Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

July 2, 2016, Mystery Photo
This week’s mystery movie has been the 1928 MGM silent picture “West of Zanzibar,” with Lon Chaney, Lionel Barrymore, Mary Nolan, Warner Baxter, Jacqueline Gadsdon, Roscoe Ward, Kalla Pasha and Curtis Nero. It was directed by Tod Browning.

The film was adapted by Elliot Clawson from the play “Kongo,”  by Chester De Vonde and Kilbourn Gordon, which received 135 performances on Broadway.

The play starred Walter Huston in the Lon Chaney role as a man named Flint, “a bearded and towering white man who rules black natives with an iron hand” and is “paralyzed from the waist down and accordingly bound to a wheelchair (or else committed to the even more glamorous expedient of dragging himself across the stage),” according to the New York Times review of the play (March 31, 1926). Huston returned to the role in 1932 for the MGM film “Kongo,” with Lupe Velez Virginia Bruce and Conrad Nagel.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Chaney performed his own stunt in which he tumbled over a railing and fell 18 feet during a fight with Lionel Barrymore that left his character paralyzed at the waist.

Los Angeles Times film critic Whitney Williams said (Oct. 14. 1928):

The action is atmospheric to the extent of becoming, at times, gruesome, and a certain aspect of horror marks the scenes in which the things-of-the-jungle-that-crawl are pictured. Those who favor an element of weirdness, a suggestion of the grotesque, in their entertainment, will thoroughly enjoy “West of Zanzibar.” Even those audiences who prefer straight modern day settings will find a note of the unusual to satisfy their palates.

Mordaunt Hall of the New York Times wrote (Dec. 31, 1928):

It is a well concocted narrative and Mr. Chaney gives one of his most able and effective portrayals as he drags himself through scene after scene without using his legs. He descends from his sleeping quarters by means of a knotted rope, and in a curiously expert fashion succeeds time and again in climbing into a wheel chair by merely the use of his strong arms.


“West of Zanzibar” is available from Warner Archive for $15.19.


June 27, 2016, Mystery Photo

For Monday, we have a mystery woman.

Update: This is Jacqueline Gadsdon.

June 28, 2016, Mystery Photo

For Tuesday, we have a mystery gent who is thirsty.

Update: This is Kalla Pasha.

Brain Trust roll call: Mike Hawks (mystery movie and Monday’s mystery guest).

June 29, 2016, Mystery Photo

For Wednesday, we have a mystery woman.

Update: This is Mary Nolan.

Brain Trust roll call: Mike Hawks (Tuesday’s mystery tippler.)

June 30, 2016, Mystery Photo

For Thursday, we have a mystery gent.

Update: This is Warner Baxter.

Brain Trust roll call: Mike Hawks (Wednesday’s mystery woman), Megan, Lee Ann and Thom (mystery movie and Monday’s and Wednesday’s mystery guests) and Sheila (mystery movie and Monday’s and Wednesday’s mystery guests).

July 1, 2016, Mystery Photo

And for Friday, we have a not terribly mysterious gent.

Update: This is Lon Chaney, a personification of the line “We had faces then.” He would make three more films — “Where East Is East,” “Thunder” and “The Unholy Three” — before dying in Hollywood at the age of 47.

Brain Trust roll call: David Inman (Thursday’s mystery guest), B.J. Merholz (Thursday’s mystery guest), Benito (Thursday’s mystery guest), Mike Hawks (Thursday’s mystery guest), Jenny M. (Thursday’s mystery guest), Gary Martin (mystery movie, Thursday’s mystery guest), Don Danard (Thursday’s mystery guest), Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie and mystery guests) and Bob Hansen (Thursday’s mystery guest).

About lmharnisch

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

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

  1. Mike Hawks says:

    Jane Daly a.k.a. Jacqueline Gadsden.


  2. David Inman says:

    Ruth Chatterton?


  3. Anne Papineau says:

    Mary Philbin?


  4. Mike Hawks says:

    Please add WEST OF ZANZIBAR 1928 to my earlier answer.


  5. beachgal says:

    Monday’s actress looks a lot like Lotti Pickford, but I’m sure it’s not her.


  6. Gary Martin says:

    A very young Irene Brown.


  7. Mike Hawks says:

    Kalla Pasha.


  8. Anne Papineau says:

    Jeanne Eagels?


  9. Earl Boebert says:

    Guy Kibee on Tuesday in “Rain” (1932) ?


  10. Mike Hawks says:

    Mary Nolan will not be smiling for long.


  11. Since CAPE FORLORN incorporates footage from the German version, I suggest that the bar habitue is Heinrich George and gal is Tala Birell.


  12. Megan, Lee Ann and Thom says:

    West of Zanzibar with Jacqueline Gadsden (Gadsdon) on Monday and Mary Nolan today.


  13. Sheila says:

    Jacqueline Gadsdon on Monday, Mary Nolan on Wednesday, in ‘West of Zanzibar’.


  14. David Inman says:

    Warner Baxter today.


  15. Benito says:

    Today, the prolific (110 film credits on imdb) Warner Baxter looks hungover.


  16. Mike Hawks says:

    Does Warner Baxter want another drink?


  17. Jenny M says:

    Warner Baxter


  18. Gary Martin says:

    This looks like an early, I can’t say young, Warner Baxter. Is he somewhere West of Zanzibar? It certainly looks like tropical heat and humidity…steamy.


  19. Sarah says:

    I’ll guess the movie is “The Rescue” (1929).


  20. Don Danard says:

    I believe the man who wants a drink is Warner Baxter.


  21. WEST OF ZANZIBAR (1928)
    Monday: Jacqueline Gadsdon
    Tuesday: Kalla Pasha
    Wednesday: Mary Nolan
    Thursday: Warner Baxter


  22. Bob Hansen says:

    Thursday’s gent is Warner Baxter.


  23. Mike Hawks says:

    Lon Chaney, Sr. says let’s get happy.


  24. E. Yarber says:

    The medallion gives it away, just like at the end of the film. Lon Chaney in West of Zanzibar.


  25. LC says:

    I’ve been without my computer for 2 weeks, finally have it back, now I can get back in the game, yahoo! This is West of Zanzibar w/Lon Chaney, Mary Nolan, Warner Baxter…


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