This week’s mystery movie was the 1959 film “The Last Angry Man,” with Paul Muni, David Wayne, Betsy Palmer, Luther Adler, Claudia McNeil, Joby Baker, Joanna Moore, Nancy R. Pollock, Billy Dee Williams, Robert F. Simon and Dan Tobin. Screenplay by Gerald Green and Richard Murphy from a novel by Gerald Green. Photographed by James Wong Howe, edited by Charles Nelson, art direction by Carl Anderson, set decoration by William Kiernan, costume design by Jean Louis, music by George Duning. Produced by Fred Kohlmar and directed by Daniel Mann.
“The Last Angry Man” was released on VHS, but is not commercially available on DVD. A 16 millimeter print is for sale on EBay.
“The Last Angry Man” was Paul Muni’s last film, and his first Hollywood movie since “Angel on My Shoulder” in 1946. He had previously appeared in “Stranger on the Prowl,” produced in 1952 in Italy. “The Last Angry Man” was the first to be produced by Fred Kohlmar as an independent under contract with Columbia. According to the New York Times, Glenn Ford was originally cast as Woodrow Thrasher, the role ultimately played by David Wayne, but Ford would not accept the role, resulting in a $676,876 lawsuit from Columbia. Jack Lemmon was later cast as Ford’s replacement.
Writing in the New York Times (Oct. 23, 1959), Bosley Crowther said:
Simple goodness and charity have such rare currency in entertainment realms these days that it is pleasing and refreshing to come across them, even in a simple, sentimental, old-fashioned film. And that, we are bound to tell you, is the kind of film Fred Kohlmar’s “The Last Angry Man” is — simple, sentimental and old-fashioned, but full of goodness and charity.
For Monday, we have a mystery woman. Our leading man has been cropped out due to his utter lack of mysteriousness.
Update: This is Cicely Tyson.
For Tuesday, we have a mystery woman. She does not approve of such goings-on.
Update: This is Nancy R. Pollock.
Brain Trust roll call: Pat in Michigan (mystery movie and Monday’s mystery woman), Arye Michael Bender (Monday’s mystery woman) and Sylvia E. (mystery movie and Monday’s mystery woman and cropped-out leading man.
For Wednesday, we have a mystery gent doing something mysterious.
Update: This is Joby Baker.
Brain Trust roll call: Bob Hansen (Monday’s mystery woman).
For Thursday, we have a not terribly mysterious guest. The leading man has been cropped out due to his lack of mysteriousness. He will appear Friday.
Update: This is Billy Dee Williams in his screen debut. Godfrey Cambridge also made his debut in this film.
Brain Trust roll call: Jenny M. (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery guest), Sylvia E. (Wednesday’s mystery guest) and L.C. (mystery movie and mystery cast).
And for Friday, our non-mysterious leading man.
Update: This is Paul Muni.
Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (mystery movie and all mystery guests), Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie and all mystery guests), Jenny M. (Thursday’s mystery guest), Sylvia E. (Thursday’s mystery guest) and Thom and Megan (mystery movie and Thursday’s mystery guest).