Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Sept. 29, 2018, Mystery Photo
This week’s mystery movie has been the 1993 picture “The Joy Luck Club.”  This is much more recent than the usual mystery movie, but I decided to do it after reading an essay by Los Angeles Times movie critic Justin Chang on the film’s 25th anniversary.  I thought that the film was probably too recent and too well-known for a mystery movie but that the powerful images would make an unusual week. I probably won’t do this again, but I hope it was entertaining.

Note: This week coincided with a massive computer failure. The great majority of my data is backed up and safe. The main problem is getting my essential legacy software and hardware (a scanner that handles transparencies and negatives) to run, even though they were just fine on Windows 10 on the old computer. The dust is still settling, but so far the major loss is the legacy blogging software (by Microsoft, I might add) that I have used for years.  I think I have found an alternative, but there is a learning curve to it.

Sept. 23, 2018, Mystery Photo

Sept. 29, 2018, Mystery Photo
Update: This is Mai Vu as young Waverly, the chess prodigy.

I thought I would try something different this week. Instead of showing mystery guests, I’m going to post a series of mystery props that are key elements in the mystery movie’s plot.

Sept. 25, 2018, Mystery Photo

For Tuesday, we have a mystery watermelon.

Sept. 29, 2018, Mystery Photo
Update: This is Russell Wong as Lin Xiao in the watermelon scene.

Sept. 26, 2018, Mystery Photo

For Wednesday, we have a mystery plate of food….

Sept. 29, 2018, Mystery Photo
Update: These are rolls filled with opium that An Mei’s mother (Vivian Wu) uses to commit suicide.
Sept. 26, 2018, Mystery Photo
…. also a mystery wheelbarrow.

Sept. 29, 2018, Mystery Photo

Update: This is the wheelbarrow that Suyuan (Kieu Chinh) is using to carry her babies. When it breaks, she leaves them by the side of the road with all her jewelry and a letter asking someone to take them to a relative.

Sept 26, 2018, Mystery Photo
Sept. 29, 2018, Mystery Photo
Note: I’m having massive computer problems so I am posting early.
For Thursday, we have a painting of a mystery gent …

Update: This is the painting of the ancestor in the sequence with teenage Lindo (Irene Ng).

Sept. 27, 2018, Mystery Photo
and also….

Sept. 29, 2018, Mystery Photo
Update: This the mahjong game near the beginning of the film when June (Ming-Na Wen) takes her mother’s place with her aunties Lindo (Tsai Chin), Ying-Ying (France Nuyen) and An-Mei (Lisa Lu).

Brain Trust roll call: L.C. (mystery movie) and Sylvia E. (mystery movie).


Sept. 29, 2018, Mystery Photo

For Friday, we have a mystery feather.

Update: This is June (Ming-Na Wen) and her father (Chao Li Chi) with the swan feather referred to in the beginning of the film.

Brain Trust roll call: Anne Papineau (mystery movie), Mary Mallory (mystery movie), Jenny M. (mystery movie), Mike Hawks (mystery movie), Tucson Barbara (mystery movie) and Sue Slutzky (mystery movie).

Here is the chess board in “Rocky IV,” courtesy of Chess in the Movies.



And Michael Caine with the chess board in “Sleuth,” from Chess in the Movies.

The chess game in “From Russia With Love,” from

About lmharnisch

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

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

  1. tucsonbarbara says:



  2. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Looks like British Technicolor so I’ll guess THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP.


  3. Mary Mallory says:



  4. Benito says:

    From Russia With Love has a chess match early on. Vladek Sheybal, the creepy guy in Women in Love, The Boyfriend and The Apple, wins!


  5. SylviaE says:

    I’ll just toss in The Luzhin Defence as my guess for Monday. I’m sure this guess will change as the week goes on.


  6. Mary Mallory says:



  7. SylviaE says:

    Guess #2 Revolver 2005 (just a trial balloon though)
    This one is tough. I await tomorrow.


  8. Dan Nather says:

    My two cents: THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR?


  9. Mary Mallory says:



  10. Anne Papineau says:

    Satyajit Ray’s The Chess Players


  11. LC says:

    These are from The Joy Luck Club (1993)


  12. E. Yarber says:

    It’s either The Seventh Seal or Minnie and Moskowitz.


  13. Gary says:

    Far from the Madding Crowd, 1967.


  14. SylviaE says:

    Okay. I think it is The Joy Luck Club 1993.


  15. Mary Mallory says:



  16. Anne Papineau says:

    The Joy Luck Club


  17. Mary Mallory says:



  18. Jenny M says:

    Joy Luck Club


  19. MIKE HAWKS says:



  20. tucsonbarbara says:

    The Joy Luck Club


  21. Lee Ann, Thom and Megan says:

    The Last Emperor.


  22. Sue Slutzky says:

    The Joy Luck Club


  23. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    THE JOY LUCK CLUB (1993). Forging out of the last century?


  24. Megan says:

    The Joy Luck Club.


  25. Sarah says:

    It took while, but I’ll guess “The Joy Luck Club.”


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