Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Aug. 22, 2015, Mystery Photo
This week’s mystery movie has been the 1928 MGM film “Across to Singapore,” starring Ramon Novarro (Thursday’s mystery guest), Joan Crawford (Friday’s mystery guest) and Ernest Torrence (Monday’s mystery guest).

The film was based on the 1919 novel “All the Brothers Were Valiant” by Ben Ames Williams and adapted by Ted Shane. Settings were by Cedric Gibbons, wardrobe by David Cox, photography by John Seitz and editing by Ben Lewis. It was directed by William Nigh. The cast also included Frank Currier (Tuesday’s mystery guest), Dan Wolhelm, Duke Martin, Edward Connelly and James Mason (no, not that James Mason).

The Los Angeles opening at Loew’s State in April 1928 featured the Fanchon and Marco girls diving into what the Los Angeles Times described as a huge glass tank. Times film critic Marquis Busby  said of Crawford:  “unless I am badly mistaken Joan does the best work of her career.” Busby died in Los Angeles in 1934 at the age of 31.

As I noted earlier, this week’s mystery person was cinematographer John Seitz, who gave us “Double Indemnity,” “Lost Weekend,” “Sunset Boulevard,” “Five Graves to Cairo,” “This Gun for Hire” and  “The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek,” among many other film classics.  If anyone at TCM is reading this, how about a birthday tribute on June 23?

The film is available from Warner Archive, as is the 1953 MGM remake, “All the Brothers Were Valiant,” with Robert Taylor, Stewart Granger and Ann Blyth. “Across to Singapore” was itself a remake of “All the Brothers Were Valiant,” a 1923 Metro picture with Lon Chaney, Malcolm McGregor and Billie Dove, which Busby called “one of the best sea pictures ever made.”

lon_chaney_brothers_were_valiant

Images of the badly damaged 1923 “All the Brothers Were Valiant” here.

Williams’ novel is available at Archive.org.

Aug. 17, 2015, Mystery Photo

For Monday, we have a mystery gent.

This is Ernest Torrence.

AUg. 18, 2015, Mystery Photo

 

 

 

And for Tuesday, we have a mystery gent.

This is Frank Currier.

I can’t recall the last time so many people identified a Monday mystery guest. Almost everyone  recognized him – but had the wrong film, a classic that is too familiar to ever appear as a mystery movie.

Please congratulate Mary Mallory (mystery movie, mystery guest), Scott Steward (mystery guest), Julie Merholz (mystery guest/wrong movie), David Inman (mystery guest), Mike Paradise (mystery guest), Cat M (mystery guest), Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie, mystery guest), Patrick (mystery guest), Anne Papineau (mystery movie, mystery guest),  Randy Skretvedt (mystery guest, wrong movie), Rick Scott (mystery guest, wrong movie), Mike Hawks (mystery movie, mystery guest), Amy Condit (mystery guest), Harried Costumer (mystery guest), Sue (mystery guest), Jo Anne (mystery guest), Floyd Thursby (mystery guest, wrong movie), Stanhope (half-credit on mystery guest), Sheila (mystery guest), Earl Boebert (mystery guest, wrong movie),  Don Danard (mystery guest, wrong movie), Cary Moore (mystery guest)and Dan Nather (mystery guest, wrong movie).

Aug. 19, 2015, Mystery Photo
The reason I chose this mystery movie wasn’t because of the cast or the director. It’s because of the director of cinematography. The question is how do you make the DP a mystery person. It’s particularly problematic with this week’s mystery film because the released version was made from a nitrate print with quite a bit of damage. Here’s a shot to give you an idea of our mystery cinematographer’s work.

 

Aug. 19, 2015, Mystery Photo
The film features a rather convincing storm at sea.

Aug. 19, 2015, Mystery Photo
Here are some examples of the film’s deterioration.

Aug. 19, 2015, Mystery Photo

 

Aug. 19, 2015, Mystery Photo

Now for Wednesday’s mystery guest….

This is Anna May Wong.

Aug. 19, 2015, Mystery Photo
Monday’s mystery guest seems to have found a lady friend.

 

Aug. 19, 2015, Mystery Photo

 

Aug. 19, 2015, Mystery Photo

Monday’s mystery guest and his mystery lady friend adjourn to discuss the pressing issues of the day in less hectic surroundings.
Please congratulate Mary Mallory (Tuesday’s mystery guest), Julie Merholz (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery guest), Mike Hawks (Tuesday’s mystery guest), Anne Papineau (Tuesday’s mystery guest), Chrisbo (mystery movie and Monday’s mystery guest), Dennis Gilliam (mystery movie and mystery guests), Dan Nather (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery guest), Howard Mandelbaum (Tuesday’s mystery guest) and Sheila (Tuesday’s mystery guest).

Aug. 20, 2015, Mystery Photo

And for Thursday, we have our (totally non-mysterious) leading man. That can only mean you know who for Friday.

Update: This is Ramon Novarro.

Please congratulate Mike Hawks (Wednesday’s mystery woman), Julie Merholz (Wednesday’s mystery woman), Mary Mallory (Wednesday’s mystery woman), Anne Papineau (Wednesday’s mystery woman), Chrisbo (Wednesday’s mystery woman), Rick (mystery movie, Monday’s and Wednesday’s mystery guests),  Rick Scott (Wednesday’s mystery guest), Scott Steward (Wednesday’s mystery guest), Howard Mandelbaum (mystery cinematographer, Wednesday’s mystery guest) and Sheila (mystery movie).

Aug. 21, 2015, Mystery Photo

And here is Friday’s non-mystery woman. Going through the movie in search of her was another reminder of how much nitrate damage this print has suffered.

This is Joan Crawford in her early 20s.

Please congratulate Mike Hawks (Thursday’s guest), Mary Mallory (Thursday’s guest), Anne Papineau (Thursday’s guest), Scott Steward (mystery movie, mystery cinematographer, Thursday’s mystery guest), Dennis Gilliam (mystery cinematographer, Wednesday’s and Thursday’s mystery guests), Julie Merholz (Thursday’s mystery guest), Chrisbo (Thursday’s mystery guest) and Patrick (mystery movie, Wednesday’s and Thursday’s mystery guests).

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About lmharnisch

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

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

  1. Mary Mallory says:

    Ernest Torrence and STEAMBOAT BILL JR.

    Like

  2. scottstewardnehgs says:

    Ernest Torrence?

    Like

  3. Anne Papineau says:

    Ernest Torrence in “Steamboat Bill Jr.”

    Like

  4. juliemerholz says:

    Ernest Torrence as Steamboat Bill, Sr.

    Like

  5. Mike Paradise says:

    Ernest Torrance

    Like

  6. Cat M says:

    Oh finally an easy one! Ernest Torrance!

    Like

  7. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Ernest Torrence steered many a ship. But from the uniform and shorter side-burns, the image appears to be from “Across to Singapore.”

    Like

  8. juliemerholz says:

    Steamboat Bill, Jr. 1928 with Buster Keaton, Tom McGuire, Tom Lewis, Marion Byron and James T. Mack.

    Like

  9. Patrick says:

    Ernest Torrance

    Like

  10. Anne Papineau says:

    Or “Across to Singapore” perhaps?

    Like

  11. Looks like Ernest Torrence from the Buster Keaton film “Steamboat Bill, Jr.”

    Like

  12. skretvedt1958 says:

    Looks like Ernest Torrence from the Buster Keaton film “Steamboat Bill, Jr.” (1928)

    Like

  13. Rick Scott says:

    Ernest Torrance from “Steamboat Bill, Jr.”

    Like

  14. MIKE HAWKS says:

    Ernest Torrence in ACROSS TO SINGAPORE.

    Like

  15. Amy condit says:

    Ernest Torrance?

    Like

  16. amycondit says:

    Ernest Torrance, I think.

    Like

  17. Jenny M says:

    Donald Crisp

    Like

  18. Allie Francis says:

    Donald Crisp?

    Like

    • I didn’t even try to guess the movie, but I did know it was not “Steamboat Bill, Jr.” SB Sr. would never wear a tie like that, not to mention the gold-sleeve stripes (which were part of what he disapproved about Junior’s first nautical outfit). The whole ensemble has a nineteenth-century feel, which, now that I’ve seen some of the other costumes, seems appropriate (though I’d be interested to find out if anyone in Singapore in the 1850’s ever wore anything like Anna May Wong’s outfit here).

      Like

  19. Sue says:

    It’s Ernest Torrence.

    Like

  20. Jo Anne says:

    Earnest Torrance

    Like

  21. Floyd Thursby says:

    This is Ernest Torrence in “Steamboat Bill, Jr.”

    Like

  22. stanhope1929 says:

    It looks like one of the Torrance Brothers: ….David Torrance?

    Like

  23. Sheila says:

    Ernest Torrence.

    Like

  24. Earl Boebert says:

    Ernest Torrance in “Steamboat Bill Jr.” ??

    Like

  25. Don Danard says:

    I think this is Ernest Torrence in Buster Keaton’s “The Navigator”

    Like

  26. Benito says:

    Victor Jory? Nah, too easy

    Like

  27. Cary Moore says:

    Ach aye! It can be none other than Ernest Torrence.

    Like

  28. Dan Nather says:

    Without a doubt, it’s Ernest Torrence in STEAMBOAT BILL, JR.

    Like

    • Dan Nather says:

      That’s not the movie? Hmm . . . I think that’s Frank Currier today, which would make the movie ACROSS TO SINGAPORE. Totally forgot about that one! Haven’t watched it in a long time, will definitely have to look at it again soon . . .

      Like

  29. Mary Mallory says:

    Frank Currier today.

    Like

  30. juliemerholz says:

    Frank Currier. Across to Singapore 1928.

    Like

  31. MIKE HAWKS says:

    Frank Currier.

    Like

  32. Anne Papineau says:

    Frank Currier

    Like

  33. Chrisbo says:

    Monday: Ernest Torrence (thanks to the clues) in Across to Singapore?

    Like

  34. Hoping that your “right actor, wrong movie” is a fateful clue: Not Steamboat Bill Jr., but 1928’s Across to Singapore, with Ernest Torrence on Monday and Frank Currier, Tuesday.

    Like

  35. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Frank Currier. He be old.

    Like

  36. Sheila says:

    For Tuesday, Frank Currier.

    Like

  37. MIKE HAWKS says:

    Anna May Wong struts her stuff quite nicely.

    Like

  38. juliemerholz says:

    Anna May Wong

    Like

  39. Mary Mallory says:

    Anna May Wong today.

    Like

  40. Anne Papineau says:

    Looks like Anna May Wong

    Like

  41. Chrisbo says:

    Anna May Wong Wednesday

    Like

  42. Rick says:

    Ernest Torrance Monday, Anna May Wong today Across to Singapore

    Like

  43. Rick Scott says:

    Anna May Wong for Wednesday.

    Like

  44. scottstewardnehgs says:

    Anna May Wong, Across to Singapore

    Like

  45. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    It’s a shame about the state of the print material. John F. Seitz was a great cinematographer, unafraid of black blacks. Nice to see Anna May Wong. I’m fond of the color remake with its rousing Rosza score.

    Like

  46. Anne Papineau says:

    I think you have a shortcut key that types “Please congratulate Mary Mallory.” Or if you don’t, better get one.

    Like

  47. Sheila says:

    For Wednesday, Anna May Wong in ‘Across to Singapore’.

    Like

  48. MIKE HAWKS says:

    Ramon Novarro.

    Like

  49. Mary Mallory says:

    RAmon Novarro today.

    Like

  50. Anne Papineau says:

    Ramon Navarro

    Like

  51. scottstewardnehgs says:

    Ramon Novarro, Across to Singapore. Friday’s mystery guest: Joan Crawford. Cinematographer: John F. Seitz

    Like

  52. Wednesday, Anna May Wong, looking not particularly Chinese, and today, the leading man, Ramon Novarro.

    Like

  53. The mystery Director of Photography is a masterful John Seitz, who worked though 1960 and was responsible for the atmosphere in many a Noir, including This Gun for Hire, Double Indemnity and Sunset Boulevard,

    Like

  54. juliemerholz says:

    Ramon Navarro

    Like

  55. Chrisbo says:

    Ramon Novarro today, and I predict a young Joan Crawford on Friday.

    Like

  56. Patrick says:

    For Wednesday and Thursday, Anna May Wong and Ramon Novarro in Across to Singapore from 1928. Waiting for Joan Crawford’s big entrance.

    Like

  57. juliemerholz says:

    Friday’s guest should be Joan Crawford.

    Like

  58. Mary Mallory says:

    JC today. How many of these people guessing the mystery cinematographer really knew it, or just looked it up on imdb?

    Like

  59. MIKE HAWKS says:

    Joan Crawford.

    Like

  60. beachgal says:

    Across to Singapore – Thus is Ramon Navarro, Friday – Joan Crawford – Monday is Ernest Torrence. Wen is Anna May Wong.

    Like

  61. Gary Martin says:

    Is this Across to Singapore? Shanghai?

    Like

  62. Anne Papineau says:

    The widow Steele

    Like

  63. scottstewardnehgs says:

    Today’s mystery guest (teased yesterday): Joan Crawford

    Like

  64. Dan Nather says:

    Might as well catch up: Anna May Wong on Wednesday, Ramon Novarro on Thursday, Joan Crawford today.

    Like

  65. McDee says:

    I think Navarro looks a lot like a young Robert Cummings.

    Like

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