s scenes remained) when CITY FOR CONQUEST was reissued in 1948. Fortunately, their scenes were restored when Warner Home Video released the film on DVD in 2006. (I think I may still have a tape of the edited version around here somewhere.)

    Like

  38. Benito says:

    The cop is Ward Bond. Per John Wayne’s biographer, Ward thought he was the smartest man in the room and God’s gift to women, and was neither of those things, so Wayne kept him around for laughs.

    Like

  39. Rick Scott says:

    The movie is “City for Conquest.” Wednesday’s gents were Frank Craven and Ward Bond.

    Like

  40. juliemerholz says:

    Anthony Quinn and Ann Sheridan for Thursday

    Like

  41. Chrisbo says:

    Todays dancers are Anthony Quinn and Ann Sheridan, and the punchy old pug is Kit Guard.

    Like

  42. juliemerholz says:

    Is Monday’s Boxer Joe Gray?

    Like

  43. Well for Thursday, providing the plot with some romantic conflict we have an unusually oily Anthony Quinn bending dance partner Ann Sheridan over backwards. We all know he’s up to no good and besides he’s not good enough for her and we’re nearly shouting at the screen to warn her. Like I said, not a weak player in the bunch. And Kit Guard, one of the most familiar faces from the background of literally hundreds of movies in a nearly forty year career.

    Like

  44. Don Danard says:

    The dancing couple …. at least, I think they’re dancing!! …is Anthony Quinn and Ann Sheridan.
    It’s Noble “Kid” Chissell in the newsboy cap.

    Like

  45. Lots of clues on Thursday. The narrating hobo: Frank Craven; the cop, Ward Bond. And today’s Tango couple, Anthony Quinn and Ann Sheridan. Film: City for Conquest.

    Like

  46. juliemerholz says:

    Is the newscap fellow James Dime?

    Like

  47. william says:

    “City fir conquest”, 1940….Today Ann Sheridan dances with Anthony Quinn.

    Like

  48. Gary Martin says:

    City for Conquest with Ann Sheridan and XXX, XXX, And XXXXX, as previously stated.

    Like

  49. Pat van Hartesveldt says:

    Thank you for posting Michael’s clue. Wednesday: Frank Craven. Film: City for Conquest (1940).

    Like

  50. Mike Hawks says:

    Anthony Quinn dances with Ann Sheridan while Kit Guard looks on.

    Like

  51. Pat in Michigan says:

    City for Conquest

    Like

  52. deweynwebb says:

    City For Conquest

    Like

  53. Karen says:

    Very slow on the take. “City for Conquest”. Frank Craven. Ward Bond. Tony Quinn. Ann Sheridan.

    Like

  54. Barbara Klein says:

    “City for Conquest”
    Monday – Joe Gray (with Ben Welden and Jack Perry)
    Tuesday – Lower East Side of Manhattan
    Wednesday – Frank Craven; Ward Bond
    Thursday – Anthony Quinn and Ann Sheridan; Kit Guard

    Like

  55. juliemerholz says:

    Friday we have James Cagney and Arthur Kennedy.

    Like

  56. Mary Mallory says:

    I got the mystery dancers yesterday too, if you remember! Cagney blind , ARthur Kennedy, and Frank Craven.

    Like

  57. And for Friday we have our leads (those not yet featured), with James Cagney as Danny Kenny who has become a professional fighter in order to support his composer brother while he works on a symphony that turns out to sound suspiciously like Rhapsody in Blue, and has now lost his sight (well, most of it) in the ring, due to an unscrupulous rival (and by extension, the fight ‘game itself and the hardscrabble streets and the…well, you get what I mean). Now there’s little left for Danny beyond maybe selling newspapers on the sidewalk. Literally. Meanwhile we have Arthur Kennedy as the ‘gifted’ Kenny brother Eddie, in white tie and tails speaking to a rapt audience at Carnegie Hall (I told you, they touched all the bases) dedicating his symphony to the brother who is somewhere out there on those mean streets hawking newsprint so us swells can be in here communing…sorry. Danny has decided he can’t really miss a day (night) of work and besides he wants his brother to get all the attention, so he settles in to listen to the symphony on his Philco when he’s approached by a shadowy figure (remember he’s blind) and he asks, ‘What can I get you, lady? Can I help you? You need a paper?’ Of course it’s his girl Ann Sheridan who’s tracked him down and is suitably ashen to see his circumstances. And of course we’re all ashen too cause a swell girl like Ann Sheridan can’t end up with a blind newsy, so this is a problem. (One would have to be also blind not to see the seeds of this scene were sown by Chaplin and his magnificent close in City Lights). Anyway, Eddie drones on and on about his swell brother, the audience goes wild over the humanity of it all, Ann clutches at Danny’s arm and we fade to a round-up courtesy of our narrator ‘Old Timer’ Frank Craven who is holding forth for the benefit of Dick Wessel on the right (a hard working, familiar face in his own right) and a guy rolling a cigarette who I don’t recognize. All in all, a really good film

    Sorry I went on and on this week but sometimes I get on a roll and it’s like eating potato chips (mixed metaphor alert).

    Like

  58. Benito says:

    A dapper Arthur Kennedy is the giveaway. CITY FOR CONQUEST [1940].

    Like

  59. Don Danard says:

    Just dawned on me……this is “City for Conquest” starring James Cagney. (Haven’t seen this one in years!)

    Like

  60. Chrisbo says:

    Today we have Danny Kenny (a.k.a. Young Samson), an up and comer whose pugilistic career is tragically truncated. His brother: Edward Kenny, world-renowned composer of Magic Isle Symphony, and an Old Philosopher with clothes on his back.

    Like

  61. LC says:

    It’s City for Conquest w/Cagney, Ward Bond, Anthony Quinn, Ann Sheridan, Arthur Kennedy.

    Like

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