Monthly Archives: January 2016

LACMA Acquires Authentic 1940s Zoot Suit

LACMA has announced the acquisition of an authentic zoot suit (from New Jersey). Which is a good reason to repost the links to our “ ‘Zoot Suit’ and History” items. “Zoot Suit” and History, Part 1| Part 2 | Part … Continue reading

Posted in 1940, Fashion, Zoot Suit | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 53

Note: This is the last of the “Laura” posts I had in reserve from last year, when I went on sabbatical. It was a fun project, but my focus on the Dahlia project prevents me from doing any more. Reading … Continue reading

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

This week’s mystery movie has been the 1961 MGM picture “Ada,” starring Susan Hayward, Dean Martin, Wilfrid Hyde White, Ralph Meeker, Martin Balsam, Frank Maxwell, Connie Sawyer, Ford Rainey, Charles Watts, Larry Gates, Robert S. Simon and William Zuckert. Music … Continue reading

Posted in Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , | 54 Comments

Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Let’s Talk Turkey Cooks Up Promotions

  “Let’s Talk Turkey,” 1939.   Motion picture studios and exhibitors dreamed up great exploitation campaigns in the early decades of cinema in order to build interest in a title, increase word of mouth, and hopefully draw larger audiences to … Continue reading

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‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 52

One important aspect about the script for “Laura,” beyond the filming of the movie, is the complicated agreement that Twentieth Century-Fox had with David O. Selznick in sharing the contract of Jennifer Jones, who was originally cast in the lead … Continue reading

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‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 51

The final shooting script for “Laura,” dated April 18, 1944, with additions as late as July 1944. On Monday, Nov. 1, 1943, Twentieth Century-Fox head of production Darryl F. Zanuck issued his stinging critique of Jay Dratler’s draft of “Laura.” … Continue reading

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‘Hail Caesar’ and E.J. Fleming’s ‘The Fixers’

Josh Brolin as Eddie Mannix in “Hail, Caesar!” the Coen brothers’ fanciful tale about MGM’s purported “fixer.” We’re reluctant to write too much about the upcoming film “Hail, Caesar!” the Coen brothers’ comedy scheduled for release Feb. 4. It is … Continue reading

Posted in Film, Hollywood | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 50

“Memo From Darryl F. Zanuck,” edited by Rudy Behlmer. On Nov. 1, 1943, Darryl F. Zanuck, the Twentieth Century-Fox head of production, issued a stinging critique of Jay Dratler’s first draft of “Laura.” In this post, we will look at … Continue reading

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Midnight Show at the Follies Burlesque — July 29, 1939

Somebody bought a ticket for the July 29, 1939, midnight show at the Follies Theatre and got to see Betty Rowland, “the ball of fire.” The ticket stub is listed on EBay for 99 cents.

Posted in 1939, Downtown, Theaters | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

In Memory of Elizabeth Short

Over the years that I have been researching the Black Dahlia case, I have seen Elizabeth Short remembered in all sorts of ways. Some people buy “Justice for Beth” buttons on EBay. Others leave cigarettes and bottles of liquor at … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia | Tagged , | 7 Comments

‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 49

“Memo From Darryl F. Zanuck,” selected and edited by Rudy Behlmer.   Jan. 19, 2016, update: When I began my “sabbatical” last year, I had a backlog of a few unpublished posts on the making of “Laura.” At the time, … Continue reading

Posted in 1944, Film, Hollywood | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Who Can Spot the Mistake?

This illustration by Los Angeles artist Jeffrey Smith appeared in the New York Times on Jan. 16, 2016, accompanying a story about an elaborate hoax that occurred in 1941. Who can spot the mistake?

Posted in 1941, Art & Artists | Tagged , , | 45 Comments

Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

This week’s mystery movie has been the 1946 picture “Cloak and Dagger,” starring Gary Cooper, Robert Alda, Vladimir Sokoloff, J. Edward Bromberg, Marjorie Hoshelle and Ludwig Stossel, and introducing Lilli Palmer.  The screenplay was by Albert Maltz and Ring Lardner … Continue reading

Posted in Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , | 30 Comments

Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: The Priscilla Dean Tam – Fashion Statement and Marketing Ploy

Priscilla Dean and her tam, Photoplay, January 1921   The entertainment industry mastered the use of publicity and cross promotion from its very beginnings, creating elaborate ballyhoo campaigns to build word of mouth and huge box office receipts. It quickly … Continue reading

Posted in 1921, Fashion, Film, Hollywood, Hollywood Heights, Mary Mallory | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Jan. 16 in L.A. History

Jan. 16, 1910: The Times recaps Aviation Week.   A Week of Aviation Triumphs, Jan. 16, 1910 Library Officials May Remove Books on Making Alcohol, Jan. 16, 1920  TV Writers Go on Strike Over Residuals, Jan. 16, 1960 Matt Weinstock, … Continue reading

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Black Dahlia: Photo of Not Elizabeth Short Listed on EBay

Apparently nobody fell for this photo the first time around, so a vendor on EBay has listed it again. For $499.99. Seriously. The vendor (ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE ON EBAY WHO HAS NO IDEA HOW TO TURN OFF THE CAPS … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Found on EBay | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Today is Jan. 15 — Trim Your Roses

Today is Jan. 15, and the Daily Mirror marks the anniversary of Elizabeth Short’s death by pruning back the roses.

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The Brain Trust Mourns a Loss

We were saddened to learn from B.J. Merholz that his wife, Julie, has died. B.J. writes: “Julie was a long-time fan of the Mystery Photo and determined contributor who followed it as long as her health permitted. After a recent … Continue reading

Posted in Mystery Photo, Obituaries | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Movieland Mystery Photo (Update + + + +)

This week’s mystery movie has been the 1952 MGM picture “Above and Beyond,” starring Robert Taylor and Eleanor Parker, with James Whitmore, Larry Keating, Larry Gates, Marilyn Erskine, Stephen Dunne, Robert Burton and Hayden Rorke. The screenplay was by Melvin … Continue reading

Posted in Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , | 43 Comments

Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Stand-Ins Honor Themselves With the Elmers

William Hoover, left, doubled for Edward Arnold, Silver Screen, August 1939. Since 1927, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has recognized best acting performances in motion pictures by male and female stars. They began recognizing best supporting performances … Continue reading

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