Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Jan. 7, 2017, Mystery Photo

This week’s mystery movie has been the 1945 (copyright 1944) Paramount Pictures film “Murder, He Says,” with Fred MacMurray, Helen Walker, Marjorie Main, Jean Heather, Porter Hall, Peter Whitney, Mabel Paige and Barbara Pepper, making it a mini “Double Indemnity” reunion. The screenplay was by Lou Breslow from a story by Jack Moffitt, with photography by Theodor Sparkuhl, art direction by Hans Dreier and William Flannery, with special effects by Gordon Jennings and Paul Lerpae. It was directed by George Marshall.

It’s available on DVD from TCM for $10.75.

June 14, 1945, Murder He Says

The film opened in Los Angeles at the Paramount theaters on June 14, 1945, with “The Chicago Kid” and a short Technicolor feature, “Boogie-Woogie,” with Robert Benchley.


“Murder, He Says” was MacMurray’s last film at Paramount before going to Twentieth Century-Fox. MacMurray’s last Paramount film was supposed to have been “Girls Town,” but it wasn’t ready in time, according to an Edwin Schallert column (April 8, 1944) in the Los Angeles Times. “Murder” was originally conceived as a Bob Hope film.

Writing in the Los Angeles Times (June 15, 1945), Philip K. Scheuer called the film a “ghoulish farce” and said:

“Murder, He Says” is good trash — to me. Indeed, like certain of the hillbilly Fleages it introduces, it glows at times with an inspired madness. And let me put you right about the Fleagles: When they glow, they GLOW — and not with warmth or moonshine, either. They — just — plain — light — up.

An unsigned review in the New York Times (June 25, 1945) said:

As weird a marriage of mirth and shudders as has yet come out of Hollywood is unveiled in “Murder, He Says,” a Paramount item, which, for want of a more specific description, might be termed farce melodrama. For this offering, which began a stand at the Globe on Saturday, mixes mayhem and clowning with the happy abandon of a drunk suffering from dementia praecox. As a result, this caricature of a hillbilly family, who combine the seamier attributes of the Jukes and the Jeeter Lesters, dilutes the effects of numerous laughs with an always incredible plot.

Jan. 2, 2017, Mystery Photo

 And for our first mystery guest of 2017, we have a mystery gent and a telephone.

Update: This is George McKay.

Jan. 3, 2017, Mystery Photo

 For Tuesday, our mystery clerk has a mystery companion, who is somewhat alarmed.

Update: This is Ralph Peters, left, George McKay, center, and Tom Fadden.

Jan. 4, 2017, Mystery Photo

Wednesday’s mystery guest is a rustic lady. (Update: Her film career began in 1912).

Update: This is Mabel Paige.

Brain Trust roll call: Lee Ann, Megan and Thom (after much deliberation, the mystery movie, Monday’s mystery guest and Tuesday’s mystery background actor in a plaid shirt), Mike Hawks (Tuesday’s mystery guest), Don Danard (Tuesday’s mystery guest, half credit on mystery actor in plaid shirt) and Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie, Monday’s mystery guest, Tuesday’s mystery guest and mystery actor in plaid shirt).

Ja. 5, 2017, Mystery Photo

And for Thursday, we have this mystery woman.

Update: This is Jean Heather, better remembered as Lola Dietrichson in “Double Indemnity.”

Brain Trust roll call: Howard Mandelbaum (Wednesday’s mystery woman), Don Danard (Wednesday’s mystery woman), B.J. Merholz (mystery movie and mystery woman), Mike Hawks (mystery movie and mystery cast), Diane Ely (Wednesday’s mystery woman/wrong movie) and Patrick (mystery movie and mystery guests).

Jan. 6, 2017, Mystery Photo

And for Friday, we have a group of guests, some more mysterious than others.

Update: This is Marjorie Main, Fred MacMurray, Helen Walker and Peter Whitney.

Brain Trust roll call: Alan Warren (mystery movie and Thursday’s mystery guest), Mike Hawks (Thursday’s mystery guest), Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s mystery guest), Dan Nather (mystery movie and mystery guests) and Patrick (Thursday’s mystery guest).

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About lmharnisch

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

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

  1. Gary Martin says:

    Henry Travers in You Can’t Get Away with Murder would be: 1.) too easy for Monday, 2.) wrong, 3.) correct.

    Like

  2. Lee Ann Bailey says:

    I’m taking a flyer–I think this may be Harold deBecker; Megan and Thom don’t think so.

    Like

  3. Mary Mallory says:

    Victor Potel today?

    Like

  4. Lee Ann, Megan, and Thom says:

    I’m going to take another flyer (I never learn)–Is Tuesday’s rube Arthur Hunnicut? Also, I’m positive the gent in the plaid shirt at the far left is Ralph Peters.

    Like

  5. B.J.Merholz says:

    Is that Charles Cane in the corner?

    Like

  6. Mike Hawks says:

    Tom Fadden for tuesday.

    Like

  7. Lorenzo says:

    Still studying today’s guest but is that Randolph Scott on the far right peeking in?

    Like

  8. Don Danard says:

    The gang’s all here. On the far left – Ralph Sanford.
    In the b.g.- Douglas “Keep Watching the Skies” Spencer.
    Wondering what his next line is – Tom Fadden.

    Like

  9. Gary Martin says:

    On the far left in the check shirt is it Ralph Dunn?

    Like

  10. Looks like MURDER, HE SAYS. The storekeeper should be George McKay. I see Ralph Peters among the local gentry.

    Like

  11. Dan Nather says:

    I’m guessing Edward Ellis on Monday . . .

    Like

  12. Lee Ann, Megan, and Thom says:

    Our consensus is that Monday’s guest is George McKay in Murder, He Says.

    Like

  13. Sheila says:

    Zeffie Tilbury on Wednesday?

    Like

  14. Don Danard says:

    Pretty sure it’s Mabel Paige this a.m.

    Like

  15. B.J.Merholz says:

    Could that be Mabel Paige in Murder, He Says?

    Like

  16. Mike Hawks says:

    Monday George McKay, tuesday at left Ralph Peters, today Mabel Paige in MURDER HE SAYS .

    Like

  17. Diane Ely says:

    Hank Bell as the alarmed guy, and Mabel Paige as the rustic lady?
    Is “Roseanna McCoy” the mystery movie?

    Like

  18. Patrick says:

    George McKay, Tom Fadden and Mabel Paige in Murder, He Says from 1945

    Like

  19. Alan Warren says:

    Jean Heather, Murder He Says.

    Like

  20. Mike Hawks says:

    Jean Heather.

    Like

  21. Dan Nather says:

    Wasn’t quite sure yesterday, but I couldn’t miss Jean Heather in MURDER, HE SAYS (1945). So that means George McKay on Monday and Tuesday (don’t know his companion on Tuesday), and Mabel Paige on Wednesday. Which means we’ll probably see Fred MacMurray and Helen Walker tomorrow . . .

    Like

  22. Patrick says:

    Thursday’s mystery woman is Jean Heather.

    Like

  23. David Inman says:

    “Murder, He Says”? I think that’s Heather Jean on Thursday.

    Like

  24. Mary Mallory says:

    MURDER, HE SAYS. George McKay MOnday, Mabel Paige Wednesday, Jean Heather Thursday, Fred MacMurray, Marjorie Main, and Helen Walker today.

    Like

  25. beachgal says:

    Movie is Murder He Says — Friday L-R Marjorie Main, Fred MacMurray, Helen Walker, and Peter Whitney

    Like

  26. beachgal says:

    Thurs is Jean Heather. Wen is Mabel Paige.

    Like

  27. Don Danard says:

    “Murder He Says” is the film. Fred MacMurray, Marjorie Main, Helen Walker and Peter Whitney.

    Like

  28. Benito says:

    Marjorie Main + Fred MacMurray = MURDER HE SAYS 1945. Still can’t ID Thursday’s doll!

    Like

  29. Mike Hawks says:

    Marjorie Main, Fred MacMurray, Helen Walker and Peter Whitney.

    Like

  30. mcdee says:

    Murder, He Says from 1945. On Friday Marjorie Main, Fred MacMurray, Helen Walker and Peter Whitney

    Like

  31. Patrick says:

    Friday: (l to r) Marjorie Main, Fred MacMurray, Helen Walker and Peter Whitney trying to figure out what, “onches nobis, inob keesis” means.

    Like

  32. William says:

    “Murder, He Says”, 1945. I saw this “first run” when I was age 10 & didnt recognize it until today. If I’m correct, this movie did make a lasting impression on me,…. great entertainment.

    Like

  33. Rogét-L.A. says:

    Murder, He Says (1945) – Marjorie Main, Fred MacMurray, Helen Walker, and Peter Whitney

    Like

  34. Marjorie Main, Fred MacMurray, Helen Walker, Peter Whitney.

    Like

  35. LC says:

    Murder, He Says (1945)

    Like

  36. Patricia van Hartesveldt says:

    I finally recognized Marjorie Main and Fred MacMurray, leading me to IMDB, which suggests that this is “Murder, He Says”: a 1945 comedy wherein “A pollster stumbles on a family of murderous hillbillies, and joins in their search for hidden treasure.” Caint hardly wait to see it.

    Like

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