This week’s mystery movie has been the 1939 RKO picture “Fixer Dugan,” with Lee Tracy, Virginia Weidler, Peggy Shannon, Bradley Page, William Edmunds, Edward Gargan, Jack Arnold, Rita LaRoy, Irene Franklin, John Dilson and Edythe Elliott. Photography was by J. Roy Hunt, art direction by Van Nest Polglase, special effects by Vernon L. Walker. Screenplay by Bert Granet and Paul Yawitz, adapted from the play “What’s a Fixer For?” by H.C. Potter. Produced by Cliff Reid and directed by Lew Landers.
“Fixer Dugan” is available on DVD from Warner Archive with three other RKO pictures: “Criminal Lawyer,” “Behind the Headlines” and “Crashing Hollywood.”
Writing in the New York Times (May 6, 1939), B.R.C. said:
When you’ve seen one circus picture, particularly one, “Fixer Dugan,” at the Rialto, you’ve practically seen them all. The high and low spots you should be able by this time to greet like old friends: the trapeze artiste who takes a fatal misstep; the lion that escapes and mangles somebody not essential to the story, and so on.
And yes, it was a bit soon to have another circus picture, but I wanted to do a Peggy Shannon film and there aren’t many in the Daily Mirror vault.
You may recall a controversy last year about movie titles being mere lists until Saul Bass began doing them. Here’s another entry in rebuttal to that argument.
For Monday, we have a mystery gent.
Update: This is Bob Burns.
Update: This is Rita LaRoy.
For Wednesday, we have a mystery gent.
Update: This is William Edmunds.
Brain Trust roll call: Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie and Monday’s and Tuesday’s mystery guests), Mary Mallory (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery woman) and Sheila (Tuesday’s mystery woman).
For Thursday, two mystery kids in newsboy caps!
Update: This is Virginia Weidler and an unidentified companion. Sonny Bupp, who gets roughly equal screen time in the same sequence, is identified while this young man isn’t. I try to post images of people of color whenever possible to show that they were in films, but not always identified, in the hope that someone will recognize them.
Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Wednesday’s mystery guest), Don Danard (Wednesday’s mystery guest), Howard Mandelbaum (Wednesday’s mystery guest) and Mike Hawks (mystery movie and all mystery guests).
And for Friday…
Update: This is Lee Tracy and Peggy Shannon.
Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Thursday’s Mystery Kid No. 1), Mike Hawks (Thursday’s Mystery Kid No. 1), Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s Mystery Kid No. 1), Patrick (mystery movie, Wednesday’s mystery gent and Thursday’s Mystery Kid No. 1), Jenny M. (mystery movie and Thursday’s Mystery Kid No. 1), Sylvia E. (mystery movie, Monday’s, Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s mystery guests and Thursday’s Mystery Kid No. 1) and L.C. (mystery movie and mystery cast).