This week’s mystery movie has been the 1932 Warner Bros. – First National Picture “Silver Dollar,” with Edward G. Robinson, Bebe Daniels, Aline MacMahon, DeWitt Jennings, Robert Warwick, Russell Simpson, Harry Holman, Charles Middleton, Emmett Corrigan, Christian Rub, Lee Kohlmar, Wade Boteler and William LeMaire. It was directed by Alfred E. Green, from a screenplay by Carl Erickson and Harvey Thew based on a book by David Karsner. It was photographed by James Van Trees, edited by George Marks, with art direction by Robert Haas, gowns by Orry-Kelly and silks by the Cheney Brothers.
Dec. 29, 1932, “Silver Dollar” opens in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Times movie critic Edwin Schallert said (Oct. 31, 1932) after a preview performance:
it might be worthwhile momentarily to turn the spotlight on that remarkable series of impersonations offered by Edward G. Robinson which have most recently been topped off with his Yates Martin in “Silver Dollar.” Coming as it does after his characterization of a Portuguese seaman in “Tiger Shark,” it exhibits in striking relief his versatility….There was a time when it was thought that the Robinson gamut would be limited simply to gangsters, but he has progressed out of that sphere and shown that almost any human type is within his range.
Mordaunt Hall wrote in the New York Times (Dec. 23, 1932):
With the names of the principal characters changed, evidently because of the taking of a pardonable pictorial license, the Warner Brothers have produced an intelligent and interesting film from David Karsner’s book, “Silver Dollar,” a narrative of the meteoric career of H. A. W. Tabor, known to his Colorado associates as Haw Tabor. The screen translation, in which Edward G. Robinson gave a conspicuously able performance in the leading rôle, was presented last night at Warner’s Strand.
As several members of the Brain Trust noted, this story was the inspiration for Gerald Moore’s opera “The Ballad of Baby Doe,” with a libretto by John Latouche, which has never been done by the Met. It premiered in 1956 at Central City Opera House in Colorado, was performed by Lyric Opera of Chicago in 1960, in Santa Fe in 1961, and in the 2000-2001 season by San Francisco Opera. It was more recently performed in 2009 by Berkeley Opera.
“Silver Dollar” is not commercially available on DVD or VHS.
For Monday, we have a mystery gent.
Update: This is Niles Welch.
And for Tuesday, we have two mystery dandies.
Update: This is Russell Simpson and Harry Holman.
Brain Trust roll call: Mike Hawks (Monday’s mystery gent) and Howard Mandelbaum (Monday’s mystery gent). Apologies to Howard, I overlooked his answer earlier in the week!
For Wednesday, we have a mystery girl.
Update: This is Bonita Granville.
Brain Trust roll call: Sheila (Tuesday’s mystery dandies), Mary Mallory (mystery movie and Monday’s and Tuesday’s mystery guests), Mike Hawks (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery guests), Don Danard (one of Tuesday’s mystery dandies), Chrisbo (one of Tuesday’s mystery dandies), Anne Papineau (one of Tuesday’s mystery dandies), Floyd Thursby (one of Tuesday’s mystery dandies), Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery dandies), Patrick (mystery movie, Tuesday’s mystery dandies) and Gary Martin (one of Tuesday’s mystery dandies).
Dan Nather (half credit — he’s in the mystery movie, but has another role).
And for Thursday, we have a mystery woman.
Update: This is Bebe Daniels.
Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Wednesday’s mystery girl), Mike Hawks (Wednesday’s mystery girl), Howard Mandelbaum (Wednesday’s mystery girl — alas, no, on Monday’s mystery chap), Jenny M. (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery girl), Bob Hansen (Wednesday’s mystery girl) and LC (mystery movie and mystery cast).
And for Friday…..
And this is Edward G. Robinson as Yates Martin, hallucinating in his opera house near the end of the film.
Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Thursday’s mystery woman), Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s mystery woman and bonus points for the opera based on the same story), Mike Hawks (Thursday’s mystery woman), Jenny M. (Thursday’s mystery woman), Sheila (mystery movie, Wednesday’s mystery girl, Thursday’s mystery woman) and Bob Hansen (Thursday’s mystery woman).