This week’s mystery movie has been the 1932 MGM film “Blondie of the Follies,” with Marion Davies, Robert Montgomery, Billie Dove, Jimmy Durante, James Gleason, Zasu Pitts, Sidney Toler, Douglass Dumbrille, Sarah Padden, Louise Carter, Clyde Cook and the Rocky Twins. The story was by Frances Marion, dialogue by Anita Loos, music by Dr. William Axt, gowns by Adrian and photography by George Barnes. The film was directed by Edmund Goulding.
”Blondie of the Follies” was the last film of Billie Dove, who retired from the screen when she was still in her 20s after making nearly 50 pictures, mostly in the silent era. The Los Angeles Times did a brief story on her in 1990 in which she refers to an affair with Howard Hughes and says she is working on an autobiography, which was apparently unpublished.
For some reason (and it is easy to speculate why), the Los Angeles Times did not review “Blondie.” The New York Times said (Sept. 2, 1932): “Frances Marion has dug down into the scenario grab bag and brought up the one about the chorus girl and the wealthy playboy, wherein their pure love is blighted for ever so long amid the cocktails and the sin-laden trappings of Broadway.”
This is a pre-code movie involving chorus girls backstage in scanty costumes and wealthy titans of finance, so “Blondie” gets relatively racy at times. James Gleason, as Blondie’s father, wonders if he is too old-fashioned for being upset with her after she is out all night (ahem, ahem).
“Blondie of the Follies” is available from Warner Archive for $21.99.
For Monday, we have a mystery woman busy in the kitchen.
Update: This is Sarah Padden.
Tuesday’s guest is a mystery French maid. Her non-mysterious companion has been attacked by a black bar.
Here’s another image from the same scene.
Update: I was hoping the Brain Trust would be able to identify this actress. She has a relatively large and recurring role as the French maid Madelon, – at least as big as Zasu Pitts’ part – but was not credited.
Brain Trust roll call: Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie, mystery actress), Sheila (mystery actress) and Lee Ann — minus Thom and Megan — (mystery actress).
And for Wednesday, we have a mystery woman.
Update: This is Billie Dove in her final film.
Brain Trust roll call: Wally (Monday’s mystery woman).
Thursday’s mystery woman is being very nautical.
Update: This is Marion Davies.
Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (mystery movie and mystery actress), Howard Mandelbaum (mystery actress) and Dan Nather (mystery movie).
And for Friday, Thursday’s mystery woman has a non-mysterious companion.
Update: A very young Robert Montgomery and Marion Davies.
Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Thursday’s mystery woman), David Inman (Thursday’s mystery woman), Benito (Thursday’s mystery woman), Jenny M. (Thursday’s mystery woman), Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s mystery woman), Megan, Lee Ann and Thom (mystery movie, Wednesday’s and Thursday’s mystery women) and Mandy Marie (Thursday’s mystery woman).